How Much Does EMDR Therapy Cost?

Last Updated on May 21, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is an innovative, evidence-based psychotherapy approach designed to help individuals effectively overcome trauma, anxiety, grief, depression and other distressing life experiences. During EMDR sessions, patients make directed lateral eye movements while recalling traumatic memories or incidents, which research shows helps accelerate the brain’s natural processing and integration of these experiences.

While EMDR therapy has proven exceptionally effective and rapid in treating post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and other conditions, the costs associated with this treatment are an important consideration for those beginning to explore their therapy options.

How Much Does EMDR Therapy Cost?

On average, the cost for a single 60-minute session of EMDR therapy ranges from $100 to $200 among private practice clinicians across the United States. However, pricing is variable:

  • EMDR sessions may cost $60 to $150 per visit at community counseling clinics, universities, and non-profit centers, especially for credentialed providers still completing post-graduate supervised hours.
  • For top EMDR experts within major metropolitan areas, rates often span $150 to $300+ per session.
  • In smaller rural locations with fewer EMDR practitioners, fees tend to fall on the lower end from $80 to $150 per treatment.
  • For EMDR intensive weekend workshops, daily rates typically run $100 to $250.

Since the number of sessions required for successful treatment outcomes varies widely based on individual trauma severity and response, total costs over an entire EMDR treatment course may range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand for more complex trauma.

According to AlphaMind Counseling Centers, the average cost of EMDR therapy ranges from $150 to $200 for a 60-minute session. This type of treatment is considered to be the most cost-effective treatment for individuals suffering with PTSD, and sessions will differ in length depending on the treatment plan.

Hope For The Journey Counseling offers EMDR therapy at different levels, with an Intern Level costing $50 for a 50-minute session and a Resident Level costing $135 for a 50-minute session.

EMDR Therapy Group Vancouver lists their prices as $80 for a 60-minute session and $120 for a 90-minute session.

EMDR Therapy Austin provides transparent rates, with their counselors charging $165 per 50-minute session and $225 per 50-minute session. They also offer a free 20-minute phone consultation to help determine if they are the right therapist for you.

EMDRIA, the EMDR International Association, provides information on EMDR certification, which includes application fees of $150 for EMDRIA Full Members and $350 for Non-EMDRIA Members. These fees are separate from EMDRIA membership dues, and the certification period is two years, with renewal required every two years.

Factors Impacting the Costs of EMDR Therapy

Therapist Experience and Credentials – More experienced EMDR clinicians with advanced certifications, specializations, and years of focused trauma treatment expertise tend to charge higher rates, ranging from $150-$300+ per session in many metropolitan areas. Newly trained EMDR therapists may charge $80-$120.

Geographic Region and Demand – As with most healthcare services, access to an undersupplied service like EMDR affects pricing. Rates for EMDR tend to run substantially higher in major metropolitan coastal regions and lower in smaller inland cities and rural locations, where demand is less concentrated.

Session Length – EMDR sessions lasting 60-90 minutes understandably come with a higher fee than standard 45–50-minute therapy appointments to account for the extra treatment time. Longer sessions allow for more memory reprocessing.

Frequency of Sessions – Clients attending EMDR therapy more than once per week over a condensed period of time incur notably higher cumulative costs over the full treatment course compared to weekly or bi-weekly spacing between appointments.

You might also like our articles about the cost of therapy and craniosacrap therapy, ARP wave machines, or cryotherapy.

Treatment Facility Type – Due to overhead differences, EMDR practitioners operating within private practice settings typically charge higher session rates, averaging $120-$250 or more, compared to EMDR clinicians working within community mental health clinics who may charge $60-$150 per session.

Insurance Coverage and Deductibles – The out-of-pocket rate per session also depends significantly on details of the client’s health insurance coverage, including reimbursement rates for EMDR therapy, in-network status of the provider, and the annual deductible level.

Health Insurance Coverage for EMDR Therapy

While EMDR therapy is now recognized as an effective evidence-based treatment modality by entities like the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and Department of Defense (DOD), insurance coverage for EMDR can still vary considerably between different health insurance providers. Contact your insurance plan directly to learn about your specific EMDR therapy benefits:

  • Verify whether EMDR treatment is covered as an eligible service under your in-network mental health benefits.
  • Ask if your plan places any limits on the maximum number of covered EMDR sessions allowed annually or over your lifetime. It is not uncommon for insurers to limit therapies.
  • Inquire what your deductible is and anticipated copay or coinsurance out-of-pocket costs per EMDR session thereafter. A deductible may apply first.
  • Understand the percentage of EMDR fees your plan reimburses for out-of-network providers lacking preferred status with your insurer. This influences out-of-pocket costs.

Even with partial insurance coverage, the total out-of-pocket expenses associated with multiple sessions of EMDR therapy may still be prohibitive for some individuals to afford. For those with very high deductibles or limited mental health benefits, exploring lower cost community-based options merits consideration.

More Affordable EMDR Therapy Alternatives

EMDR TherapyLow-Fee Community Programs – Many cities and mental health non-profits offer income-based sliding fee scales for EMDR therapy ranging from $30 to $100 per session based on client financial need and income verification.

EMDR Trainees – Graduate student therapists or newly certified EMDR providers often charge reduced rates around $50 to $100 per session as they accumulate required supervised clinical practice hours under an experienced mentor.

Online Video EMDR Sessions – Virtual EMDR therapy options now exist, with costs averaging $80 to $150 per remote video session. While convenient and safe, virtual EMDR lacks the face-to-face individualized experience some clients prefer.

Group EMDR – To lower costs, some therapists now offer small group EMDR sessions targeting shared trauma experiences for $40 to $80 per client. While cost-effective, group treatment reduces privacy.

Free or Subsidized Assistance – For those with very limited financial means, grant assistance programs, victim compensation funds, military/veteran services, university clinics, and charitable aid organizations may offer free or discounted EMDR treatment in some cases.

Is the Cost of EMDR Therapy Worth it?

  • For PTSD sufferers, research indicates EMDR regularly achieves substantial symptom relief 60-90% fasterthan other psychotherapy modalities, reducing expenditures associated with long-term care.
  • Multiple studies have demonstrated that successful EMDR trauma memory reprocessing has the benefit of increasing patient productivity, performance, and general wellness through the alleviation of trauma-related limitations, which generates valuable socioeconomic benefits that offset therapy costs.
  • In the treatment of both anxiety disorders and addiction/substance abuse, EMDR facilitates accelerated rehabilitation, growth, and lasting positive change more rapidly than traditional talk therapies alone, thereby achieving favorable outcomes with fewer required sessions which ultimately lowers the total treatment costs.
  • By efficiently speeding recovery, symptom relief, and restoration of normal functioning, EMDR therapy demonstrates advantageous cost-effectiveness while still providing clients with customized and thorough trauma resolution, an ideal combination that makes the initial therapy investment extremely worthwhile in the eyes of many clients and therapists alike.

Tips for Making EMDR More Affordable

  • Take advantage of tax-advantaged medical flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or health savings accounts (HSAs) to help cover deductibles, copays, and coinsurance costs associated with EMDR treatment using pre-tax income.
  • Thoroughly research and apply for any grants, scholarships, stipends, or temporary financial assistance programs that subsidize mental health services through government agencies, trauma recovery organizations, universities, or community mental health foundations.
  • Specifically inquire with prospective EMDR therapists about any availability of discounted sliding scale fee options, extended payment plans, or hardship waivers or reductions based on demonstrated client financial need and income verification.
  • Comparison shop between multiple EMDR providers to find those with more competitively priced services in your area. Consider universities, community clinics, or new trainees offering lower rates.
  • Carefully follow your EMDR therapist’s expert guidance regarding the minimum number of sessions likely required to achieve your therapy goals. Opt for adequate but time-limited treatment to avoid unnecessary extra costs.
  • Consider enrolling in free or low-cost EMDR-related workshops, seminars, or group training sessions when feasible to offset a portion of your overall therapeutic expenses.

Final Words

While EMDR treatment does entail notable financial costs for some seeking trauma-focused psychotherapy, for many suffering individuals already burdened by PTSD, anxiety, addiction, depression, and past trauma, the substantial benefits EMDR offers in overcoming decades of suffering frequently outweigh any costs.

With thoughtful financial planning, exploring subsidized community resources, utilizing insurance, and selective session spacing, the rapid and lasting trauma resolution achievable through EMDR therapy renders this unique treatment modality both clinically and economically worthwhile for countless clients. When safe trauma recovery and peace of mind are the goals, EMDR proves a sensible investment.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is EMDR cost-effective?

Yes, research indicates EMDR achieves equivalent or better treatment outcomes in significantly fewer sessions than other therapies for trauma-related conditions. So, despite similar per session costs, EMDR has advantages in terms of cost-effectiveness and faster relief from suffering that make it a sound investment.

How is EMDR billed?

Therapists bill EMDR therapy using CPT codes 90837 for 60-minute sessions or 90832 for 45-minute appointments. ICD-10 diagnostic codes like F43.10 for PTSD are also included. Verify your insurer accepts these standard codes which indicate an evidence-based mental health treatment modality.

When should EMDR not be used?

EMDR would not be suggested for patients currently experiencing psychosis, mania, or substantial dissociation, until those conditions are stabilized. Consultation with a mental health professional is always advised before beginning EMDR treatment to ensure appropriateness and safety.

Can EMDR work in one session?

While one session of EMDR can sometimes provide meaningful relief, most trauma-related conditions require multiple EMDR sessions for full treatment and reprocessing. Therapists gradually guide patients through layered traumatic memories until resolution is achieved. Trust the expertise of your EMDR provider regarding the length of treatment.

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