Relationships

How Much Does Marriage Counseling Cost?

Maintaining a strong and healthy marriage takes effort and commitment. Sometimes challenges arise, and even the strongest couples need extra support. That’s where marriage counseling makes a difference. Professional guidance gives you the tools to get through the rocky patches and build a happier, more fulfilling relationship.  While marriage counseling can be beneficial, it’s only […]

therapist sean abraham By Sean Abraham, LCSW

Updated on May 13, 2024

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Maintaining a strong and healthy marriage takes effort and commitment. Sometimes challenges arise, and even the strongest couples need extra support. That’s where marriage counseling makes a difference. Professional guidance gives you the tools to get through the rocky patches and build a happier, more fulfilling relationship. 

While marriage counseling can be beneficial, it’s only natural that you have questions about the cost involved. Understanding the financial implications of seeking couples therapy can help you confidently approach counseling. 

This article delves into the cost of marital therapy, sheds light on the factors influencing the prices, and explains what you can gain from couples therapy. It also covers low-cost therapy options and how to choose the best counselor. 

How Much Is Marriage Counseling?

Marital counseling costs $75 to $250 per session, with most couples paying about $100 a session, depending on various factors. Typically, couples therapy is more expensive than individual therapy because it calls for special training and skills. Marital therapists may charge more per session to compensate for the dynamics of dealing with two people simultaneously. 

Cost With Insurance

Health insurance may help offset the cost, but most policies don’t outrightly cover couples therapy — health insurers don’t categorize relationship problems as medical issues. 

However, you may use your health plan to pay for marriage counseling if it covers mental health. But only if you or your partner is diagnosed with a mental illness such as anxiety, depression, PTSD, or bipolar disorder

Insurance coverage makes marital therapy accessible by lowering the cost to an affordable copay, usually in the $30 to $50 range. The Federal Parity law prohibits insurance providers from charging higher deductibles or copays for mental health services. Although you’ll attend couples therapy with your partner, you’ll only pay one copay. 

Cost Without Insurance

If you don’t have insurance or your plan doesn’t cover marriage counseling, you may need to pay the total amount out of pocket. 

Most couples need 12 to 20 therapy sessions to fix a relationship. At an average of $100 a session, marriage counseling without insurance costs about $1,200 to $2,000. A therapist may recommend up to 50 sessions if they uncover underlying mental health issues, pushing the cost to about $5,000 — though these figures can differ depending on your location, needs, and therapist of choice.

What Influences the Cost of Marriage Counseling?

Marriage counseling costs are a product of many factors and may vary from one therapist to the next. Therapists account for these factors when setting their fees, including: 

Benefits of Marriage Counseling

Marriage and family therapy is a specific, goal-focused solution designed with an end in mind. Couples counseling aims to help you navigate through multifaceted relationship challenges that will lead to a happier, more fulfilling marriage or partnership.

Sometimes an undiagnosed mental health issue may be the root cause of your marital woes. A licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) can diagnose and treat the conditions and provide you with the tools to heal and repair your relationship. 

Marriage counseling is a collaborative process where we celebrate each partner's unique strengths and harness them to build a harmonious union.

- Tony Kesner, LIMFT

At the family level, marriage therapy ensures your happiness by helping you to cultivate fruitful relationships with your nearest and dearest. Counseling can repair the relationship between parents and children to support the family function as a harmonious unit. 

Surprisingly, marriage counseling may also help separating couples avoid a protracted divorce. Therapy allows couples to split amicably by addressing the pain, anger, and resentment that drives people to be vindictive. 

Tony Kesner, a licensed independent marriage and family counselor at Grow Therapy, explains how marital counseling works. “Marriage counseling is a collaborative process where we celebrate each partner’s unique strengths and harness them to build a harmonious union. By delving into emotional patterns and triggers, we foster understanding and empathy, nurturing a deep bond that can weather life’s storms. Together, we build a resilient foundation for a fulfilling and lasting partnership.”

Is Marriage Counseling Worth It?

Marriage counseling is often the help couples need to resolve current and potential relational obstacles, making it a worthwhile investment. 

Therapy helps you take proactive actions to prevent couple distress. If your marriage or family is already in the thick of it, marriage counseling can help repair broken trust and address underlying clinical and relationship issues. 

What Is the Success Rate of Marriage Counseling?

Due to the financial implications, it’s only natural to be curious about the success rate of marital counseling. According to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy:

Marital therapy encourages communication between couples, which helps break down walls, taper expectations, build trust, boost tolerance and understanding, and improve problem-solving. It teaches couples to build each other up instead of continually tearing each other down. 

Low-Cost Marriage Counseling Options

Don’t let financial constraints keep you from getting the help you need to restore your marriage and build the life you deserve. You can explore the various low-cost counseling options and find the support you need with these resources:

In-Network Providers: If you’re lucky enough to have an insurance plan that offers coverage for marital counseling, you’ll want to find an in-network provider. You can do this with Grow Therapy. Choose your insurance company, location, and ‘Couples Counseling’ as the specialty to get a curated list of providers who suit your needs.

Marriage counseling covered by insurance

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Non-Profit Organizations: Some non-profit organizations, such as National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI), Mental Health America (MHA), and Open Path Collective, help connect people with free or low-cost therapy. They provide educational resources, access to support groups, helplines, and affordable therapy options for individuals and families. 

Community Health Clinics: Many federally funded clinics offer therapy, counseling, and psychiatric services. You may need to contact your local health department or search online for a nearby community health clinic. 

Sliding-Scale Fee Providers: Some marital counselors adjust their therapy rates based on your income and ability to pay. Sliding-scale fee options make therapy accessible to people who can’t afford to pay full fees. 

University Counseling Centers: Universities and colleges have counseling centers that provide free or low-cost therapy to their students. Some centers offer affordable counseling services to non-student members needing treatment. 

Employee Assistance Programs: These work-place based programs provide mental health support to employees and their immediate family members at no cost. Employers often offer EAPs as part of their benefits packages to keep workers healthy and productive. They’re staffed with licensed counselors who may help you address your marital issues promptly. 

If you need psychiatric medications, NAMI provides a helpful guide with various Prescription Assistance Programs

How to Choose a Marriage Counselor

Ideally, you’re best off with a counselor trained in couples therapy, like an LMFT. Unlike other mental health counselors, marital therapists are trained to view and address individuals and their problems within the context of their relationships. 

MFT training differs from other therapy modalities, helping give counselors the necessary expertise for couples therapy. Marital counselors view problems from a lens that accounts for the influence of beliefs, interaction, culture, relationships, and upbringing. Such an approach is crucial in helping you to understand the elemental influences in your life and how they impact your worldview and interactions.

Ultimately, before opting for one counselor over another, consider their credentials, training, and how well-versed they are in your area of need. It’s OK if you don’t find the right fit upon first try. Choosing a therapist is a process and can take a few tries to find one suited to your needs. You want to make sure both you and your partner are comfortable with the therapist you choose to ensure the best outcome. 

What to Expect During Couples Therapy

Marital counselors often use behavioral couples therapy to streamline communication and teach couples new conflict-resolution techniques. They provide tools to address emotions, thoughts, trust, and intimacy issues crucial to the human experience in a relationship. 

However, the specifics of therapy largely depend on your needs — therapists are receptive to any and all questions on their processes and therapeutic methods, so ensure you ask the necessary questions before choosing a counselor. 

Build a Happy and Lasting Marriage

Seeing a marital therapist improves your relationships, helps you forge stronger family ties, and safeguards your mental health by preventing couple distress. That enables you to lead a happy and fulfilling life. It is important to note here that couples counseling for a couple that has had a history of domestic violence and abuse within that relationship is NOT recommended. If you or someone you know is in an abusive relationship, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 800-799-7233 for help.

If your relationship could use some help, Grow Therapy can pair you with a therapist who suits your needs. Use our therapist search tool to find an experienced counselor near you who specializes in your areas of concern, as well as accepts your insurance type. 

FAQs

  • The number of marital counseling sessions you need depends on your specific situation and needs. On average, it takes most couples 12 to 20 sessions to encounter long-lasting results, while those with complex issues may require more.

  • You can lower the cost of marital therapy by using your health insurance, looking for a sliding scale therapist, or exploring free or low-cost options in community health clinics and colleges — non-profit organizations such as NAMI and NMA list plenty of free or low-cost counseling services.

About the author
therapist sean abraham Sean Abraham, LCSW

Sean Abraham is a licensed clinical social worker who works with those who have struggled with substance use, depression, anxiety, loss, communication problems, student life, as well as other mental health concerns.

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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