How Much Does Couple Counseling Cost?
By Danni Peck
Updated December 10, 2018
Reviewer Christy B.
All couples have disagreements occasionally, but certain characteristics of a relationship could mean that you could benefit from couples counseling. Do you feel that you cannot communicate without arguing, or are unable to bring up any issues or disagreements with your spouse? Has there been an ongoing level of friction or disagreements? If so, maybe you should think about couples counseling. There's nothing to be embarrassed about to want to improve your marriage. Don't be afraid to talk to your spouse or partner about it. According to the American Psychological Association (APA), about half of those who get married end up getting divorced. With a 50/50 chance of survival, you need all the assistance you can get. To be sure that the couples counseling cost is worth it, here are some facts about marriage and couples counseling:
What Is Couples Counseling?
If you have ever had counseling services of any kind, you are probably already familiar with talking to a therapist. Couples counseling is the same concept only the therapist talks to both you and your spouse about the problems you are having in your relationship. You may see the therapist separately or together or both, and after your visit, the counselor will probably give you some tips on what to try and homework you can talk about at your next session. At that time, your counselor will likely suggest how many visits you may need, and you can discuss the cost.
The Cost of Couples Counseling
In a nationwide survey, the average couples counseling cost can range 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 $200. 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?
No, the majority of insurance companies do not cover couples counseling. However, it is becoming more common due to the rising interest in mental health, so always check your insurance policy to see if yours covers all or any part of your costs for counseling. In some cases, if you or your partner has a mental health disorder, you may be able to get part or all of the cost reimbursed to you.
Who Needs Couples Counseling?
Why would any couple need counseling? Isn't it better to talk your problems out together at home? Why should we involve a stranger in our disagreements? The truth is, many couples do not know how to communicate effectively. They can make small talk or 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 at each other, walk away, or talk about it. Yelling and walking away are both pretty useless. The only way to fix things is to talk things out. The problem arises when the couple is not able to talk to each other without getting mad or arguing. With a couple's counselor, you have a mediator who can guide you both in the right direction and stop you if things start getting heated.
Couples Counseling Exercises
There are many different couple's counseling exercises that your counselor or therapist can help you with. Most of them have to do with communication because this is the area that most couples have problems with.
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, you have to stick to a single point or thought and not jump around about many different things. As a listener, you need to try to share your partner's perspective and just listen, rather than preparing for what you will say next.
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.
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 can only get better.
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.
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.
Making a gratitude list is 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.
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.
Some other small tips that can help are to try to eat one meal with your partner every day at the same table or at least in the same room. Also, take a few minutes once a week to talk about things that may be bothering your partner. Ask your partner if you have done anything that week to upset them. If they say no, ask them if they're sure about that and promise you will not get mad. Now, here's the important thing: do not get mad. Remember, you promised that you wouldn't. The only way to fix things is to talk about them. Another thing to remember is: do not go to bed angry. You've probably heard this before, but it is true. Do not let things go overnight. This does not mean you should spend all night arguing. Sometimes it is better just to agree to disagree and forgive each other. After all, no couple can agree on everything.
Online Couples Counseling
What if you live in a rural area or have no transportation to get to couple's therapy? Some people just do not have the time to get away. With all of the technology we have, you do not need to set an appointment with a therapist in person. You may be too busy to come in for a visit or live too far from the closest therapist. In that case, there are online counseling services for couples available in almost all areas. The BetterHelp.com website is the largest online counseling platform in the world. They provide a wide range of counseling services that include couples counseling.