Couples Therapy: How Much Does Couple Counseling Cost?
By Danni Peck
Updated August 30, 2019
Reviewer Christy B.
Have you been dreading talking to your partner lately or feel like you've been walking on eggshells? Have you been biting your tongue and stuffing your feelings as a result of trying not to get pulled into (yet another) argument?
If this sounds like you and your loved one - but you're not quite ready to walk out the door, or to experience a painful breakup or divorce, it's time to consider couples counseling to get to the bottom of your relationship issues.
There's no shame in talking to a couples therapist to gain some insight on what's been going wrong in your romantic relationship. The thought of seeing a couples therapist may seem scary at first, but pales in comparison when you consider the alternative.
Couples Therapists - What They Do
Many people are seeking therapy online to resolve their intimate relationship issues. Many couples in crisis understand that attending couples therapy may be the only thing standing between them and the pain of a breakup or divorce. If you and your partner are experiencing ongoing relationship difficulties in your romantic relationship, it's time to get help.
The good news is that there are affordable options for individuals and couples to find a therapist online. Speaking with a licensed Clinical Social Worker, therapist, or couples counselor can help you and your partner understand and overcome your relationship difficulties.
Couples therapists help married and dating couples solve long-term relationship issues. Therapists teach clients how to address critical intimacy concerns that have been causing rifts in the relationship. Attending regular therapy sessions help struggling couples understand and overcome relationship challenges. Now, let's look at the different types of therapy Couples Therapists provide.
Sometimes, couple's therapy may involve individual therapy sessions as a part of relationship counseling. Often, there are things you need to address with your spouse or partner but you may be lacking the communication skills to get your point across. A couple's therapist acts as a neutral party that helps couples navigate troubling life issues.
In some cases couple related issues stem beyond those of you and your spouse. Many couple related issues stem from unresolved issues with broken or impaired family systems that can spill over into the relationship. Family therapy is often an extension of couples therapy as you begin to understand and overcome surface issues.
Premarital counseling is designed to help couples who intend to marry to learn the best communication skills for preventing family conflict upon the marriage. Premarital couples counseling services include sessions that apply cognitive behavioral therapy principles to teach couples how to interact in a positive way once they are married.
Sessions with a premarital counselor have been shown to reduce stress by placing couples in real-life situations using role play therapy and interaction therapy. The goal of the premarital therapist is to provide coping strategies for couples who intend to spend the rest of their lives together. Premarital counseling can be conducted by a certified professional, religious official or life coach.
Regardless of your chosen provider, the goal of premarital counseling is to provide individuals and couples with critical decision making skills that help prevent the breakdown of family systems down the line. Premarital counseling helps you and your partner answer the hard questions - before you get married.
Art therapy is a form of creative therapy that is good for personal growth. Art therapy can be used in conjunction with other forms of therapy including couples counseling to add a creative component to your healing process. Express yourself through the use of colors, textures, shapes, and lines can give you another outlet to reduce stress.
Art therapy can be taken alone as an individual project, or a part of family counseling, couple's therapy, or relationship counseling. It's especially good with big issues, such as parenting, infidelity, or even just behavioral health problems.
You don't have to be an artist to experience personal growth that art therapy can provide. A good relationship therapist can take stick figure drawings and work some magic with them. Talk to an art therapist today to add a creative component to your therapy toolkit.
Another cognitive behavioral therapy technique is exposure therapy. Fears about your relationship can lead to stress, anxiety, and poor decision making that can cause further damage to the relationship. Exposure therapy is a form of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) that reintroduces stressors into your life under controlled circumstances.
Exposure therapy is likely to be a good fit for clients seeking therapy for intimacy concerns or who suffer from existing mental health issues like post-traumatic stress disorder. This graduated form of immersive therapy has been shown to reduce the amount of fear that people who are suffering from mental health or family issues experience.
Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
Another form of Cognitive Behavior Therapy is Acceptance and Commitment therapy. Acceptance and Commitment therapy helps clients to reduce stress by learning to take ownership of their life's circumstances and make a commitment to implement changes that improve their quality of life.
Participating in this accountability based therapy practice helps implement cognitive behavioral therapy based strategies that give clients a new perspective on their individual selves and their partner. Couples who are open and honest learn new ways of communicating with their partners through strategies introduced in the counseling relationship.
Clinical Social Workers
Clinical Social Workers (CSWs) operate using the principles of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).
Clinical social work involves diagnosing, treating, and preventing mental illnesses and behavior related issues. Licensed Clinical Social Workers (CSWs) apply the principals of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to private practice sessions in offices and online. Social workers focus on helping clients (including couples) to develop better communication and coping skills. Some of the best couples have participated in sessions with a life coach or CSW to repair damaged relationships.
A clinical psychologist may help with relationships in couple's therapy, too. Particularly, if there is a mental health problem that is holding the couple back.
A Clinical Psychologist can be a great resource for couples who are experiencing relationship issues due to one or the other partner having issues with mental health. Clinical Psychologists can provide individual and couples therapy for couples in an office setting or online.
These therapists specialize in treating patients and clients that are experiencing the negative effects of common mental health issues. Following are some of the mental health issues that Clinical Psychologists treat.
- Eating Disorders
- Bipolar Disorders
- Substance Abuse
- Anxiety Disorders
- Anger Issues
- Emotional Issues
Even the best couples have had challenges, don't be ashamed to reach out for help if you need it. A clinical psychologist can diagnose and treat couples who may have been diagnosed with a mental health problem. Therapist can also provide some support for mental health related issues. However, a psychologist is a licensed healthcare professional that can provide a more in-depth analysis for relationship issues where mental health is also a factor.
Find Affordable Couples Counseling
If you've decided to take the next step and enter couples counseling - congratulations! You're on your way to experiencing better mental health and more positive relationships.
The next steps to take after you've decided to establish a counseling relationship, is to find a qualified therapist or licensed Clinical Psychologist that you can afford. You can choose to see a couples therapist in private practice environments or via online therapy sessions like those provided by BetterHelp.com.
According to the American Psychological Association emotion focused therapy has shown to be 75% effective in improving couple relations.
Private Practice or Public Health Clinic?
Many therapists work in private practice, but some work in the field of public health. In the United States, public options may be more affordable than a private practice. Private practice has its' advantages over public health options by providing a better overall clinical experience than a public mental health support can provide.
However, good public health clinics do exist. When it comes to choosing no care, versus public health care options, always choose the option that is going to provide you with some measure of relief. It doesn't hurt to give your local clinic a phone call or contact them via their email address to learn what problem solving techniques they use in treating mental health clients.
Public health clinics operate with a higher caseload than private practice. As a result, you may find it difficult to make an appointment to get immediate treatment for mental health services. In cases where you are able to be seen at your local public health facility or clinic, you'll find that they offer treatments to cover a wide variety of mental health issues including offering group therapy and support for people suffering from chronic issues like eating disorders.
Typical Costs for Couples Counseling: Online vs. In-Person
We've put together an overview of the typical costs for participating in couples counseling online vs. in-person. Keep in mind that fees for both services can vary based on health specific factors and other add-on options like having access to online therapy groups.
The Cost of Couples Counseling
In a nationwide survey, the average couples counseling cost ranged from $50 per hour to $250 per hour. While the majority of the couples counseling sessions last one hour, some may be longer or shorter, with the cost adjusted by the hour. Therefore, if a session is two hours and the counselor charges $50 per hour, you will be paying $100. Make sure you discuss this with your counselor first, because many people think the cost is per session when it is actually per hour. Some counselors may offer a discount if you sign up for a package deal for 6-12 weeks of counseling at about $400 to $2500.
Will Insurance Cover the Couples Counseling Cost?
The majority of insurance companies do not cover couples counseling. However, it is becoming more common for major insurance providers offer coverage for couples therapy. Check your with your insurance provider to see if your insurance policy covers all or any part of your costs for counseling.
In some cases, if you or your partner has a mental illness, you may be able to get part or all of the cost reimbursed to you.
Who Needs Couples Counseling?
You may be thinking, "Why would any couple need counseling? Isn't it better to talk your problems out together at home?" You might wonder, "Why should we involve a stranger in our disagreements?" The truth is, many couples do not know how to communicate effectively, particularly in disagreements. They argue with each other, but they do not know how to talk things out when they need to.
When you disagree with someone, you can either yell, walk away, or talk about it. Yelling and walking away are both pretty useless. The only sustainable way to fix things is to talk things out. However, some couples find it difficult to talk to each other without getting mad or arguing. With a counselor, you have an unbiased, supportive mediator who can guide you in the right direction and act as an unbiased third party. If you have any questions about how to get started with couples counseling, reach out to one of our online experts by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Common Relationship Issues
People seek out couples therapists for many reasons. Some have typical everyday relationship issues. Others have more severe relationship issues due to aggravated or compounding mental health problems. Let's look at a few reasons why you may seek couple therapy.
Eating disorders may seem like a job for an individual therapist, but you'd be surprised. This mental health problem may be the result of one person in the relationship feeling as though they're no longer attractive, and they may resort to extreme weight loss tactics like anorexia and bulimia.
Eating disorders are a common mental health related problem that can trigger issues in an intimate relationship. Common treatments for eating disorders include cognitive behavioral therapy and participation in a supervised therapy group to learn new coping strategies.
One of the most common relationship issues couples may face are miscommunications. Even though you know one another quite well, miscommunications tend to happen. This especially applies to relationships where one person may not understand social cues.
Miscommunication within intimate relationships can lead to a variety of unresolved issues. Attending therapy equips couples with better decision making skills to improve how they communicate with each other.
Clients give different responses when asked - "What's your communication style"? Couples may be surprised that they've actually being saying the same thing all along with improved communication strategies.
Often, relationship issues stem from the fact that one person, or both people, have anger management issues. This can be a result of a mental health or behavioral health problem, or may be due to bottling up one's emotions for an extended period of time.
Either way, the variety of issues one may face when being angry or having an angry spouse are immense. Sometimes, it can end in a yelling match, or worse, it can end up in physical violence. Anger issues are a result of a serious mental health condition (that you don't want to ignore.) Unchecked anger issues that lead to domestic violence is one of the primary reasons many couples seek couples therapy. If you feel that you're suffering from damaging anger issues and you want to save your marriage or other intimate relationship, reach out to a BetterHelp licensed therapy to start learning new coping strategies today.
Substance abuse is another common mental health related issue that can destroy a romantic relationship. Issues with substance abuse will eventually affect both parties in a relationship if the abuse is allowed to get out of control. Having substance abuse related issues can lead to unexpected losses for couples related to finances and critical emotional support that seems to disappear as substance abuse escalates.
If you or your partner is dealing with issues related to substance abuse, it's important to speak with a licensed professional that can provide resources and assistance.
Another problem you may face is recovering from grief.
Everyone is going to lose someone eventually, but many people don't deal with grief in the same way. The five stages of grief are a bit of a misconception, with many people who do grieve doing it in their own unique way. Sometimes, grief makes it harder for you to bond with your spouse, and it can interfere in your life.
With therapy, couples can learn how to get past any grief. A clinical psychologist or therapist who does specialize in grief can help.
Sex Problems Need Sex Therapy
One of the many difficult issues a couple may face is that the sexual spark just isn't there anymore. The United States tends to still have a bit of a puritan view when it comes to sex, and a couple may feel like they don't need sex to have a good marriage, and they don't need mental health treatment if the spark isn't there anymore. After all, we all age, and older couples don't have sex, right?
This isn't true. For most couples, sex is an important part of a relationship and a valid reason to find couples therapists who can help you. Therapy can help find the reasons as to why the spark is no longer there, and help put your sex life in a good place again.
Work Life Issues
Another problem couples may face are problems with their work life. Couples may work different shifts and work long hours, and this can lead to emotional issues. It's always time to work, and it's never time to have fun. A mental health counselor may be able to help.
Sometimes, the solution is time management. Other times, it's learning skills to make it easy to talk to your boss in hopes you can change the schedule. Sometimes, a mental health counselor may double as a skilled therapist who teaches men and women how to get a better job.
A job is important, but if it's ruining your relationship, you may need a better one. A solution focused therapist can help.
Balancing Interpersonal Relationship With Romantic Ones
Another problem couples face is managing interpersonal relationships. When the relationship gets serious, many couples feel like they don't have enough time to speak to their friends and hang out. One spouse may not have an open mind when it comes to giving time for their spouse to see their friends.
Men and women need friends of their own. A therapist can make it easy to talk to your spouse about this issue.
Heal Your Intimate Relationships
There is solution focused therapy available to help you mend your broken relationships. Participating in therapy sessions with a non-biased counselor or therapist is one of the best things that you can do to improve the circumstances of your life. There are therapists available to treat a wide variety of common and uncommon situations. LGBTQ therapists specialize in providing support for members of the lesbian, gay, bi-sexual, and transgender communities - without judgement.
Therapy sessions aren't limited by gender, race, or sexual preference. When it comes to healing your intimate relationships the counselors at BetterHelp have been trained to treat the spectrum of mental health related disorders. Feel confident when you can confidentially express your real issues in a private online environment and get real results.
Couples Counseling Exercises
One aspect of couples counseling includes role play and couples exercises or "homework" in some cases. Following are seven examples of couples counseling exercises that you and your partner may encounter during the course of therapy.
1. Active Listening:This is an activity that helps you and your partner become better listeners. This is beneficial for all types of communication and makes it easier to talk about sensitive issues as well. You will learn how to be both the speaker and the listener since there is an art to both sides. For example, when you are talking, it's helpful to stick to a single point or thought, and not jump around many different things. As a listener, it's beneficial to try to share your partner's perspective and just listen, rather than preparing for what you will say next.
2. Sharing Your Emotions:For many individuals, sharing emotions does not come easy, and this does not usually get better when you become a couple. Believe it or not, it takes a lot of effort and practice to be able to share your emotions with others. However, telling your partner how you feel is the only way they will know. We are not mind readers, and nobody can feel what you are feeling. You have to tell them how you feel so they can empathize with you.
3. Positive Language Exercise:Yes, this is exactly what it sounds like. You should practice using positive language with your partner all the time, even when you do not feel like it. This is especially difficult but needed during a disagreement. When you feel like hurling insults or yelling at your partner, try using some nice and positive words instead. Be supportive and sweet even when you would rather not. Of course, nobody can be nice all the time, but when you go out of your way to try and be positive when it is needed, things get better.
4. Learning to Grow Closer:Take the time to learn new things about each other. Sure, you may see each other every day but how much do you really know? Do you share with your partner everything that happens to you every single day? Probably not. Find out what your partner has been doing lately at work, what they want to do, and if there is something you can help them with.
5. I Feel…This is similar to sharing your emotions, but it is more focused on how you feel. It is an exercise where you take turns telling each other how you feel at the moment or about certain things. This is especially good for talking about recent disagreements you've had. For example, if you got mad yesterday about something your partner said about your work, you say, "I feel angry when you say things like you said yesterday about my job." Then you can talk about why your partner said it, what they meant by it, and then it will be their turn to express their feelings. It's important for both people to have a chance to say how they feel.
6. Gratitude Lists:Making a gratitude listis an excellent opportunity to say nice things about each other. This is especially helpful to help each of you feel appreciated for all that you do. This can be difficult for some people who do not have a clue what the other person does for them. Unfortunately, some people just do not realize how many things you do for them every single day. They may just take it for granted that these things get done. For example, if you make your partner's lunch every day for work, do they come to expect it and not appreciate it anymore? This is a good exercise for you both to realize how much your partner does for you.
7. Make a "Fun Things to Do" List:Here is another list-making exercise that can be a lot of fun. What are some things that you and your partner have always wanted to do together but have not done yet? Each of you can make a list of five things you want to do with the other (small things you can do such as taking a walk after dinner) and give the list to your partner. Every week, you can choose one of the things on your partner's list and do it. You can also make a long-term list of things that you want to do in the future, such as going to Disneyland or another fun trip to plan for the two of you. However, do not try to do plan long-term adventures every week. Save those for maybe once a year.
Sweat the Small Things
Small things matter. Make small steps everyday in order to achieve the larger goal of healing your intimate relationships. Take a few minutes daily to check in with your partner to learn how they are feeling about your progress together. Address any unresolved issues using the new coping strategies and improved decision making skills learned in therapy.
If you find yourself resorting to old patterns of negative behaviors, Stop. Take a deep breath, remember why you started and begin again using your new techniques. Over time you'll find that these new techniques become new behavior patterns and you'll start to see improvements in your relationships. Commitment to healing is key - no one can do it for you, but BetterHelp therapists are here to show you the way.
BetterHelp Cares About Your Mental Health
BetterHelp wants counseling to be affordable and convenient, whether that's individual, online therapy or online couples counseling. Your relationship shouldn't have to make it impossible to live comfortably. We want to make couples counseling affordable, and through our site, you can see a counselor for as little as $35 a week, which is far less expensive than many in-person therapists. Your relationship matters to the online couples counselors at BetterHelp, and they want to help it succeed. Read below for some reviews of BetterHelp counselors.
In an effort to heal more intimate relationships BetterHelp offers affordable and convenient therapy options online to help you cope with the inevitable challenges of daily living. When you subscribe to BetterHelp services your making a critical investment in the overall improvement of yours and your loved ones quality of life. Chat with a licensed therapist from the comfort of your home or office for a little as $35.00 a week. This nominal fee is minimal compared to the costs of modern in-person therapy. You and your family are worth it. Better mental health is available for you with the click of a button at BetterHelp.com
Following are some of our satisfied client reviews to help you learn how BetterHelp can improve your mental health.
"Don has helped me understand myself, my relationships, and helped me change the way I dealt with so many things. He is someone I could talk to about absolutely anything. He has helped me understand and overcome many fears from struggling with anxiety, past abuse, insecurities, and self esteem issues that I have battled with alone for a very long time. He helped me find my happiness again, that I knew deep down was still there. His caring nature makes it very easy to talk to him. I am so very grateful for him and his help and support."
"Potoula has helped me in so many ways during the last six months. She has taught me how to understand and come to terms with the post traumatic stress that was having a negative impact on my mood and damaging my relationship. Thanks to Potoula, I am now more self aware, my marriage is stronger, and I have the tools to move forward positively with my life. I am so pleased I chose Potoula, and although I will miss our chats, I will always remember the one who turned my life around. Thank you!"
The goal of couple's counseling is to make your relationship with your partner as healthy as possible. Part of that comes down to you and your partner working together in sessions and outside of the therapeutic setting. Couple counseling can be pricey even if you have insurance. That's why online therapy is an excellent option for people who want to work on their relationship and want to live comfortably. Consider working with one of the therapists here at BetterHelp, and start building a healthy relationship.