How Celebrity Couples Can Experience Therapy Differently

By ReGain Editorial Team|Updated April 16, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Aaron Dutil , LMHC, LPC

If you watch TV, read magazines, or go anywhere on the internet, you’ve likely seen something about celebrity couples attending therapy. And the logic would follow that the therapists the celebrities go to are paid pretty well. You’ve probably wondered what was so special about their therapists and considered looking for a more expensive therapist too. Before you do so, think hard and read on.

Celebrity Couples Therapy

So, what exactly is celebrity couples therapy? The truth is that it’s the same as your kind of therapy. Celebrities may tend to go to more exclusive or expensive therapists, but because the celebs carry a recognizable name, that therapist may become known as a “therapist to the stars.” However, there may not be much of a difference between that therapist and one you could find in your hometown. The only difference might be how much they’re being paid.

Celebrities typically have a higher income than most people, so it makes sense they’d be able to pay higher rates for the same types of services. Therapy, in many instances, is more affordable for them. Often, the cost of something is seen as reflective of its value. However, just because celebrities may be paying more for seeing a therapist doesn’t necessarily mean that that professional’s services are any better. You might be thinking you need to dish out extra money in order to get quality care. Thankfully, this is often not the case.

Celebrity Relationships

The divorce rate has been steadily dropping in the past few decades. Given what we see in tabloids and TV, however, the rate for celebrities seems to be holding steady at a very high percentage. So, assuming the divorce rate is higher for celebrities, does that mean they’re seeking therapy more often than other couples? Not necessarily. When they do seek out couples therapy, though, here are a few ways in which their experience might differ from others:

  • They have the resources to get care. Often, they won’t have to worry about affording sessions, and they can have their pick of who will be their therapist. Lack of resources keeps many couples from ever seeking or receiving care. Since they can’t get access to treatment, they may have to address their concerns on their own.
  • They might be lonelier. We all rely on our friends and family for support when we’re experiencing something hard in life. Celebrities may not have as many true friends because of their fame and fortune. Being a celebrity can make life lonelier and a couple may struggle with feeling like they have no one but their therapist to turn to.
  • They have added life pressures. Celebrities carry the weight of trying to please those in the public. After all, that’s how they make their living. When both partners are celebrities, the pressure is doubled. Burnout, stress, and depression may be common.
  • They may be more resistant to opening up. Celebrities regularly have to keep their walls up in different areas of their life. They don’t know who they can trust and who likes them for them—and not just for what they have. This means that celebrity couples may require more therapy sessions to get something constructive out of them. It can take a while for those walls to come down and to be vulnerable.

Celebrity couples who are in therapy will not necessarily have a completely different experience from the average couple, but their treatment can be unique for the reasons listed above. As mental health becomes a more popular topic and the stigma surrounding therapy decreases, more and more celebrities are speaking out about the power in seeking help. As it turns out, even famous people need help sometimes and are usually going through many of the same issues ordinary couples do. We all have more in common than we realize. 

The Upshot?

Whether you’re a celebrity couple or not, therapy can be a rewarding and fulfilling process. The key is to make sure that you work with a therapist who is experienced, licensed, and knowledgeable. Otherwise, you are taking a risk that the individual treating you is not up to the standards that are put in place to give you the best care possible.

Here are some qualities to look for as you and your partner search for a therapist:

  • Good communication skills: They know how to ask good questions and understand when you need silence or conversation.
  • Observant: Over time, your therapist should get to know you well and be able to offer you important advice based on what they’re observing.
  • Good listener: Therapy is about you and your partner, meaning the two of you will probably be doing most of the talking. A good therapist knows how to listen well and when it’s time to speak up or ask a question.
  • Empathetic: You genuinely feel that your therapist cares about what you and your partner have to say and wants you both to get better, whatever that entails.
  • Problem solving: You and your partner are in therapy because you’re experiencing something in your life that needs to be fixed. A good therapist will use different tools to make sure you can move past any hurdles thrown your way.
  • Non-judgmental: Therapists hear all sorts of things during their sessions with clients. They are trained in how to keep an open mind and remain unbiased. You should feel comfortable telling your therapist whatever is on your mind and trust them with the information.

If your therapist fits this description, they are likely to deliver quality care. Couples therapists are really no different than a one-on-one therapist; they’re just working with two people instead of one. So, look for the above qualities when you and your partner are searching for one. A good couples therapist will be able to coach and lead well. They’ll be able to help the couple set goals, better communicate, and utilize tools that can help them move forward.

You and your partner should also discuss important considerations regarding your therapist and treatment plan, such as:

  • Gender
  • Age
  • Area of specialization
  • Availability
  • Session length
  • Homework load

Remember that picking a certain therapist doesn’t mean your decision is set in stone. If you and your partner start going and it doesn’t feel like the right match, you can always switch. Therapy is about the two of you, so you want all of your needs to be met. This is even more true when you consider how costly therapy can be. You want to be getting a quality product for the high price you may be paying.

What Are Your Options?

When you start looking at the options in your area, you might find that not everyone has the same qualifications. You will want to look for someone who has completed their schooling, is board certified, and has been licensed by the state in which they’re operating. Let’s look at a few of the types of therapeutic professionals you might run into in your search for a couples therapist.

Psychiatrist

A psychiatrist is a medical doctor who has also completed extensive training in mental health care. They are some of the only mental health professionals who can prescribe medication. Family doctors can prescribe medication but usually don’t have the same psychiatric training. Psychologists and other mental health professionals, on the other hand, have similar mental health training but generally cannot prescribe medications.

Psychiatrists typically focus on diagnosing mental health conditions and prescribing and managing medications for their patients. Some do practice various forms of psychotherapy, but this is rare. In addition to prescribing medications, psychiatrists can refer patients to other mental health professionals for psychotherapy or counseling.

Psychiatric Or Mental Health Nurses

These nurses have completed a master’s or doctoral-level degree in nursing, with a specialized focus on psychiatry. They are usually qualified to assess mental health, diagnose mental illness, and provide treatment in the form of therapy and — in some states — medication management. They can also provide and manage treatment for substance use disorder. Their role in mental health treatment varies by state, as each state has its standards for what psychiatric nurses are permitted to do and how much supervision they need to have from a psychiatrist.

Psychologist

A psychologist is a mental health professional with a doctoral level of education. This can be either a Ph.D. or a Psy.D. Some Ph.D. programs focus heavily on psychology. For the most part, however, both Ph.D. and Psy.D. programs include extensive clinical experience. Psychologists are trained to diagnose mental health conditions and provide treatment in a group or individual therapy. They can also refer their patients to a medical professional for medication if necessary.

Psychologists receive training in a wide variety of clinical and psychotherapeutic approaches. Most of them use a mixture of these approaches and methods in their practice. Some psychologists specialize in certain methods, like cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR), and many others.

Clinical Social Workers

Clinical social workers are mental health professionals who have completed a master of social work (MSW). MSW programs provide training in a variety of therapeutic approaches, as well as social work skills such as advocacy and case management. They usually have thousands of hours of clinical experience.

Clinical social workers who perform psychotherapy or counseling are typically licensed clinical social workers (LCSW). They may evaluate, diagnose, and treat mental health conditions using therapy and counseling. Like psychologists, they generally cannot prescribe medication but may refer their patients to medical professionals if they believe that medications are necessary.

Therapists, Counselors, And Clinicians

People who have completed a master’s degree in a mental health field like psychology can work under various licenses as therapists, clinicians, and counselors. The different licenses often reflect their degrees. Licensed marriage and family therapists (LMFT) are more likely to have their degree in marriage and family counseling. In contrast, a licensed professional counselor (LPC) may have completed their master’s degree in psychology.

Since the requirements for these professional licenses vary by state, the education and experience of the therapists and counselors may be different depending on your location. In general, however, licensed professionals have received training in mental health evaluation and treatment and completed many hours of clinical experience.

Pastoral Counselors

Pastoral counselors are counselors who have received their education in counseling from a religious perspective. They are usually members of the clergy in various denominations. Pastoral counselors have normally met high-level certification requirements, in some cases similar to a doctoral-level degree.

Which Therapist Is Right for You?

A long list of professionals, with their varying degrees and specialties, can be daunting. How are you supposed to choose? Fortunately, you don’t have to close your eyes and stab a finger at your screen to make a decision. To help you decide on the right mental health professional, consider the type of therapy you’re looking for and the type of training most likely to meet that need.

More Education Isn’t Always Better

The mental health professionals above are listed in roughly the order of the level of degree necessary for the licenses. But that doesn’t mean that the professionals higher on the list will be better couples therapists. Despite their doctorate, a psychologist with an extensive background in individual psychotherapy may not be the best fit for you and your partner, while a licensed professional counselor with a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy might be a great match.

Not all mental health degrees teach the same things. Although a psychologist could have completed more education overall, a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) may have more training and experience working with couples. They are more likely to have taken specialized classes in working with couples and the issues that couples and families usually face.

Individual Considerations

The final thing that you should consider when deciding among mental health professionals is your circumstances. For instance, if you are a religious couple, you may be comfortable with a pastoral counselor who can help you reach relationship goals that correspond with your religious beliefs. Or perhaps your problems as a couple seem to be caused by individual mental health or addiction issues. In that case, you may want to seek couples therapy from a professional who is also qualified to help with those individual issues.

Your First Choice Isn’t Your Last Choice

Sometimes, your best option is to choose someone who seems qualified and appropriate for your needs at the time and meet with them. See whether you and your partner feel comfortable with this person. Notice whether they are supportive of your relationship goals as a couple. Decide whether you like their voice and office decor — these little things matter! You should be confident that this person knows how to help you and your partner through your relationship difficulties. You should feel comfortable meeting with them for however long that takes.

Remember you’re allowed to choose someone else. You don’t have to continue couples therapy with the first mental health professional that you meet. Whether you decide to meet with a few therapists before making your choice or find after a few sessions that your first choice isn’t as good a fit as you thought that it was, you get to decide and then decide again. The right therapist for you and your partner will make you both comfortable, help both of you feel supported, and accept your goals as a couple.

Couples Therapy With ReGain

A final consideration for your couples therapy is online therapy. If you’re looking for a therapist but are concerned about commuting or high costs, ReGain is an online platform that can solve those problems for you. ReGain can connect you with a certified, experienced mental health provider who knows how to help you and your partner communicate and work through your relationship concerns. That means you can log into the website and find someone whom you and your partner feel comfortable with and can communicate with remotely. You don’t have to worry about going to appointments or even leaving your house. ReGain makes it more convenient and easier to access care than traditional therapy might allow. Reach out today to get started.

You Don’t Need A Celebrity Couples Therapist

Whatever you choose in the end, remember that you don’t need a celebrity couples therapist to see change in your life. Seeing very glamorous clientele does not make a mental health professional more competent, caring, or supportive. Consider the type of counseling you’re looking for, the unique needs of your relationship, and the mental health professional with whom you feel the most comfortable. Then you can feel confident that your relationship is reaching for the stars.

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