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Q: Statistics on therapy ( Answered ,   1 Comment )
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 Subject: Statistics on therapy Category: Miscellaneous Asked by: qpet-ga List Price: \$20.00 Posted: 25 Feb 2003 19:10 PST Expires: 27 Mar 2003 19:10 PST Question ID: 167186
 ```How many licensed therapists are there in the US? What is the average length of therapy(how many sessions)? What is the total \$ amount spent on therapy every year? (These questions relate only to "traditional" talk therapy)```
 Subject: Re: Statistics on therapy Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 25 Feb 2003 20:38 PST Rated:
 ```Hello, qpet! I hope your "quality of life" book is coming along well. In addressing your questions, I am assuming that you want "just the facts, ma'am," so I'm not embellishing things much here. =================================================== How many licensed therapists are there in the US? =================================================== There are approximately half a million licensed therapists in the US: "To be a life coach, a person must have the ability to listen and to know when and how to speak in private session. The people who already have those skills are 467,000 licensed therapists in the U.S." [Date not given] Life Coach Central http://www.lifecoachcentral.com/articles/Oncoaching.htm "In the 1950s and the decades before World War II, there were few therapists or counselors because the profession was just emerging. Now [2002] there are well over 500,000 licensed therapists in the United States." W. W. Norton & Company http://www.wwnorton.com/NPB/nppsych/tlifecoachexpt.htm ============================================================ What is the average length of therapy (how many sessions)? ============================================================ The average length of therapy is fewer than 12 sessions: "Epidemiological studies show that the majority of patients in psychotherapy have a relatively small number of therapy sessions. The average duration of a psychotherapy is put at between five and eight sessions." International Psychoanalysis Newsletter http://194.201.138.26/newsletter/99-1/D2.htm "Research shows that the average length of psychotherapy treatment is 6-10 sessions." Arizona Psychological Association http://www.azpa.org/gi.html "Even when psychiatric care is free, only 4.3% of the population uses outpatient psychotherapy, and the average length of treatment is 11 sessions." American Psychoanalytical Association http://www.apsa-co.org/ctf/pubinfo/efficacy.htm ========================================================= What is the total \$ amount spent on therapy every year? ========================================================= "Americans spend about \$55 billion every year on psychotherapy and medication." ABC News http://abcnews.go.com/onair/CloserLook/wnt990609_treatment.html ================================= Search terms used (in varying combinations) to locate this information: therapy psychotherapy therapists psychotherapists licensed united states in the US average duration average length total amount americans spend each year every year ================================= I hope this is helpful. Please request clarification as needed; I'll be glad to offer further assistance. Best wishes, pinkfreud``` Request for Answer Clarification by qpet-ga on 26 Feb 2003 07:35 PST ```Almost complet, pinkfreud, I need to know the total \$ of therapy only, without the medication. (see if you can find more than one source- 2 or 3)``` Clarification of Answer by pinkfreud-ga on 26 Feb 2003 09:38 PST ```I'm working on finding the total dollars spent on therapy only. This figure is surprisingly elusive! I'll post results for you as soon as I've found something applicable. ~pinkfreud``` Clarification of Answer by pinkfreud-ga on 26 Feb 2003 12:08 PST ```This is the best I've found so far~ A lengthy publication, "National Estimates of Expenditures for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment, 1997," provides a breakdown of mental healthcare dollars (see Table D.3(a) Nominal Dollars for Total Estimated Expenditures of Mental Health (MH), Substance Abuse (SA), and MH/SA, by Type of Provider, 1987 - 1997, on page 87 of the document.) From Table D.3(a), these are the estimated dollar amounts spent in 1997 in the US on mental health (including substance abuse treatment): Independent Practitioners: 22,260,000,000 Psychiatrists: 7,396,000,000 Non-Psychiatric Physicians: 4,718,000,000 Other Professionals: 10,147,000,000 Total 44,521,000,000 So approximately \$44.5 billion went to therapists, including medical practitioners. Mental Health http://www.mentalhealth.org/publications/allpubs/SMA01-3492/SMA01-3492.pdf ================================= I've asked my Google Answers Researcher colleagues to help me in this matter. The brilliant and gracious mathtalk-ga has found this material that you may find useful: "The panel examined the dramatic shift that has occurred over the past decade with regard to national spending on mental healthcare. Ten years ago, national health expenditures comprised about 11% of the nation's gross domestic product, a percentage that has increased to 14%, or US\$1.2 trillion in 1999. Of that total, however, spending on mental healthcare has declined from 9% to about 7%, according to Dr. Richard Frank of Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts. "Even more dramatic has been the shift away from spending on psychiatric care delivered in hospital settings to spending on drugs. Among many private insurers, the per-member per-month spending for psychotropic drugs is now equal to the spending for inpatient and outpatient care, Dr. Frank noted. "Money has shifted away from buildings to drugs," he said. "Dr. Henry T. Harbin, of Magellan Health Services, the nation's largest behavioral health organization, predicted that spending on mental health will increase, especially for drugs and outpatient services. Currently, about 50% the mental healthcare dollar goes for spending on drugs, 20% goes to pay for hospital care (both inpatient and outpatient settings), and the rest goes for partial hospitalization services." http://216.239.53.100/search?q=cache:AEY7yJx544sC:www.medscape.com/viewarticle/421007+%22spending+on+mental+health%22&hl=en&lr=lang_en&ie=UTF-8 ================================= I am still looking for more sources for you, but the figures from "National Estimates of Expenditures for Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment, 1997" are the best I've seen. Thank you for your patience. ~pinkfreud``` Clarification of Answer by pinkfreud-ga on 27 Feb 2003 12:36 PST ```qpet, Further research has yielded one other source of statistics on expeditures for outpatient mental health therapy (excluding drugs). I am very grateful to umiat-ga for locating this document on the site of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/natmedcare/nmcpdr05acc.pdf The same document in cached html form: http://216.239.37.100/search?q=cache:Ks0A5ErApqYC:www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/natmedcare/nmcpdr05acc.pdf Here are two excerpts from the document linked above which you may find useful: "An estimated 9.6 million people or 4.3 percent of the civilian noninstitutionalized population generated 79 million ambulatory mental health visits in 1980. By profession, independent of organizational setting, 35 percent of these visita were to psychiatrists, 35 percent to psychologists, and 30 percent to other physician or nonphysician providers. This is a rate of 353 mental health visits per 1,000 population and an average of 8.2 visits per person with a mental health visit. The average charges per year per person with a mental health visit were \$253, a per capita cost of \$11 for the U.S. population." "74 percent of the estimated 79 million mental health visits (Table 1, shaded) were reported as having been made because of a mental disorder. The rest of the visits occurred in psychiatric settings, but a mental disorder was not reported as a reason for the visit. health visit. The average charges per year per person with a mental health visit were \$253, a per capita cost of \$11 for the U.S. population. The aggregate charges were \$2.4 billion. This figure is close to the estimate by Hodgson and Kopstein (1983) that professional services equaled 10 percent of the total \$20.3 billion spent on mental disorders in 1980." ========================================================= To sum up: In 1980, Americans spent approximately \$2.4 billion on professional psychotherapy services. By 1997, that figure had risen to \$44.5 billion ( see http://www.mentalhealth.org/publications/allpubs/SMA01-3492/SMA01-3492.pdf ), referenced in my clarification of 26 Feb 2003, 12:08 PST). Even taking inflation into account, this is a significant increase in the use of psychotherapy. I converted the 1980 figure, \$2,400,000,000, into 1997 dollars using this handy inflation calculator (based on Gross Domestic Product): http://www.jsc.nasa.gov/bu2/inflateGDP.html \$2.4 billion spent in 1980 would be equivalent to approximately \$4.3 billion in 1997. The actual expenditure for psychotherapy in 1997 was ten times that figure: \$44.5 billion. ========================================================= Many thanks to my friends and colleagues mathtalk-ga, umiat-ga, bobbie7-ga, journalist-ga, voila-ga, and sublime1-ga, all of whom offered me their assistance in the quest for this elusive data. ~pinkfreud```
 qpet-ga rated this answer: and gave an additional tip of: \$10.00 ```Thank you for the extra effort. qpet```

 Subject: Re: Statistics on therapy From: pinkfreud-ga on 27 Feb 2003 16:32 PST
 ```Thank you very much for the five-star rating and the generous tip! ~pinkfreud```