Couples Therapy Cost: Is It Worth It?
Updated March 17, 2020
Reviewer Wendy Galyen, LCSW, BC-TMH
The Emotional Cost of Rejecting Couple's Therapy
When you are in a relationship that matters to you, you want to maintain that bond. Naturally, there will be bumps in the road. But the more you communicate with your partner, the better the chance your relationship has of succeeding long term. If you are having problems communicating with your partner, one action you can take is to find a therapist that works with couples. There is a difference between an individual therapist and a couples or marriage and family therapist. You might be working on your problems in one-on-one therapy, but that does not address all the issues in your relationship. If you ignore the red flags that you and your partner have between the two of you, it could cost you your relationship. That is why it is crucial to find a therapist who can help the two of you learn to speak one another's love language. Your mental health is important, and if you neglect the problems in your relationship, it will be compromised. Not only will your emotional state suffer but your partner will likely notice their mental health decline. Repressing problems in a romantic relationship leads to resentment, anger and potentially a breakup.
Get Help For Your Relationship
Some people are either afraid of or unfamiliar with couples counseling. If you do not know what happens in counseling, try a session with a couple's therapist and find out. You do not have to commit to working with that mental health professional. There are many counselors out there, and you and your partner can find one who you both feel comfortable talking to, so you can get the most out of therapy. A couple's therapist may use one of a variety of theoretical perspectives. One perspective is positive psychology which is a psychology perspective that emphasizes human beings' strengths. When your couple's counselor highlights your strengths, your partner will see them clearly. You will also learn to conquer areas that you need work on, which will result in personal growth. One of the goals of counseling (individual or couples) is to work on your emotional insight. An exceptional place to gain perspective on yourself is in couples counseling.
Feeling Close to Your Partner
When you are having trouble in your marriage or romantic relationship, you might feel distant from your partner. That's a natural feeling, but couples counseling can help. You might feel an absence of physical intimacy. Maybe you have not been together in the bedroom in a while or perhaps you are even sleeping in separate rooms. Physical intimacy is an integral part of a romantic relationship. A marriage counselor can help you and your partner explore the source of your intimacy issues.
Finding the Right Therapist
One thing to consider when you're seeking a marriage and family therapist or a couples therapist is finding a good fit for you and your partner. You might love a therapist and your partner isn't as enthusiastic about that person. Both of you need to feel comfortable enough with your therapist to discuss difficult issues. When you're a couple seeing a counselor for relationship issues, you want to feel that the mental health professional is listening to you and your partner. An excellent marriage and family therapist makes couples feel heard.
There are also different types of relationship counseling. Some people engage in family therapy while others seek out a marriage and family therapist. It depends on your individual needs as to which mental health treatment you seek out.
And, you do not have to just be in couples counseling. You can go to individual therapy along with seeing a therapist with your partner. It's important to address your mental health issues separately from your relationship problems. Individual therapy is an excellent place to explore what's troubling you in you life independent from issues with your partner. However, couples counseling is the place to discuss things like marital problems.
Cost Isn't Just About Money
If you're trying to decide whether your marriage could use help from a trained therapist, you may be wondering whether the cost is reasonable. After all, it can cost several hundred dollars a month for couplestherapy, depending on how often you and your partner see your therapist. Here's what to consider when you ask yourself whether counseling is worth the money.
Before you think about whether couples therapy is worth the cost, ask yourself how much your marriage means to you. How much would you do to save it? When you put the price into perspective, you may find that the money isn't as important as the relationship you regain from paying a professional therapist to provide guidance for you and your spouse.
Yes, counseling costs money, but you are paying for help from someone who is trained in communication and conflict resolution strategies. And think about it this way: you'll probably pay a whole lot more for a lawyer and the divorce process than you would for sessions with a counselor to keep your marriage intact.
Benefits of Couples Therapy
As you consider whether couples therapy is the right decision for you and your partner (and your finances), take into account these benefits of relationship counseling.
Improve Communication Skills
You've probably heard over and over again that good communication is the key to a happy marriage. But what is good communication? And how do you know if you're doing it right? Couples therapists are professionally trained in communication skills that help to prevent arguments.
Rebuild Your Connection
Sometimes it takes an outside party to help you and your partner remember why you're together. Most people in a long-term relationship have built many connections over the years. You or your partner may just be having trouble seeing them. A counselor will view your relationship with a fresh perspective to help you remember those bonds.
Get Mediation on Goals And Commitments
Long-term relationships, including marriages, are built on shared goals and commitments. But sometimes each partner's goals shift over time. When that happens, you may need someone to mediate as the two of you renegotiate your relationship commitments and where you are headed.
Prevent Resentment Before It Builds
One of the best ways to utilize couples therapy is to talk to a therapist before you and your partner have built up a wall of resentment. The best time to seek help (and get the most benefit from the time and money you put into counseling) is at the first sign of trouble. Just as preventive health care saves you from experiencing serious health problems down the road, preventive couples therapy saves you from experiencing serious relationship problems.
Learn How to Handle Conflict Without Damage
Every relationship involves conflict. It's part of being human. But experiencing conflict does not have to deteriorate your marriage. The best relationship is one where each of you can be honest with each other without disrespecting each other.
Sometimes, a relationship needs outside support. And that's okay. You and your spouse or long-term partner exist as a part of a community, not just an isolated couple. By paying a professional couples therapist to assist you, you are investing in your relationship.