Reasons Why Marriage Counseling Prices Are Worth It

Medically reviewed by Paige Henry, LMSW, J.D.
Updated April 30, 2024by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Marriage counseling allows couples to meet with a licensed and experienced mental healthcare provider for guidance in various areas. Many couples may attend marriage therapy to understand their dynamics, communication, or conflicts. Others might use marriage therapy as a tool to improve their intimacy, connect with their partner, or learn skills to handle future stressors or conflicts. 

Many spouses question how much marriage or couples counseling costs when starting counseling. Understanding all the factors that go into pricing your counseling sessions can help you make an informed decision when searching for a marriage therapist. 

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Not sure if marriage counseling is right for you?

What to expect in marriage counseling 

Often, the first marriage counseling session involves both you and your partner. The consultation can set the foundational dynamic of the therapeutic environment. Prior to starting couples counseling, some therapists might also ask you and your partner to have a short individual consultation to further understand the concerns each of you has before outlining a treatment plan. 

In the following sessions, your marriage counselor may offer worksheets, resources, and suggestions to support you and your spouse. If you haven't brought a specific concern to the table, they can ask open-ended questions to see how you might respond to specific scenarios at home. If you're partaking in a structured model of couples therapy like dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), you may also work through a workbook of exercises and lessons to learn new skills with your partner. 


How long does marriage counseling last? 

Marriage counseling may last longer than some forms of individual therapy, but it can depend on the type of counseling you're partaking in. The number of marriage counseling sessions you and your spouse need will vary based on a variety of factors. As two people are involved, there may be two sets of goals, personalities, and ideas to discuss. Additionally, couples might experience conflict during their sessions that may cause several sessions to be conducted for one issue. However, couples can choose to leave therapy at any time if they feel it isn't working or would like to try a different provider. 

Some spouses may feel resistant to relationship therapy or counseling in general.

A willingness to change, learn new skills, and be open to different opinions may be a factor in finding success through marriage and relationship counseling.

If either of you is unsure about the process, let your therapist know so they can reassure you about any doubts you may have. Whether you have questions about the cost of marriage counseling, what will happen during therapy sessions, or how you can address your specific situation, a licensed marriage therapist can put your mind at ease before you begin. 

As is the case with couples therapy, you may spend a few months to a few years in marriage counseling. However, the time you spend may not be as crucial as the value you get from your sessions. Some couples stay in therapy long-term to continue gaining new skills and discussing concerns as they come up. You might also choose to have less frequent sessions if you find that weekly sessions feel too often. 

How much does marriage counseling cost? 

The cost of marriage counseling may vary or be around the same price as individual therapy. If it is more expensive, it could be due to the clinician's experience, the length of the sessions, or the average rate for couples therapy in your area. Some marriage counselors in high-demand cities may charge more for counseling sessions. Other marriage and family therapists might charge more due to advanced training and expertise in the field. 

In a survey done by the National Directory of Marriage and Family Counseling, the cost of marriage and family counseling can be between $75 to $200 per session. Often, marriage counselors visit with couples one session per week for at least three months, which may come to a total cost of $300 to $800 for one month. If you have two sessions per week, this cost may double. Some couples therapists may charge for both clients, although this may be rare. 

Online marriage therapy platforms may be more cost-effective. Depending on the platform you use, the out-of-pocket counseling cost may be around $65 to $90 a session, which can add up to $240 to $360 a month. Online therapy platforms often include both partners. 

While online therapy is more cost-effective, you may find in-person therapy to be the right fit despite the cost. Make your own choice by discussing your options with your partner. 

Insurance reimbursement

There are ways to reduce marriage counseling costs, whether through insurance or through other affordable marriage counseling options. 

In some cases, couples may be able to use their health insurance plan to cover marriage therapy. However, having your insurance cover counseling sessions can be challenging. Many insurance companies do not cover couples therapy, as it involves two or more individuals and may not be for a medical or mental health need. Insurance companies often look for "billable" diagnoses that the provider can code. If two partners have mental health conditions, they may be covered. However, reach out to your insurance plan to check before attending a session to avoid out-of-pocket costs. Government health plans like Medicare may cover marriage and family counseling. However, check with your state branch.  

In some cases, you may be reimbursed by your insurance up to a certain amount or pay a co-pay for your sessions. Read your policy to determine how much this reimbursement or co-pay may cost. Many policies include limits for mental health coverage. For example, they might only cover a particular number of sessions per year or a specific dollar amount. After that, you might be required to pay out-of-pocket. 

While many insurance companies might not cover marriage therapy, couples may have options other than getting marriage counseling covered by their insurance. For example, you might use public health clinics or find a provider with a sliding scale system. Additionally, online therapy may be more affordable than paying for couples therapy out-of-pocket. 

Is marriage counseling worth it for the price? 

Before signing up for marriage counseling, you may wonder if it is worth it for the price. Ask yourself the following questions to make an informed choice. 

How much did our wedding cost?  

In the U.S. in 2021, the average amount spent on a wedding was $28,000 to $34,000 for both the ceremony and the reception, not including the ring or clothing. Couples may look back on their costs and feel they were worth it due to the commitment and bond they were creating. Therapy can also be a commitment and increase intimacy and bonding between couples. If you spent a vast amount on your wedding, you might also find it worth it to spend a significantly lower amount on couples counseling each month. 

How much would a separation or divorce cost? 

If you and your partner are considering a separation or divorce and want to attend therapy, it may benefit you to weigh the costs of divorce against the cost of couples therapy. This can put the couples counseling cost in a different perspective. Although therapy may not "fix" a marriage, it can be a tool if you feel there is a chance to reconcile and make changes. In the US, the average cost of a divorce is between $15,000 to $20,000.

What might happen if we don't try counseling? 

If you’re still having trouble deciding whether to try a marriage counseling session, it can help to compare the marriage counseling cost you’re facing with the cost of not attending counseling. Consider what might occur or how you might feel if counseling were not an option. How would you and your partner address concerns at home? Would you stay together? If you are experiencing marital issues, counseling may be an investment that helps you connect with your partner, feel safe in your marriage, and learn healthy new skills. Keep in mind that one of the best ways to make marriage counseling worth it is to ensure you and your partner are both actively participating and being honest about your goals, needs, and concerns. 

Not sure if marriage counseling is right for you?

Counseling options 

There are many forms of marriage therapy available for couples worldwide, and marriage counselors can address a wide variety of concerns. You can look for a marriage therapist in your area, consider a couples workshop or class, or talk to a therapist online. Couples with children may also consider family therapy, as it allows them to navigate challenges from a family perspective. Others may seek therapy in addition to other mental health services, depending on their circumstances. Many couples opt for online therapy over in person marriage counseling because it allows them to meet remotely from two separate locations or from a location where they feel most comfortable, like their home. Couples can also choose between phone, video, or live chat sessions with their therapist. This can provide greater flexibility than traditional marriage counseling, making it easier to fit into couples’ schedules.

Studies have shown that online therapy can be as effective as in-person sessions. Additionally, researchers have found that couples often prefer online therapy to in-person options and feel they can form more dynamic connections with their therapist from a distance. The participants in the study also felt a more meaningful sense of control and comfort in an online therapy setting and reported an enhanced therapeutic alliance through the video format. 

If you're interested in trying online therapy, you can consider a platform like BetterHelp for individuals or Regain for couples. BetterHelp and Regain services cost between $65 and $100 per weekly and $260-$400 monthly (based on factors such as your location, referral source, preferences, therapist availability and any applicable discounts or promotions that might apply) to have sessions with a qualified therapist.


Many married couples attend therapy to discuss marital conflicts, communication, intimacy, and commitment. You do not need a mental health diagnosis to see a couples counselor. If you and your spouse are interested in discovering this type of counseling and how it might support your marriage, consider contacting a therapist online or in person for further guidance and compassionate support. 
Marriage can come with complex challenges
The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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