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  • Writer's pictureHeather Gibson, MA, LMFT

Affordable Mental Health Services in San Diego County

Updated: Mar 28

Positive Change Counseling Center Blog

Written by: Heather Gibson, LMFT


You might be interested in trying therapy, or may find yourself needing the support and guidance of a counselor. You may also be wondering “but how much is it going to cost”? If you have health insurance, there is a good chance that mental health/behavioral health is covered to some extent. While we truly believe that therapy is a worthwhile investment, if you have to pay out of pocket, the cost per session may not necessarily fit into your budget. This is why at Positive Change Counseling Center, we are happy to discuss payment options with our clients who do not have health insurance coverage and are on a fixed budget. We are additionally able to offer limited low-fee slots with our Associate (pre-licensed, under supervision) clinicians.

If you are interested in finding mental health services outside of our practice, we have compiled this list of low cost mental health services in San Diego County. (We will continue to add to this list as we become aware of other great clinicians, so continue to check back!) We would like to highlight that more experienced clinicians may charge more for their services. Clients can sometimes find more affordable therapy if they are willing to work with a pre-licensed ‘associate/intern’ therapist. This is a therapist working toward earning their license, and they always are being guided by a licensed therapist as their supervisor (you’re essentially getting ‘two-sets of eyes’ on your case, for a lower fee!) Community/County resources can also be an affordable (often free!) option for receiving mental health resources. We have included some of these options into the list below.

Note: If you do have health insurance, you are strongly encouraged to look into what is covered under your mental health benefits by calling the phone number on the back of your insurance card. Here at Positive Change Counseling Center we accept many commercial insurances and EAPs. If you're interested to learn more and schedule your appointment, today, please click here to get started!

Affordable Mental Health Services in San Diego County

{$90 per session and under}


Alliant Couple and Family Clinic ($40/session and up)

Offers low-cost therapy to individuals, couples, and families on a sliding scale. Located in Scripps Ranch, and we offer in-person as well as telehealth appointments.

Robyn Bjornsson, Clinical Coordinator 10065 Old Grove Road, Suite 102 San Diego, CA 92131

CAPS Clinic ($30/session and up)

Center for Applied Psychology & Services at Alliant University - Dr. Mojgan Kahdemi

Clinical Psychology doctoral students in training, offering low fee therapy in SD county.

10455 Pomerado Rd, M15, San Diego, CA 92131

Chelsea Sterling, LPCC ($75+ per session)

Sliding scale and ability to do 'super bills'. Limited 'sliding scale' slots available.

NISD Counseling ($40-$80/session)

With an Associate/pre-licensed Therapist under supervision. Also offering an additional student discount.


Stronger Together Community Services ($25-$80/session)

Non-profit offering individual, couple, family, and group counseling, as well as recreational therapy (hiking, rock climbing, yoga, and paddle boarding. Sliding scale available.

Dr. Allison Brownlee (she/her/hers)

University of San Diego (USD) Tele-Mental Health Training Clinic ($15-$50/session)

Student therapists in training, supervised by a Licensed Therapist

Phone: 619-260-7670

Urban Restoration Counseling

Some insurances accepted, affordable cash pay prices and also offers low/no cost therapy.

YMCA Community Support Services ($0 and up*)

(Fees* are assessed on a sliding scale depending upon ability to pay or eligibility criteria for free services).

3333 Camino Del Rio South, Suite 400, San Diego, CA

Tele: (858) 292-9622 Fax: (858)292-0045

2-1-1 San Diego - Offers county mental health resources:

  • Teen Line: Text "TEEN" to 839863 between 6:00pm-9:00pm PST to receive teen-to-teen education and support.

  • Access & Crisis Line: If you need support or are actively seeking services, please call the ACL at 1 (888)-724-7240, and an experienced counselor will provide you with a referral to meet your needs and help determine eligibility.

  • Text 9-8-8: “988” is the three-digit, nationwide phone number to connect directly to the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline.

  • NAMI San Diego Helpline (619)-543-1434 is open for calls, and staffed by experienced volunteers and Peer/Family Support Specialists who can provide support, assistance, and connections to resources.

  • The Peer-to-Peer Warm Line: Call 619-295-1055 or 1-800-930-WARM (9276) 3:30 pm - 11:00 pm 7 days/week to speak to a Peer Support Specialist.

  • SAMHSA's Disaster Distress Line: Call 1-800-985-5990 or text TalkWithUs to 66746 to connect with a trained crisis counselor

County of SD Behavioral Health Directory

{If you are a clinician offering low-fee therapy in San Diego County, and would like your practice added to this list, please email your information to our Operations Manager, Heather Gibson, LMFT: }

Heather Gibson | Positive Change Counseling Center

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