Free Marriage Counseling: You Get What You Pay For
Updated January 17, 2020
Reviewer Whitney White, MS. CMHC, NCC., LPC
Many organizations and mental health professionals provide free or low-cost therapy to people all over the United States. Non-profit organizations and churches frequently offer reduced cost or no-cost counseling services and may be a great place to start searching when you're in need of cost-efficient counseling options. In looking into any therapy, paid or free, the credentials of the counselor must be examined.
Furthermore, there is always advice available. This can be sought from family and friends, as well as common sense strategies such as this article. While many marriages need professional help, sometimes a few tips can do the trick. This article offers a few pieces of advice.
What is online therapy?
Online therapy is a place where you and your partner can talk about your relationship and improve your marriage. It's essential that you both get a chance to speak your truth, and online therapy gives busy couples or those in rural areas a place to do it. Online platforms make it possible to have video, phone, and text messaging sessions with your counselor, and because of the flexibility of the platform for therapists, many times appointments are available in evenings and weekends.
Marriage counseling can allow a third party (the counselor) to facilitate stalled conversations between a husband and wife. Communication is ever important in a marriage, and when it breaks down, it can be difficult for the couple to self-repair.
While online therapy is just as effective as face-to-face, online therapy offers a few additional benefits. First, the married couple may have a hard time arranging schedules, and the technology factor allows for convenient therapy. Secondly, the couple may benefit from having therapy in their personal safe space as opposed to sitting in a cramped office. Finally, the couple may have difficulty sitting in the same room together. Online therapy allows everybody involved to be in different places while talking.
A different point of view
It's difficult to see things outside of your perspective. When you're in a marriage, you have your point of view, and your partner has theirs. A therapist can provide an outside-looking-in perspective and facilitate better understanding for you and your partner. When you have a therapist who is dedicated to seeing both sides of a situation, you have the benefit of an impartial caring party.
Paying for counseling matters because your therapist is invested
With online marriage counseling, you are paying for a service, and the counselors want to do a good job. They're passionate about their profession. In order to continue working, these counselors need to help you to help yourself. Online counselors are incentivized to focus on helping you get better. When therapy is free, that incentive and motivation changes. The non paid helper may not feel like putting in the effort, and your needs may be secondary to theirs. With paid therapy, your needs are the focus.
The five magic hours
It doesn't take a lot of time to show someone you love that you care about them. It's not about the quantity of time; it's the quality. One of the things that a marriage counselor will talk to you and your partner about is spending more time together as a component of your mental health services. We all lead busy lives, and it's important to honor the commitments we have. But it's crucial for the health of our relationships that we find five quality hours together. According to Dr. John Gottman, who created The Gottman Method, these are called the magic hours.
Connect before you part for the day
Before you take off at the start of the day, it's essential to take a moment to connect with your partner. Talk to them about what you're doing for that day and ask them what they have planned. For example, if you talk for five minutes a day, during the work week, that's a total of 25 minutes for the entire week. Yet, it not everybody is a morning person. No worries! Just take that five minutes of effort and put it into the end of the day, as covered next.
Reconnect when you see each other at the end of the day
Reconnect when you see each other again at the end of the day. When you reunite, talk to each other for a minimum of 20 minutes. These conversations can be about what you did with your days. If you've had a rough day, share that with your partner. They can support you. If they've had a great day, maybe they want to share that with you. You can talk over dinner or when you're relaxing in bed together. If you speak for 20 minutes a day, it can make a huge difference in your ability to bond with your partner.
Everyone wants to be appreciated for who they are and the things they do. Whether you make your partner delicious food or you're always there to listen to their problems, these are things that deserve recognition. It's crucial to appreciate your partner. They want to hear words of affirmation. There are ways each day to show your significant other that you care. Be specific with appreciation. For example, don't only tell her that she is beautiful. It's essential to explain to her the little things that you like about her. You can complement her eyes or tell her you love her smile. Spend five minutes telling your partner that you appreciate them, and it will make a world of difference in your relationship.
Don't count on your partner to initiate romantic or intimate time together. You can start affection between the two of you. Remember when you first got together, it was exciting and new. There are ways to bring that spark back. Kiss your partner with passion. Show them that you find them desirable. Spend time cuddling with them at night or even in the middle of the day. Touch each other and appreciate that physical affection. When you hold hands outside, it brings you closer together than before. The more you touch your partner, the healthier the relationship will be.
It's crucial to establish a night that you go out with your partner regularly. That night is your date night. Once you figure out a good night to go out to dinner or see a movie, stick to it. Get a babysitter if you need to, or if it's just you two, make sure that you stick to your commitment to each other. Don't cancel date night to work if possible.
Your dates don't need to be extravagant. They can be you and your partner walking in the park together. Your date doesn't need to cost money. You can do things for free that are romantic such as writing them a love letter, offering a massage, and cooking a delectable meal. On your date, you can talk about how your week is going. Don't talk about problems on your date night. Keep it light and be romantic on that night. Date night is a time to bond with your significant other.
Trouble Putting Tips into Action?
You may have trouble putting any of the given advice from this article, family, or friends into action. Perhaps free advice is not enough. Maybe you and your partner have trouble communicating, and when you try, it quickly falls apart into a fight or silence. This is where licensed counseling comes into play. While there are options from nonprofits, we encourage you to look into online counseling.
Online marriage counseling vs. in-person marriage counseling
Online marriage counseling is great for couples that have trouble finding the time to go to counseling in person. One of the most significant benefits of online counseling is that it's flexible. The marriage counselors that you'll find on are trained and licensed. They're able to provide quality care and insight into your relationship, and they've been working with couples for years. Talking to a counselor online with your partner can make a huge difference in your relationship. It shows that you're committing to working on your marriage.
Try marriage counseling for one week - completely free
ReGain is happy to offer you a free, one-week trial for marriage counseling. We encourage you to check it out. While you will get out what you put in, ReGain has licensed counselors that can help bridge the divide between you and your partner. Sometimes, the simplest solution to a problem is to ask for help. Marriage counseling from ReGain can help you and your partner to help yourselves. Lastly, it needs to be mentioned that to take full advantage of the opportunity, you should start immediately after you sign up.
To start your free trial, click the button under the images above. You will be guided through a sign-up process, and your free trial will appear after you've completed sign-up. On the other hand, if you are unsure, consider looking at the following reviews of ReGain counselors, from couples experiencing different relationship issues.
"Melanie saved my marriage. She is great at listening and giving practical solutions to the problems we are having. Before i started this I felt really uncomfortable but Melanie put us as ease and now I'm looking forward to the future."
"Sandtrice helped my wife and I through an extremely dark time. She gives solid advice and I would recommend her to anyone. She truly cares and there's no words to describe how valuable she's been."
If you realize that your marriage isn't working, it's essential to take steps to fix the problems. There are many options available. One option is to seek counseling for you and your significant other. Online counseling through ReGain is an excellent medium through which to understand each other's problems, work towards solutions together, and come to a deeper understanding. No matter what you're experiencing, with the right tools, you can move forward to a truly fulfilling relationship.