Therapy for married couples can be very effective for two people who want to strengthen or learn how to save a relationship. Unfortunately, marriage counseling costs can be a driving factor in what, if any, therapy couples seek.
To answer how much does marriage counseling cost, we must first understand that the price can depend on a few things. The average cost of marriage counseling can be $75 to $150/hour. The full range can be anywhere from $50/hour, all the way up to well over $200/hour. This can range depending on where you’re located, what provider you choose, and the type of marriage counseling you need. If your insurance won’t cover your marriage counseling sessions (which is common), you can be responsible for the full cost of your treatment. There are also other options that are more accessible and may cost less than traditional marriage counseling, such as online marriage counseling.
Learn more about the difference between cost with and without insurance, what factors influence marriage counseling costs, and the ultimate question: is marriage counseling worth it, all here.
How Much Does Marriage Counseling Cost With and Without Insurance?
How much is marriage counseling with insurance? Unfortunately, this isn’t always an easy question to answer. A lot goes into whether or not insurance will cover your marriage counseling sessions.
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Does insurance cover marriage counseling at all? The answer is usually no, insurance won’t cover marriage counseling services. There are a few exceptions, and depending on the need for therapy, sometimes insurance will cover your marriage counseling cost.
For example, if you want to go to counseling due to an underlying medical or mental health diagnosis or condition, it’s more likely that insurance will cover some or all of the therapy costs.
On the other hand, the average cost of marriage counseling without insurance will likely run you anywhere from $75-150/hour on average.
What Are the Factors That Influence the Cost of Marriage Counseling?
Multiple factors can influence how much marriage counseling will cost you. Everything from what types of issues you want to deal with, to where you’re located, to your therapist’s experience can all come into play.
There are a few major factors that tend to bear more weight in terms of the average cost of marriage counseling.
Where a therapist is located might have an impact on their hourly cost. For example, a therapist in New York City may cost much more than one in a rural area of the country.
The type of format your therapy is in might affect how expensive it is, too. For example, online therapy can be more affordable than in-person marriage therapy might be. If cost is a concern, you might want to look into online options. For a deeper breakdown between the two formats, learn the benefits of online vs. in-person therapy.
Duration of sessions
Since most therapists charge by the hour, the longer your therapy session, the more expensive each will be. The issues and the time needed to address them can determine the cost and session length.
Issues you want to address
If you have one single issue in your relationship that you want to address in therapy, you may be able to work through it in a matter of months. However, it might take longer before you feel that your therapy is complete if you have multiple marital problems or your needs are very complex.
A therapist’s experience can be reflected in how much they charge. Someone with extensive experience and a certains specialty might bill more than someone who’s in their first few years of practice. That said, just because you’re considering working with a newer marriage therapist, does not mean that you won’t get good results. The most important part of finding a therapist is feeling that you and your spouse connect with and trust them.
Is Marriage Counseling Worth the Cost?
If you feel that you need it, marriage counseling is definitely worth the financial investment it takes — especially if you and your spouse are looking to repair damage that’s been done to your relationship. It’s not always about correcting something that’s happened, though. Even if you’re just looking to strengthen the relationship you have, or to gain a deeper connection, counseling can be worth it.
Marriage counseling offers many great benefits. Again, it’s not always about “fixing“ anything drastic. You can work on improving communication, strengthening trust, or just reconnecting with your partner. Again, you don’t have to wait until something major happens in your relationship or until you start having marital problems to seek help.
Marriage counseling can offer some major benefits that make the process worth the cost. Here’s what to expect from marriage counseling:
- Communicate better with your spouse — Communication is essential in any relationship. Marital counseling might help you if you and your spouse have difficulties communicating in a healthy and positive manner. The work you do here will likely benefit you in several aspects of your life. Professionally, with friends, as a parent, or in any other relationship, knowing how to communicate effectively is a skill that everyone should work towards having.
- Gain a better understanding of your own needs — Part of the work you do in marriage therapy may include learning how to express your own needs. This can mean self-care, or it might mean just being able to ask for help from your partner. It may sound strange to think about, but it’s important to really understand what you need before you can ask for it. Marital counseling gives you a safe space to explore this.
- Ask for what you need — Even if you know more about what you need, sometimes asking for it can be painful or difficult. You can learn ways to express your needs clearly, concisely, and emphatically in therapy. This way, there’s no gray area about what you expect or need from your marriage.
- Listen and hear your partner — You may listen to your partner, but do you really hear them? Sometimes the words we use to express our feelings, emotions, and needs may not be as obvious to others as we think. Learn how to understand what your partner is saying so you can be more responsive and fulfill their needs as well as your own.
- Establish a respectful and neutral foundation — Respect seems like a no-brainer in your marriage. However, respect can begin to fall by the wayside as a partnership continues.
Our lives are busy. We’re focused on family, careers, bills, responsibilities, and all the other stresses of adulting. It can be easy to forget that you need to come from a place of love and respect. Doing so is a key way to nurture your relationship and keep it growing.
You and your spouse can learn how to create a safe and neutral foundation in therapy. This way, both of you feel completely respected. As that happens, you’ll be able to more easily give that respect in return.
- Find a good balance in your relationship — Balance is important in all aspects of life. It’s also something that can be easy to lose control of in your marriage. Through couples counseling, you can work together to find a balance to keep your marriage alive and thriving. You can’t be all work and no play, but at the same time you can’t expect things to always be simple. Marriage is work, but the time and effort you put into it pay off. Learning how to balance your life and your marriage can offer great rewards.
- Connect or reconnect with your partner — If you’re having difficulties connecting — or reconnecting — with your partner, marriage counseling can help you get back to a place where you enjoy spending time together. Connecting with your spouse is always an important part of your marriage whether you’re planning date nights, doing exercises together in therapy sessions, or working on things like communicating or expressing your needs.
- Improve your sex life — You might think that as you get older, sex will become less complicated, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. Learn how to improve your sex life in a positive way with the help and guidance of a therapist.
- Learn how to have fun — It might seem silly, but with the hustle and bustle of life, it can be easy to forget how to have fun with each other. It’s not always just about being together, either. Your marriage counselor can even help you see the benefit of finding some individual activities that bring joy to each of you, which might just make you a better pair when you’re together.
Practicing these exercises and attending couples therapy can help strengthen your relationship and promote a healthier marriage. Of course, there’s no guarantee that counseling will save your marriage.
For some, success may be defined as realizing that you ultimately don’t want the same things in life and separation may be better. Success may also be defined by learning positive and healthy ways to communicate if you’ll need to, for example, co-parent in the future. Either way, visiting a marriage therapist can help you decide to keep moving forward or end it for the best.
Some research shows that marriage counseling helps up to 70% of couples who try it. If it can make your relationship stronger in any way, you’ll likely consider your counseling a success. Marriage counseling is beneficial in many aspects and a couple doesn’t necessarily need marital problems to visit a marriage counselor.
So, when it comes to marriage counseling cost, there are so many variables. While there really isn’t one, good, solid answer, by now you should have a better understanding of what factors go into the average cost of marriage counseling, so you can decide for yourself, with your partner, if it’s right for you.
1. Lebow J, Chambers A, Christensen A, Johnson S. Research on the Treatment of Couple Distress. J Marital Fam Ther. 2011;38(1):145-168. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1752-0606.2011.00249.x