Couples therapy can be valuable for couples struggling with relationship problems. If any aspects of a healthy relationship are missing, couples therapy can provide a safe space to work together and improve.
But how much is couples therapy? It depends. Generally, couples therapy sessions can cost anywhere between $70-$250. But several things can influence couples counseling costs, from location to therapy type and your therapist’s level of experience.
If you’re considering couples therapy, keep reading to learn about the costs of couples therapy, its benefits, and when it could be a wise investment for your relationship.
The cost of couples therapy varies — generally, you might pay between $70 to $250 an hour, but some therapists might charge more. Of course, you’ll usually need a few sessions depending on the issues you’d like to discuss, so budget accordingly.
For example, if you choose one-hour sessions and visit a couples therapist 10 times, you can expect to pay an average cost between $700-$2,500 in total.
If you’d like to commit to a minimum number of sessions, some therapists might offer a bulk discount — make sure to ask them if this is something you’d like to do. Others might offer reduced prices depending on your circumstances.
In general, insurance companies won’t cover the costs of couples therapy. While acts like the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA) and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) list individual therapy for various mental health issues, they don’t mandate that insurance covers the cost of couples counseling.
The reason is that relationship counseling is a different type of therapy. Mental health issues are usually diagnosed by a medical professional, whereas couples therapy is a choice two adults make together. Unfortunately, that means most health insurance plans won’t usually cover couples or marriage counseling costs.
The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy reports that the average couple takes around 12 counseling sessions to reach their goals. But couples therapy can last for different lengths of time. It depends on many factors, such as the therapist's approach, the issues, and the intended outcome.
Several factors can impact the cost of couples counseling. If you’re trying to keep costs low, consider some of the following:
Location: You’ll likely pay more to see a professional counselor in New York City than in a rural setting. If you live in a big, expensive city and couples therapy costs are too high, explore options in the suburbs if possible.
In-person vs. online therapy: The format of your sessions will also affect the price. Video calling and mobile devices have transformed how we speak to people — and counseling is no different. If in-person therapy is daunting or too pricey, why not try one of the many excellent online couples therapy services. Many offer a free consultation, a trial period, or new customer discounts.
Clinic vs. private practice: The fees for couples therapy can vary depending on the setting in which the treatment is offered. Relationship experts who work in private practice have higher overhead costs for running their own counseling services, so charge higher rates. Hospitals, clinics, support associations, and group therapy might all offer low-cost alternatives.
Therapist credentials: Generally, licensed therapists with extensive experience and expertise in couples therapy tend to charge higher fees. Likewise, couples counselors with advanced degrees or specialized certifications may charge more.
Any specialisms required: A relationship or marriage counselor will generally start by looking at your individual circumstances. If one topic or issue requires specific skills — or if you choose a particular type of therapy — the costs may change.
Deciding whether couples therapy costs are worth it depends on your unique situation. If you want to work on your relationship and see a future with your partner, then the long-term benefits of couples therapy exercises can far outweigh the financial costs.
Couples that attend relationship therapy sessions often see some of the following benefits:
A deeper understanding of each other as people. Couples therapy can help you connect with your partner. You might talk about deeper desires or things you wouldn't address in everyday life. This can help you empathize with your loved one if they’re struggling. You might also learn a lot about yourself.
An insight into your relationship. Stepping back and viewing your relationship with an impartial counselor can give you a fresh perspective. They might ask questions you’ve never considered, or point out patterns you’ve never noticed. Seeing the bigger picture like this can help frame your relationship in a new light away from any issues.
Identifying any underlying issues. Once you’re comfortable in the couples therapy setting, you can begin to identify and challenge issues. Relationship and marriage counseling sessions bring previously unnoticed problems to light, which can explain behaviors and conflict.
Improved communication. Talking openly, without judgment, can help improve your relationship communication skills. This brings many advantages inside — and outside — of your therapy sessions.
Strategies to overcome future issues. Once you’ve identified and discussed issues, your counselor can suggest methods to overcome future hurdles. You might try emotionally focused therapy strategies to navigate conflict or develop talking techniques that help you discuss difficult topics.
A stronger relationship. Reaching the stage where you’ve identified, challenged, and improved problems can put your relationship on a whole new level. You might feel like you know each other better — and your relationship could be stronger for it.
So, does couples therapy work? A recent study showed that almost half of Americans have attended some form of couples therapy. Of those, 71% said that attending couples therapy was helpful.
While that statistic is a great endorsement for couples counseling, it’s important to remember that “helpful” might mean different things for different people. For one couple, “helpful” could mean overcoming small issues together. For others, it could mean dealing with incredibly serious problems. For some couples, it might mean realizing they’re not right for each other and moving on.
If you’re interested in attending couples therapy, try to reframe the “how much is couples therapy” question. Instead, think about what you’d like to achieve and how much that would improve your relationship. Then, you can make the right choice for you, your partner, and your future.
Looking for more ways to connect with your partner, improve your communication skills, and learn how to navigate conflict? Download the Paired app for a happier, healthier relationship.