September 19


The Compassionate Approach to Mental Health: The Benefits of Sliding Scale Low Fee Therapy

By Tatyana Kholodkov

September 19, 2023

Let’s face it. Life is hard. We are in a fast-paced world with so much happening politically, ecologically, and systemically. It can be hard to make sense of our bodies, our culture, and what is going on with the planet. This is all to say, we can all use support at times. However, for many individuals and families, access to quality mental health services can be financially challenging. This is where the concept of sliding scale low-fee therapy comes into play. It fulfills the mission of The Project Yes in Durham, NC to alleviate suffering for others. 

Understanding Sliding Scale Low Fee Therapy

Sliding scale or low-fee therapy is an approach to mental health care that focuses on affordability and accessibility. It’s designed to support individuals who may be struggling financially and are in need of mental health services. The idea behind sliding scale therapy is simple: the cost of therapy is adjusted based on the client’s income and ability to pay,  with tiers based on the experience and training of the clinician they see. At Project Yes PLLC, we offer professional services at a reduced cost through our training clinic model. Further, we occasionally also generate funds that offset costs for others (e.g., through donation-based workshops). 

A field of pink flowers. Sliding Scale Low Fee Therapy in Durham, NC offers affordable access to mental health care.

Increased Access to Healthcare: Breaking Down Financial Barriers to Mental Wellness

At the heart of sliding scale therapy lies a transformative benefit that resonates deeply with the compassionate mission of Project Yes. We believe in contributing to the training of the newest generation of therapists. Further, we understand they are eager to be of support to the North Carolina community. As individuals in graduate school are getting therapy experience, clients are able to get quality care that is supervised by a licensed and experienced therapist. It is a benefit that goes beyond the mere provision of therapy; it’s about dismantling the entrenched financial and socioeconomic barriers that often hinder mental wellness.

Understanding the Barrier: Financial Constraints

Mental health is a fundamental aspect of overall well-being, yet it is an area where many individuals face formidable obstacles. Although steadily improving, there is still a lot of stigma about going to see a therapist. As well as viewing time spent in therapy as an investment in oneself. A significant portion of the population also hesitates to seek therapy due to financial constraints. For these individuals and couples alike, therapy may seem inaccessible. Further, additional life stressors may impact the ability to take time off from childcare or work and drive to appointments. 

The Solution: Sliding Scale Virtual Therapy

Enter sliding scale therapy fees. Therapy costs are adjusted based on the client’s income and financial capacity, while still promoting investment in their care. Pricing tiers are also variable based on the experience of the therapist. For example, the cost changes as more experienced therapists continue to invest in their education through supervision, consultation, and post-graduate specialized training. 

Virtual therapy offers flexibility and ease while taking care of yourself. Our telehealth therapists can offer services in a wider range of hours. Furthermore, they are more likely to accommodate an extra appointment on those weeks you need additional support.

Being able to attend telehealth therapy from the comfort of your chosen environment- your work conference room or your living room- means you don’t have to take extra time off, look for parking, or stand in traffic. Research shows that virtual therapy is just as effective as in person. Although Project Yes PLLC is based in Durham, North Carolina, you can see any of our therapists wherever in North Carolina you may be

We also offer workshops and psychoeducational experiences that are open to individuals anywhere in the world! 

Additionally, we also offer virtual support groups and workshops. Thus allowing you to connect with others around specific areas of mental health support, identity, and goals. Groups and workshops cost less than individual therapy services, and the effects of therapy groups are powerful! 

Purple flowers. Sliding Scale Fee Therapy in Durham, NC offers access to quality care at a reasonable price.

A Unique Training Opportunity: Nurturing the Future of Mental Health

The sliding scale therapy program at Project Yes is based on our commitment to fostering a nurturing environment. It simultaneously supports clients and cultivates the growth of future mental health professionals. As a training clinic, we work with local Masters programs and select individuals whose values align with our vision. Additionally, these individuals want to serve our diverse clients. Students get the invaluable (and needed) experience of providing individual, couples, and group therapy services.

We also accept provisionally licensed therapists and post-doctoral fellows, who already have finished graduate school training and are now working on their hours for licensure. For years, clients have been willing to trust our therapists in training, and our alumni are now thriving in the professional world. In this way, our clients and therapists are co-creating a dynamic ecosystem that thrives on trust, growth, and exceptional care.

Guided Expertise: Professional Supervision for Therapists

What sets them apart from going to a busy public clinic and seeking therapy at Project Yes PLLC is the consistent, careful guidance provided by licensed clinicians who supervise these trainees. Supervisors also have a vast network for referrals, awareness of creative options for adjunct care, and engage in consultation with other colleagues with varying areas of expertise.  Those who provide supervision are seasoned professionals, and bring years of experience and expertise to the table, ensuring that clients not only receive the support of a clinician in training but also benefit from the watchful eye and deep knowledge of the clinical supervisor.

For our group and workshop offerings, the team takes time to identify unmet needs in the community. We then develop programs to help folks explore areas that may be harder to find specialized care for, such as neurodiversity, navigating polyamory, and caregiving support. All of our groups include a sliding scale slot. Our psychedelic integration group also has a scholarship slot! 

Blue flowers. Get the care you thought you could not afford with Sliding Scale Low Fee Therapy in Durham, NC.

A Personalized and Compassionate Approach: Tailoring Therapy for Individual Well-Being

Our sliding scale therapy services are no different than services for clients paying a full fee. We match clinicians and clients based on skills and needs and do a thorough intake process. Your therapist wants to get to know you and all aspects of your life, including your health, relationships, personal history, challenges, and strengths. We encourage clients to engage in therapy regularly for the purposes of building a relationship and developing momentum, which is difficult to do when sessions initially are set apart.

A Collaborative Approach to Treatment

Clinicians collaboratively develop a treatment plan with each client, identifying what the focus of therapy will be and the approach that will be used. Project Yes PLLC therapists have tools and knowledge to help you navigate life challenges, but are not an expert on your life or how you should be living it. We view each client as a unique individual, and the type of mental health support we provide will be as unique as the person seeking it. 

A client’s role in their therapy process 

Therapy is a process of not just relieving suffering, but also transformation. It’s an experience where clients are not passive recipients of care but are active participants in their own healing. Our therapy clients are empowered to contribute to the design of their treatment plans, providing insights and preferences that are vital to their well-being. Our therapists work with clients who want to explore, dive in, and get clarity.

Additionally, we encourage clients to take the necessary time in their lives to not only consistently attend therapy but also to process what is occurring so that they are getting the most out of the experience. Also, we work in an active way with our clients, encouraging home practice assignments. These may look like trying a new self-soothing skill, having a challenging conversation, reducing a problematic habit, and reconnecting with creativity. Additionally, if it is right for you, your therapist may also suggest reading material that may be a companion to your work.

You Are in Charge of Your Process

As a therapist-client, we view you as in charge of your process. We invite you to keep in mind that positive outcomes from therapy depend on what you do outside the therapy room- out there, where you are living your life! 

Tall purple lowers. Access quality mental health care with Low Fee Therapy in Durham, NC today.

Connect with a Provider Who Offers Sliding Scale Low-Fee Therapy in Durham, NC, or anywhere in the state! 

Sliding-scale low-fee therapy is not just about reducing the financial burden of mental health care; it’s about offering a compassionate and affirming space where individuals can seek the support they deserve. Project Yes in Durham, NC offers a team ready to meet you with empathy, expertise, and a commitment to personalized care. By offering sliding scale therapy, we are not only improving access to healthcare but also fostering an environment where early career professionals grow, and members of the community can thrive on their journey toward mental wellness.

  • Fill out our convenient online contact form here.
  • Learn more about Our Team here, and read about our current intern offering reduced-cost services. 
  • Access the mental health care you need with low-fee therapy in Durham, NC or virtually anywhere in North Carolina!
  • Consider joining one of our groups or workshops as another form of emotional wellness support —-> link to events 

Other Services Offered by Project Yes

In addition to Sliding Scale Mental Health Care, we offer Psychotherapy Services for Relationship Therapy, Sex-Positive and Kink-Friendly Therapy, Anxiety, OCD, and Trauma and PTSD as well as Yoga and Meditation Options. Additionally, we offer Psychedelic Psychotherapy and Ketamine-Assisted Psychotherapy individually and in groups. 

If you are ready to say “Yes” to your life, reach out today. We look forward to being of support to you! 

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