Reasons Why Marriage Counseling Costs Are Worth It
By: Stephanie Kirby
Updated January 24, 2019
Medically Reviewed By: Richard Jackson
Every relationship has conflicts. In a marriage, where two individuals are around each other nearly twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year, it is bound to have some rough patches. Many couples turn to their friends for advice. While some friends may be able to give you solid advice, especially if they have already been through a similar experience, sometimes it's just helpful to talk to someone that is trained and licensed in providing help.
What is Marriage Counseling?
Marriage counseling can be an effective outlet to allow couples a safe and comfortable space in which they can voice their feelings, problems, and opinions. It is not uncommon for relationships to hit snags here and there. You are combining two imperfect people into a relationship where they are likely to disagree about situations both big and small.
But a trained marriage counselor can help to find solutions to problems in the relationship and help bring couples a sense of peace.A trained therapist, like those at BetterHelp, act as a mediator and a guide for couples to discuss and overcome the obstacles in their relationship. And, while many people think that it would be uncomfortable to talk to a therapist about their personal problems, sometimes getting an outside perspective from a third party can be incredibly eye opening.
Asking friends and family for help can backfire because they will tend to take the side of the individual that they are closest to. But a therapist is not going to take sides. And, they know the right questions to ask to get to the root of the problem instead of talking about all the smaller spats that come up.
Experienced marriage counselor will be able to teach the couple how to improve their communication, settle the root of the problem, and learn how to handle conflict going forward in their marriage. And, having scheduled appointments can help the couple keep on track with taking the necessary steps to reach recovery and experience a happier marriage.
How Much Does It Cost?
On average, most marriage therapists charge between $75-$150 per hour of counseling. Prices can vary widely however from place to place, reaching $300 an hour in big cities such as New York. There are of course good reasons for the high price tags. Marriage and relationship counselors typically have numerous costly qualifications and they pay high insurance premiums than other therapists.
Is the Cost Really Worth It?
For many couples, financial issues can cause a tremendous amount of stress and tension. Many who seek couples therapy turn away when they see the cost. Despite the costs associated with marriage counseling, many argue that it is significantly less expensive than the alternatives.
Without the help of a licensed therapist many couples that are struggling end up eventually turning to divorce. The average cost of a divorce in America ranges anywhere from $15,000 to $30,000 depending on what's involved. When you compare the costs of the two, they don't even come close in comparison.
Is There A Less Expensive Alternative?
Like most other services, a higher price usually dictates higher qualifications, more experience, and potentially a greater likelihood of success. That said, many couples have succeeded in their marriages in other less costly ways.
The first thing to do is to contact your health insurance provider. The number can usually be found on the back or corner of the card given at the time your coverage starts. Many insurance providers will unfortunately not pay for marriage counseling sessions, though, this varies widely between patients and insurers. Some will cover your sessions; others may cover some of them or a percentage of the costs.
Next, be completely open with your prospective therapist. Not all therapists are in it for the money, and if you explain that you can only afford a discounted rate, some may agree.
You can search your area for federally-funded mental health centers which often offer free or discounted counseling services. Other places to check for discounted rates could be local universities looking for practice for high-level students, therapy practices containing multiple counselors which tend to run cheaper, your workplace's human resources department, and churches.
If you are a religious person you may be able to find more affordable counseling options through your local church. Many pastors meet with members of their congregation that are needing counseling. However, this isn't always offered as a free service.
A more affordable counseling option
Another helpful option becoming more popular is the option of online therapy and counseling. Many sites target specific audiences such as individuals, young couples, married couples, and anyone else in need of help. Most of these, such as BetterHelp offer counseling services 24/7 for much lower rates than in-person therapists.
There are many benefits that come along with doing therapy online. For example, if a couple is trying to hold their marriage together for their family and they have young children going to therapy could mean having the extra expense of a babysitter. It also means asking someone to babysit and possibly having to explain where you are going. This is something that many people aren't comfortable with. It can also make you feel more comfortable when you are sitting in the comfort of your own home while talking to your therapist.
But whichever option you choose the most important thing is that you get help for yourself and your marriage. If you have been hesitating over going to counseling because of the price that comes with it, don't let the cost of therapy stop you from getting help. It's going to be your cheapest option and there is no cost that is too much for saving your marriage and keeping your family together.