Anxiety, stress, drug addiction, affective disorders or developmental or social adjustment problems are elements that are increasingly present in our society. In a world like today, many people need specialized psychological care and, as a professional activity, this treatment is a reward for those who exercise it.
However, some of the people who need these services do not have sufficient resources, such as the fees of a private professional, which is why there has been a demand for low cost psychologists.
Low-cost psychologists: explaining the concept
As we know, psychology is a scientific discipline whose object of study is the human psyche. Psychologists dedicate their professional activity to working with diverse people, groups and organizations, having been trained for years and honing their skills and competences in order to provide the best possible service.
There are many professionals who work in the public sphere, but the characteristics of the public environment lead many professionals to decide to establish themselves and create or enter private consultations and institutes of psychology.
Going to a private psychology center usually involves more personal treatment., Differentiated and with more continuous availability, in addition to being able to find more frequently other approaches that deviate from the most common methodologies. However, this type of consultation usually comes at a moderate cost (it should be borne in mind that the professional faces multiple costs in managing and maintaining the consultation) which in the long run can become difficult for many.
Thus, it is possible that many people who would need psychological care in a more continuous and specific way than in the public (if this public health exists in the territory in question) are not able to bear the costs. Knowledge of this fact caused the birth of some associations and professionals offering psychological interventions at low cost. They are known as “low cost psychologists”.
Psychology within the reach of any pocket
This type of low-cost psychology aims to serve as a bridge between the benefits of therapy and patients who cannot afford it. These are generally associations, NGOs and groups of professionals confronted with the observation that many problems are left unresolved for lack of resources and decide to make their services less expensive, by adjusting this aspect to the economic capacity of the subject.
With regard to the legality and the possibility of low-cost therapy, according to the code of ethics, it should be borne in mind that the remuneration demanded by the professional must not imply a devaluation of the profession or unfair competition. . However, yes it is possible and legal to make a psychological intervention of this nature, and even exceptionally for free, If the customers need it and are unable to meet the expenses.
In order to frequent this type of association and low-cost psychologists, it is necessary to present documentation that demonstrates the socio-economic status of the subject, so that the remuneration can be set according to his possibilities while preventing the use abuse of these services. .
The situation in Spain
While this is not as common in Spain as there are psychology professionals within Social Security, it is an increasing trend in other South American countries. However, due to the economic problems associated with the crisis and the difficulty of access to public services due to the poor relationship between supply and demand (greatly exceeding the demand for psychologists on the supply) their strong demand began to emerge similar associations at our borders.
While the low price may suggest otherwise, the professionals offering this type of therapy are still qualified psychologists, requiring sufficient accreditation to care for patients and clients who come to their homes or otherwise act in a fraudulent and punishable manner. law.
In Spain, in the case of clinical psychology, it is necessary to be at least in possession of the title and accreditation of general psychologist or specialist in clinical psychology, in addition to being a member of the College.
Pros and cons of offering low cost therapy
As with almost everything, in low cost psychology there are lights and shadows.
The best of this collection policy
The main advantage of this type of intervention is obvious: low-cost psychology provides counseling and therapy for those who cannot afford other types of services. This can be a relief for a large number of people who would otherwise not be able to receive specialized care.
The low cost can further lead to a reduction in the level of dropout from therapy, which is sometimes due to a decrease in the purchasing power of clients (eg layoffs).
In the same way, the greater accessibility of a large number of people makes it possible to contribute to the fact that going to a psychologist ceases to be a socially stigmatized subject, because it effectively follows in part of the population the idea that going to a consultation is only suitable for people with severe mental disorders.
The Bad Thing About Low Cost Psychology
But while going to a low-cost center can be of great help and benefit to the person going there, it should be borne in mind that this may involve certain risks and / or disadvantages compared to others. types of professionals.
One of the main risks is that the center or association in question is real. Although there are low cost centers and institutions of psychologists with proven effectiveness in the Internet age it is easy to find cases of suspected professionals who have neither the training nor the legal capacity to practice psychology, Running the risk that under supposed offers that attract attention, they may hide scam situations.
In this sense, it is necessary to document and request information about the center and the professionals offering therapy to verify that they are who they claim to be. Psychological professionals must be accredited as such and collegiate in order to practice.
The risk of denigrating the guild
Another risk arises from the fact that, although low-cost therapy is possible, this should only be given on the assumption that it does not denigrate the profession or lead to unfair competition with other professionals. It should be noted that a price that is too low can underestimate the training, effort, skill, and dedication required to complete a treatment or therapy successfully.
It should therefore be borne in mind that this type of low cost therapy should be dedicated to situations in which clients who need intervention do not have sufficient resources.
Finally, another disadvantage of this type of low-cost psychology is that although the service is of good quality, it is possible that certain modalities of treatment or evaluation cannot be carried out. This is due to the limitations of the lack of budget, and it is that the resources available to a center severely limit the type of services it can offer.