Comparing Couples Counseling Cost And Benefits

Updated June 17, 2024by Regain Editorial Team
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Couples counseling can have many benefits—such as improving relationship satisfaction, self-esteem, and mental health—but there are also some costs—including the financial expense, the emotional pain that can come with exploring emotions, and time investment.  

This article aims to help you measure the potential benefits against the material and immaterial costs, and ultimately decide whether couple’s therapy is right for you and your partner.

Couples counseling can help couples stay together

How much does couples therapy cost?

The cost of therapy varies widely depending on several factors, including your geographical location, whether you have in-network health insurance, the therapist’s education and experience, and the type of therapy you need. In general, therapy sessions typically last between 30 minutes to one hour, and cost anywhere between $0 and $200+ per session. 

There are several ways to reduce the cost of therapy, including the following: 

  • Go to a school: In many educational settings, you can access reduced-cost therapy conducted by interns under the supervision of a licensed therapist. 
  • Use community resources: Local religious groups, community organizations, and government-funded programs offer reduced-cost or free therapy. Oftentimes, these services are offered for people with specific needs, such as trauma survivors, people affected by substance use, or veterans. 
  • Insurance: If you have health insurance, it’s a good idea to call your provider or go to their website to investigate what coverage you have under your health plan. Many plans cover individual therapy, and some plans may cover couple’s therapy. If you find out that your plan does cover therapy, you can use their database to find a therapist in your area who accepts your insurance. 
  • Ask them for options: Many therapists offer services on a sliding scale if your insurance is out-of-network. Sliding scale fees allow therapists to charge based on income, so some people will pay their full rate, while others may be able to pay half their full rate (or less). This payment scheme allows therapists to earn a competitive industry rate, while serving a wider range of clients who might not otherwise be able to access their services. 

Another option to consider is online therapy. Unlike in-person therapists, online therapists don’t have as much overhead (such as renting physical office space). That’s one of the reasons why online therapy is often more affordable than in-person therapy. Though they don’t usually accept insurance, online couple’s therapy platforms, like Regain, offer rates that are comparable to what you might expect to pay with an insurance co-pay.  

In addition, online marriage counseling often allows for increased flexibility, allowing you and your partner to attend sessions even when you have conflicting schedules and can’t take time off work to be in the same place at the same time. And research shows that online couple’s therapy can be just as effective as in-person therapy at improving relationship satisfaction and overall mental health

The costs of not attending couple’s therapy

While it can be tempting to look at the cost of couple’s therapy and think it costs too much, there are also some (tangible and intangible) costs of skipping out on couple’s therapy when you need it. Here are some of the costs you might face: 

  • Emotional turmoil: If you and your partner are facing a challenging dynamic, it can be difficult to resolve without the external help and insight of a licensed professional. Over time, issues can build and become unhealthier, which can cause problems like chronic stress, resentment, anger, hostility, confusion, low self-esteem, and isolation. In some cases, going to couple’s therapy may be costly, but it could ultimately be worth it to build a healthier relationship proactively. 
  • Divorce: If you’re married and decide that couple’s therapy is too expensive despite recognizing some unhealthy patterns in your relationship, it could wind up costing a lot more in the long run to avoid therapy. Divorce often costs $10,000 or more to complete in the United States, on top of agreements like alimony and child support. Additionally, marital strife, separation, and divorce can cause a great deal of heartache and mental health challenges.

Does therapy really work? 

One of the reasons a stigma exists surrounding seeing a marital therapist comes from the fact that according to some studies, a quarter of the couples who engage in marriage counseling get divorced within two years, and the number rises to almost forty percent within four years. People hear these statistics and conclude that therapy "doesn't work." However, one problem with this perception is equating “working" with saving a marriage.

Therapists do not provide advice or tell their clients that they should get a divorce. Instead, they help their clients explore their feelings and the quality of their relationship, which can help each partner decide if they believe the relationship is one worth saving.  

Crunching the numbers

Couple’s counseling can be expensive, and while there are ways to reduce the cost of therapy, it still costs time, energy, and emotional investment. Deciding whether therapy is “worth it” is a personal decision. 

It may help to journal about the emotional harm that unhealthy dynamics are causing for you and your partner, and then to consider that harm against the financial cost and time commitment required for couple’s therapy. 

Alternatively, if you believe you’d benefit from therapy but cannot afford or access it, you may want to look into other free or low-cost resources, such as relationship podcasts, books, and worksheets created by licensed mental health professionals.

Couples counseling can help couples stay together


Couple’s therapy can be a good way to help you and your partner decide whether you want to stay together, and if so, it can help you work towards a healthier relationship. Despite the benefits, many people are concerned about the financial costs and emotional vulnerability required for effective couple’s therapy. 

While it’s not possible for everyone, there are things you can do to make couples therapy more affordable (such as trying online therapy), and it often provides benefits like improved relationship satisfaction and reduced likelihood of divorce.

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