Relationships

Why Marriage Counseling Costs Are Worth It

Conflicts within marriages have continued to increase, raising the number of those in need of therapy. Research shows that more than 50,000 therapists attend to families and couples across the U.S. Marriage counseling has been shown to help solve communication problems, conflicts, and poor dynamics. However, before you sign up for a therapy session, you […]

Grow Therapy therapist Gregorio (Greg) Lozano III LPC By Greg Lozano, LPC

Updated on May 13, 2024

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Conflicts within marriages have continued to increase, raising the number of those in need of therapy. Research shows that more than 50,000 therapists attend to families and couples across the U.S. Marriage counseling has been shown to help solve communication problems, conflicts, and poor dynamics.

However, before you sign up for a therapy session, you may wonder if it’s worth the price. This article navigates the cost of marriage counseling, what influences the cost, and why it’s worth it.

What Is Marriage Counseling and When Do You Need It?

Marriage counseling, or couples therapy helps couples explore, resolve, and heal from conflicts and issues affecting their relationship. During counseling, a licensed professional counselor, often an LMFT, employs various therapeutic techniques to guide couples through open, honest, and structured dialogue.

“Any couple can benefit from couple’s counseling; premarital couples, married couples who have been together for longer periods of times, or couples who are going through life changes, like parenting or grieving in the family,” says Karina Hester, LMFT, a therapist with Grow Therapy. “Married couples who have interest in learning healthy communication tools and/or need assistance with healing aspects of their relationship can also benefit.”

Any couple can benefit from couple’s counseling; premarital couples, married couples who have been together for longer periods of times, or couples who are going through life changes, like parenting or grieving in the family.

- Karina Hester, LMFT

There are numerous reasons why couples might seek marriage counseling. These reasons include the following:

Communication difficulties: Communication is the foundation of any relationship. Still, sometimes couples find it challenging to express their feelings or understand their partner’s perspective. Miscommunications can lead to arguments, resentment, and emotional distance. Marriage counseling can give couples the skills to communicate effectively and respectfully.

Infidelity or trust issues: It can be difficult to rebuild when trust is broken in a relationship through incidents such as infidelity. Marriage counseling can help couples navigate this painful time, rebuild trust, and work toward healing. 

Financial disputes: Money-related issues commonly cause marital stress among married couples. Disagreements over spending habits, savings, financial goals, or economic inequality can be mitigated with the help of a marriage counselor.

Conflict resolution: Some couples need help with resolving conflicts effectively. They might engage in destructive tactics such as shouting, name-calling, or stonewalling. A marriage counselor can teach couples healthy conflict-resolution strategies.

As for how to know when you should consider marriage counseling, there are some red flags to look out for, but ideally, you want to head to marriage counseling before things are spiraling out of control. “The best time is any time before a big crisis, as emotions can be high and cognition can be low during arguments,” Hester says. “When a couple feels that they are not in-sync, couple’s counseling can teach them to avoid taking a turn to a place of no return. The majority of couple’s counseling clients, though, seek services when there is a crisis already installed in the  relationship.”

When a couple feels that they are not in-sync, couple’s counseling can teach them to avoid taking a turn to a place of no return.

- Karina Hester, LMFT

How Much Does Couples Counseling Cost?

The cost of marriage counseling may vary depending on several factors. However, hourly rates typically range from $75 to $200 with the average rate around $100, but therapists may offer a sliding scale based on a client’s income. You may need to attend a counseling session once every week for three months, so expect to spend a minimum of $1,200 for the first months. Here are some of the factors that determine the cost of marriage counseling:

Insurance

Insurance coverage can impact the average cost of marriage counseling. While some insurance plans may cover a portion of the therapy fees, the extent varies depending on the specific plan and provider.

Some therapists are in-network providers for specific insurance companies. If you have insurance coverage and want to use it for marriage counseling, you should contact your insurance company to find out if your counselor is on the list of in-network therapists. You may be eligible to receive the maximum benefits and minimize out-of-pocket expenses.

Couple’s Income Levels

Typically, therapy fees are set based on the therapist’s rates and the standard costs of their practice. However, some psychotherapists offer sliding scale fees based on household income to make therapy more accessible and affordable for low-income individuals and couples.

When determining the price of marriage counseling, your therapist may consider you and your partner’s combined income or the individual incomes of each person. The information helps the therapist assess the financial situation and determine an affordable, fair fee for the couple.

Is Marriage Counseling Worth the Price?

Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of marriage counseling in treating mental and emotional disorders. The American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists reports that nearly two-thirds of counseling patients record an improvement in their physical health after counseling. Additionally, 90 percent have reported an improvement in their emotional health.

Nearly two-thirds of counseling patients record an improvement in their physical health after counseling. Additionally, 90 percent have reported an improvement in their emotional health.

The statistics prove that you can benefit from marriage counseling if you have relationship issues or undiagnosed mental health concerns. Here are some of the benefits of marriage counseling:

Creates a Safe Space to Express Feelings

In a relationship, communicating effectively can often be challenging, especially when conflicts arise. Individuals may feel hesitant or fearful about sharing their true emotions, fearing judgment or rejection from their partner. Such a situation can lead to bottled-up feelings, misunderstandings, and resentment.

However, a trained therapist acts as a neutral third party in marriage therapy, creating a safe space for sharing feelings without fear of judgment or backlash. A therapist facilitates open and honest communication, allowing you to express your needs, concerns, and frustrations.

Helps Develop a Closer Relationship

Relationship counseling not only helps couples improve communication, but it also plays a key role in developing a closer relationship between partners. Through the guidance of a couples counselor, you and your partner can work towards creating a deeper emotional connection, fostering a sense of closeness and intimacy that may have diminished over time.

Therapy facilitates the exploration of each partner’s emotional needs and desires, fostering a healthy relationship in the process. In a therapeutic environment, couples can express their deepest longings, fears, and vulnerabilities openly. The process allows partners to better understand each other’s emotional world, fostering empathy and compassion. 

Improves Coping Skills for Conflict Resolution 

Marriage counseling or couples counseling helps improve coping skills for conflict resolution. Conflicts are a natural part of any relationship, but how couples handle those conflicts can make all the difference. In marriage counseling, couples can learn effective coping skills to help them navigate and resolve conflicts healthily and productively.

Relationship counseling helps improve coping skills by teaching couples effective communication techniques. Often, conflicts arise from misunderstandings or a communication breakdown. A skilled couples therapist can teach couples how to communicate effectively, avoid unnecessary misunderstandings, and constructively resolve conflicts.

Defines Relationship Goals

Through marriage counseling, couples have the opportunity to define and work towards shared goals that can help strengthen their relationship and bring them closer together. Setting relationship goals gives couples a clear direction and purpose in their journey toward a healthier, more fulfilling partnership. 

When couples set relationship goals, they can identify the areas of their relationship that need improvement and create a plan to address those areas. This process helps couples clarify what they want to achieve and allows them to prioritize their efforts toward those goals. It also provides a sense of motivation and accountability, as both partners are actively working towards a common vision for their relationship.

What to Expect in Marriage Counseling

The first few sessions will focus on shedding light on patterns and behaviors that might contribute to relationship challenges. The sessions will involve:

Evaluation and assessment: Your counselor will take the initiative to understand both perspectives, delve into the issues you are facing, and explore the dynamics of your relationship.

Gathering of background information: The psychotherapist will gather background information about your relationship history, individual upbringing, communication styles, and any specific challenges or incidents causing friction. 

One-on-one sessions: This is more of an individual therapy session designed to ensure that every voice is heard and that the counselor has all the necessary information to guide the couple toward resolution and growth.

After the first few session, you can expect the following:

Increased trust with the counselor: You will typically spend the next few sessions establishing trust with your counselor. The counselor will create a non-judgmental and safe space where all parties can express their thoughts and feelings openly.

Open communication: You will learn to communicate effectively with each other. The counselor will facilitate conversations to help them express their feelings and thoughts without judgment or criticism.

Goal setting: Throughout the process, you will work with their counselor to set and work towards attainable marriage counseling goals.

Understanding relationship dynamics: The counselor will help you explore your relationship dynamics. The process will include identifying behavior patterns, understanding each other’s roles in the relationship, and recognizing triggers or issues that cause conflict.

Developing coping strategies: You will learn strategies to help you resolve conflict healthily and productively. This might involve learning to compromise, listening actively, and asserting their needs.

Self-reflection: The counselor will encourage you to reflect on their actions, behaviors, and feelings, helping them understand their role in the relationship more deeply.

Here’s how you can prepare for your first session.

Tips for Finding the Right Marriage Counselor

Finding the right marriage counselor is your first step to addressing your relationship concerns. But, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics states there are over 62,000 marriage and family therapists across America. With this number, securing the best counselor for your problems can be daunting. But these tips can help you settle with the best counselor for your relationship issues:

Research and Ask for Recommendations

Start by researching marriage counselors in your area. Look for therapists specializing in marriage counseling services or have experience working with couples. Ask friends, family, or trusted healthcare professionals for recommendations. Reading online reviews or testimonials can also give you an idea of a therapist’s approach and effectiveness.

Verify Credentials and Qualifications

Once you have done your research, proceed to check the identified therapist’s credentials and certifications. Find out if they are licensed to work as counselors in your state, have the appropriate training and expertise and the necessary experience in providing counseling services to clients with a similar problem. With Grow Therapy, we do the research for you . So you can book directly through our platform and rest assured knowing the marriage counselor you choose meets all the criteria.  

Consider Logistical Factors

Take into account practical considerations such as location, availability, and cost. If you want in-person therapy, choose a therapist whose office is conveniently located and whose schedule aligns with yours and your partner’s. You must also consider whether the therapist accepts your insurance or offers sliding scale fees based on income if cost is a concern.

Schedule a Consultation

Narrow down to two to three professionals and book an initial consultation. These are free and usually last  15 minutes. Use this opportunity to ask questions, clarify expectations, and determine if the therapist is a good fit. Choose a therapist who matches your needs and expectations as a couple.

Find a Marriage Counselor Today

Marriage counseling might be the solution if you and your partner are having difficulty communicating or resolving conflicts. With a little commitment on your part and guidance from the right therapist, marriage counseling can help you and your partner get back on track and have a happy, healthy relationship.

To find a marriage therapist who suits your needs and budget, try Grow Therapy’s search tool. This tool will allow you to locate a therapist in your area who accepts your insurance type. 

FAQs

  • In some cases, marriage counseling may be covered under mental health services or behavioral health benefits. This means you can receive reimbursement for a portion of the therapy sessions, but it varies based on each individual situation and the insurance provider.

  • Marriage counseling provides couples with tools and strategies to heal old wounds. The therapist guides the couple through exercises such as forgiveness, empathy-building, or conflict resolution, which can aid healing. By working through these exercises together, couples can gain insight into the impact of past hurts and begin the healing journey.

  • If you're seeking marriage counseling, you can consult a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT), a psychologist, or a licensed professional counselor (LPC) specializing in couples therapy. These professionals have the training and expertise needed to understand the dynamics of relationships, enhance communication, and facilitate conflict resolution.

About the author
Grow Therapy therapist Gregorio (Greg) Lozano III LPC Greg Lozano, LPC

Greg Lozano is a licensed professional counselor who specializes in working with individuals with severe mental illnesses such as depressive, bipolar, schizophrenia, and substance abuse conditions.

This article is not meant to be a replacement for medical advice. We recommend speaking with a therapist for personalized information about your mental health. If you don’t currently have a therapist, we can connect you with one who can offer support and address any questions or concerns. If you or your child is experiencing a medical emergency, is considering harming themselves or others, or is otherwise in imminent danger, you should dial 9-1-1 and/or go to the nearest emergency room.

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