Volunteer For Therapy
Who is this program for?
People who would benefit from therapy but are struggling financially.
What is the opportunity?
Volunteer for 3 hours/week and receive 1 therapy session/week at 1/2 price.
The regular fee (for a fully licensed therapist) is $110/session. Under this program, it is $55/session. You can earn a maximum of 4 discounted therapy sessions by volunteering.
Why Volunteer Work?
Volunteer work brings a sense of accomplishment, meaningful work, contribution to a good cause, social interaction, and community teamwork to clients.
This is win-win approach because everyone is sacrificing a bit and contributing to the common good. Clients have contributed to their psychotherapy services through their own work.
What are the guidelines for volunteer work that qualifies for psychotherapy?
It can be a church, a charity, or a government agency. Any nonprofit 501(c)3 organizations that is approved by the IRS is acceptable so long as the purpose of the organization is serve others. The only exception is that organization must not engage directly or indirectly in political advocacy.
How is volunteer work documented?
Clients obtain written documentation from a pastor or volunteer coordinator stating:
- the specific number hours worked,
- the date when the work was done.
The document should be addressed to the client, not to the therapist.
Clients could ask a person who supervises their volunteer work for a “thank you” letter (on the organization letterhead) with the hours and dates of the work. (Sample Letter). An email from the pastor or coordinator to the client is fine.
The documentation must be turned in to the therapist before the session is scheduled.
Whose job is it to find the volunteer work?
It is the client's responsibility to find the volunteer work - NOT the pastor's or the therapist's responsibility.
What about PRIVACY?
Clients arrange volunteer work themselves, independently. There is no need for the pastor or volunteer coordinator to be in touch with the therapist.
If the pastor or coordinator referred the client to the therapist, the pastor or coordinator obviously will know about the initial referral but the therapist will not discuss anything with the pastor without the client’s permission.
What happens after 4 discounted sessions?
Hopefully, the 4 sessions will have helped already. The client will review progress in therapy with the therapist. A reduced rate will be considered if the client still has financial difficulties.
Is this program new?
There is a version of this program in West Hartford, CT called V.I.P. that has been highly successful but it is new to the Bay Area.