Couples counseling, also called marriage counseling, is a type of psychotherapy. The goal of couples therapy is to improve the couples’ relationship.
This type of counseling usually includes both partners, however, occasionally one partner may choose to work with a therapist alone.
About 50 percent of couples who enter couples therapy do so with the goal of determining if the relationship is viable enough to continue.
Relationship satisfaction has been the most common conclusion identified in over 200 evaluations of marriage counseling, according to a 2012 study published in NCBI.
Reasons you may need couples or marriage counseling:
- you are dealing with substance abuse;
- the only resolution you can see is separation;
- you as a couple have experienced a recent tragedy;
- you are only staying together for the sake of the kids;
- you feel that your marriage is on auto-pilot;
- you can no longer resolve differences;
- you feel that you have lost romantic or sexual chemistry;
- one or both of you has had an affair;
- you feel that household responsibilities are unequal;
- you no longer have the ability to communicate easily;
- you disagree about financial, parenting, or lifestyle choices.
What is the Average Cost of Couples Counseling?
In general, couple counselors ask for between $75 and $200 per hour. The majority of couple counselors recommend at least three months of therapy with one session per week.
One session usually lasts between 75 and 90 minutes.
The first session is an assessment where the counselor gathers background information about his clients. After the first session, the couple counselor will recommend the number of future sessions as well as things you can do at home.
The duration of couple counseling is determined by several factors, including:
- the specific needs of the couple;
- the goals of the couple;
- the model being used by the couple therapist.
Insurance does not cover marriage or couple therapy. But, there is a workaround for this if you find a therapist who is willing to submit an insurance claim using a code indicating that you are in individual therapy for the treatment of a mental disorder (for instance, depression) and that your partner is attending the session with you. However, the pool of therapists to choose from is significantly smaller.
Does It Help Or Not?
Most couples come away from couples counseling with skills necessary to communicate more effectively their needs to their partners, increased emotional expression, and a better knowledge of their relational patterns.
The major risk of couples or marriage therapy is a return to dysfunctional behaviors and a lack of improvement. To increase your odds that couples therapy is effective for you and your partner, you need to find an experienced therapist.
Too many couples go into counseling expecting that their partner changes more than they do. But, if you want your relationship to improve, you must start with yourself. Also, if you want your partner to change, start by accepting them for who they are, wrote Dr. John Gottman in his book, ”The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.”