Can I Afford to See a Marriage Counselor?
At times we go through different ups and downs in our marriage. I can attest that marriage is not easy. You need all the support you can get. Sometimes that support comes in the form of friends and loved one’s advice. Other times you might need to get help from a professional. Seeing a marriage counselor can preserve your relationship and assist you with developing the needed tools for marriage success and sustainability.
However, the question arises, can we afford it? Sometimes marriage counseling is an expense you cannot do without. The costs of having it oftentimes outweigh the costs financially and emotionally of not having counseling. I have done extensive research to determine the actual costs associated with seeing a marriage counselor. Continue reading to see if marriage counseling is something you should consider for your relationship and can afford in your life.
How much does it cost to see a marriage counselor? Marriage counseling costs vary across the United States. Costs are often based on your location and your counselor’s experience level. Some counseling firms will work with you on pricing on a sliding scale. You would need to research individual counselors to see if they offer this type of pricing. In general relationship, counseling costs can range from $100 to $200 per hour. Ninety-minute sessions can be between $150 to $300. Keep in mind you will most likely also need multiple sessions with your counselor to get the full benefit of services.
As you continue reading, I will discuss some of the items you need to consider when thinking about marriage counseling. I will discuss some of the details regarding being able to afford couples counseling. I will also discuss is it even worth the money. Is there a cost to not seeing a counselor? This is a relevant question that needs to be discussed. Lastly, who exactly should see a marriage counselor?
Common Questions Regarding Marriage Counseling
Other related questions include can this type of counseling be covered by insurance? How long exactly do we need to see a counselor? And finally, where can I find low-cost counseling? Marriage counseling is not out of your reach. You just need to be made aware of all the details when it comes to selecting the counselor which may be right for you and your current situation.
Prices of Marriage Counseling
Marriage counseling is a needed expense to grow and sustain your marriage. Every couple has ups and downs. A marriage counselor can help you work through those rough patches that every couple goes through. Once you are settled in the fact that you and your spouse would like to go through counseling, the next hurdle is paying for it. Pricing of couples counseling can range based on your geographic location.
Typical couples counseling costs range from $100 to $300 depending on the amount of time per session and other factors such as location. In larger cities, marriage counseling fees can double or triple based on location.
In places like New York, you will pay more for counseling because the cost of living is so much higher than in other areas. However, in smaller cities, the price of couples counseling could be considerably lower. Counseling costs also vary based on your selected counselor’s experience.
If the counselor you choose has extensive higher education and years of experience they will cost more. The minimum education requirement for a counselor is a Master’s degree in psychology. However, many therapists have higher-level degrees such as a Ph.D. or M.D. If your counselor has a license they will charge more.
Finding Affordable Marriage Counseling
If they are still working towards their licensure and working under a licensed therapist they will often charge less (due to less experience). Another, consideration when determining the price of therapy is offices that have sliding scale fees. This can be the best option for many to be able to afford therapy.
Marriage counselors who offer sliding scale rates determine the per-session rate based on your household income or the size of the family. You can search for therapists that offer this type of payment online or ask the marriage counselor you are considering if they offer this service.
Is Marriage Counseling Worth the Money?
Marriage counseling is an investment of time and money. Often you may wonder if the investment is even worth it. According to the American Psychological Association, couples counseling has been found to be about 75% effective. Your attending couples counseling could be worth the price depending on your situation.
If you have kids with your partner and multiple assets avoiding a costly divorce will make marriage counseling worth the price and investment in time. If you would like to maintain your relationship with your spouse is worth it the price could be worth it to you.
The average time spent for marriage counseling can range. However, most couples need twelve weeks of weekly counseling which could cost $1200- $3600. This may be a worthwhile investment for your future. Seeing a marriage counselor will assist you in developing better communication with your spouse.
You will discover your different communication styles. You will have a neutral party to navigate the specific issues you and your spouse are facing. A marriage counselor will also help you reconnect as a couple after certain life experiences happen such as becoming parents or having adult children.
What is the Cost of Not Seeing a Marriage Counselor?
There are many costs to not seeking the needed support and treatment for your marriage. The first things to be concerned about are your personal well-being. Living in an unhappy relationship is not good for your mental health. It can be emotionally and physically draining. It will not only affect you and your spouse but also anyone living in your home such as your children.
An unhappy household affects everyone in the home. If you are unable to resolve your issues with your spouse divorce may be the inevitable option. Divorce can be much more expensive than seeing a marriage counselor. The average cost of divorce can range from $7,500 to $12,900. This can vary based on your individual circumstances and the state you are located. There are also additional legal fees for splitting your assets such as real estate, cars, retirement, etc. Not to mention determining custody if children are involved.
Who Should Go to Marriage Counseling?
Marriage counseling can be a consideration for couples at any stage of their marriage. Many times couples engage in pre-marital counseling before they even get married. This is helpful in the process of deciding if you are compatible with the person you intend to marry. It also helps to discuss issues that can help you communicate with your intended spouse prior to saying “I do”.
Marriage counseling is not just for couples contemplating divorce. Marriage counseling helps couples to better communicate and understand one another. A counselor can help you better understand your spouse. Other issues that a counselor can help you work through are continuous fighting, lack of sex, regular drama, cheating, or a lack of happiness or control. Seeking counseling early in your relationship can help you avoid future problems.
Will My Insurance Cover Marriage Counseling?
Most likely no. Most insurance carriers will not cover the cost of marriage therapy. Insurance carriers will only cover the cost of couples insurance when it is deemed as a medical necessity. This comes into play if your spouse is suffering from another mental health disorder like bipolar disorder or something else where they have a diagnosis from a mental health provider.
If you are able to use insurance, insurance usuals will limit your choices when it comes to selecting providers and types of therapy covered. Also related to this is that you will have to be diagnosed with a mental health issue which will be on your permanent medical record. It is best to research this option with your medical plan provider.
What is the average length of time I will need to see a marriage counselor?
The length of time you will need to attend sessions with your marriage counselor can vary based on your situation. Most people will see their marriage counselor for three months weekly. However, this timeframe can extend longer based on your individual circumstances.
Where can I find low-cost marriage counseling?
There are counseling centers that cater to those who need affordable counseling. As mentioned, you can find a therapist who works on a sliding scale by researching online. There are various mental health directories that will be able to assist you. You can also receive mental health services low-fee or free community mental health clinics. These clinics often utilize students who are supervised by licensed professionals for care.
Is online therapy a viable option?
Yes, online therapy services could be a great solution for you and your spouse. Fees are often lower than in-person therapy. However, these services may be membership or subscription-based which would cause you to incur additional fees. Also, depending on your situation you may need more intense therapy services which are better rendered in person.