Couples Counseling Cost - Important Factors to Consider
By: Nicole Beasley
Updated February 05, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Kristen Hardin
There is a common misconception that only couples on the brink of breaking up need counseling. It is not uncommon at all for a couple to be doing well only to find themselves with a crisis and counseling can make a huge positive difference. There are many reasons that can push a previously highly functioning couple to the need for counseling. Maybe a problem occurs with one of the children and the couples struggles to co-parent, the illness or death of a parent, financial stresses, or sudden increased conflict. Some couples realize they have lost the connection and bond they once had and want to gain it back. Many therapists say that couples often wait too long to seek help. In fact, it isn't uncommon for an initial couple session to start out with, "we are seriously considering divorce but want to say we've tried everything." Don't wait until that point! The sooner a couple reaches out for help, the easier and faster problems can be resolved. The more time that goes on, is more time for the problem to grow and resentment and other problems to build.
Many couples can benefit from couples counseling to address difficult issues in the relationship, and to learn skills for managing conflict. It's hard for most couples to fix their own problems without intervention because each have their own perspectives and likely have trouble separating their feelings from their partners' feelings. It can be extremely helpful and effective to have an unbiased third party to mediate, offer feedback, and create a safe space to talk about hard things. There are many things to consider before starting counseling and a big one may be couples counseling cost. While individual counseling is covered by many insurance plans, couples counseling is not always covered and paying out of pocket can be costly. Office hours of many therapists might be inconvenient with hectic work schedules and taking off work can be stressful. So, it is important to shop around and ask questions to find out if the therapist you want to see takes insurance, has evening and weekend hours, or offers a sliding fee scale. The good news is that you can now get quality, affordable couples counseling online through BetterHelp which offers more flexibility with hours and fees than traditional counseling.
Standard Therapeutic Procedures
Couples counseling can be an effective treatment that can turn around a challenged relationship. Sometimes a couple is so close to their problem that the do not see relatively simple solutions that are right in front of them. Friends and family members are generally not a good solution even if the cost is free because they are not unbiased and will come into to the conversation with preconceived ideas and opinions. They also are not trained in how to help couples gain key skills such as conflict resolution, communication, and mediation. Further, then your family or friend knows the private side of your marriage and later you could likely regret this.
One of the most important things that a therapist can do is create is create a safe place to discuss issues that feel overwhelming or are sources of significant contention. Infidelity is a good example. Conversations without a trained professional can be not only unproductive, but could do further damage. Having a therapist to serve as an unbiased mediator can keep the conversations productive and safe.
Your therapist should also give you feedback and things to try at home. A relationship problem cannot be fixed in one hour a week. You should be working on the new skills learned in therapy throughout the week and between sessions to improve skills. This will help you get the most from your investment in the cost of therapy.
Many therapists specialize in different areas. If you and your partner are having a sexual problem, look for a therapist who specializes in that. There are many different forms of therapy that benefit different couples. The best way to start your search is to read profiles and make phone calls and exchange emails if possible. Also, many therapists do free consultations. Even more important than the specialization of the therapist, is the connection between you, your partner, and your therapist. Good rapport, trust, and feeling safe and comfortable with your therapist is arguably as important as the therapist's background.
The Value of Couples Counseling
The person you decide to marry or enter a partnership with is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. What can start out going well and fulfilling can change and you may realize your relationship is not what it once was. A relationship is like a sport. It takes practice, learning techniques, and accepting flaws and faults and being willing to make changes. Couples therapy can help reduce the damaging interactions between couples and change unhelpful cognitions, patterns, dynamics, and perceptions. It helps the couple cope with the ordinary and not so ordinary stresses of everyday living by learning how to communicate, practicing new ways of speaking and listening, gain ideas for increased intimacy, and learn conflict resolution.
Determining Couple Counseling Cost
The costs of couples counseling vary greatly with the therapist depending on the geographic area and their training and expertise. Some therapists charge more for couples work than they do for individual therapy because they have learned specialized skills for working with couples and because sessions might last longer than an individual counseling session.
One very important thing to remember, is even if counseling is costly, if it saves a relationship, prevents a break-up or divorce (which is usually extremely costly- financially and emotionally), or turns an unhappy, stressful relationship into a happy one that can deal with conflict…. Isn't it worth it?
Now, this is a big investment. You do not want to just google couples counseling and make an appointment the first therapist who pops up. This is an investment for your life and your relationship. It's helpful to interview different therapists and make sure it feels like a safe fit for both. If you can get a recommendation from a friend or family member, that can also be really helpful. It is also important to remember that if it doesn't work out with one therapist, don't get discouraged, find another who is a better fit.
Online counseling, such as BetterHelp can be a cost-effective option for couples counseling because BetterHelp not only offers affordable rates, but there are counselors available at times other than 9-5 Monday through Friday. You could have a video session in the privacy of your own home with your counselor. It can save money and reduce stress when the partners do not have to take time off work.
Couple's therapy can be an effective and successful form of treatment as it creates a safe space were new skills including communication, trust, goal planning, and conflict resolution can be learned. Even if it is expensive, if it saves a valued relationship, it's likely to be money will spend.
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