How Much Is Marriage Counseling? And A Must Try Alternative

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Image credit: Emmanuel Ikwuegbu (via Unsplash)

Google “couples therapy prices near me”, and your results may range all the way from $120 to $400 for an hour's session.

But does marriage counseling have to be this costly?

If you’re looking to repair your relationship without breaking the bank, check out this app-based alternative to marriage counseling.

Together uses short, interactive videos and exercises to introduce the key skills you'd learn in couples therapy. The best part? It’s a fraction of the price of traditional counseling.

Here are some of the top relationship questions that marriage counseling typically helps to address:

  1. Financial stressors: How do we manage our money and shared resources? How do we divide financial responsibilities fairly, taking into account each partner's income?
  2. Intimacy issues: How do we save the relationship if we feel physically or emotionally disconnected? How do we communicate our wants and needs in a clear, yet respectful, way? What happens if one partner is emotionally unavailable? How do we make our sex life more satisfying?
  3. Infidelity issues: Is there any hope for a relationship after cheating? How do you rebuild trust after it’s been broken? How do we manage painful feelings like anger, grief, guilt and jealousy?
  4. Communication barriers: How do we open up to each other about sensitive subjects? Why do so many discussions end in fighting, misunderstandings, or tears? How can we communicate productively if we have different communication styles? Why does it sometimes feel like we are speaking different languages?

If your question or cause for concern isn’t listed, don’t panic. These are only some of the top contenders. Together tackles many more aspects of relationship health in an accessible, easy-to-digest way.

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Average Cost for Couples Therapy—Online vs In-Person

If you're considering couples counseling, it's important to find a qualified professional to work with. However, arranging sessions with specialists can be costly. For example, a licensed marriage and family therapist (LMFT) will understandably charge more than a coach with no formal training in couples therapy.

Of course, this should come as no surprise. The LMFT's high fees reflect their level of education, training, and experience. Still, are the costs associated with traditional marriage counseling methods worth the price? Or are there other options you can try beforehand that might be easier on your wallet?

We recommend trying Together's app-based approach before you fork out for a marriage counseling program. Read on to find out why.

The Numbers

Did you know that couples counseling costs can vary based on location?

Check these examples of session costs from coast to coast:

  1. California: $150-300 per 90-minute session
  2. New York: $150-250 per hour session
  3. Texas: $125-400 per hour session
  4. Florida: $150 per 45-minute session

It’s safe to assume that in most areas, you’ll probably have to pay around $150 per hour for a certified marriage counselor. A 12-week program at this price would put you back $1.8k, based on 60 minutes of counseling every week.

On the other hand, if you’re planning to attend an intensive marriage counseling retreat in person, you can expect to pay between $700 and $12,000

We understand that such options are eye-wateringly expensive—so if they’re out of your reach, don’t worry. Check out the table below to see how Together compares to more costly approaches.

Marriage Counseling Type Average Program Cost
Counseling with Licensed Therapists $1800+ for a 12-week program (depending on location)
In-person Marriage Counseling Retreat $700-$12,000 (depending on location, accommodation, and number of nights)
Together $29.99 per month or $249 per year, with a free 7 day trial

Considering the cost of traditional marriage counseling, it’s no wonder couples wait an average of six years to sign up. Not to mention: if money is a point of contention in the relationship, hefty counseling fees can become a further source of conflict.

That's why Together offers a form of relationship help that doesn't break the bank. You don't have to scrimp and save as you would for a traditional counseling program. This gives you the power to address your relationship problems much sooner. As a result, they're less likely to fester or cause long-term damage.

You know what else makes Together the smart choice? Not only is it an accessible, low-cost option, it's also a high-quality one. Together's practical, at-home program draws on two effective therapy frameworks. Namely, these are Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT). Our engaging, interactive sessions make cutting-edge psychology accessible to all.

Last but not least: as an added bonus, you can use Together round the clock—without an appointment.

Can Therapy Help Younger Couples?

Let’s start by saying that couples of all ages can benefit from marriage counseling.

Image credit: Luca Iaconelli (via Unsplash)

If you’re in your 20s and looking to invest in couples therapy, you’re ahead of the curve. Contrary to popular belief, addressing relationship issues sooner rather than later is healthy in terms of the big picture. 

“It’s a common misconception that therapy is something of a last resort, or a last-ditch attempt to mend something broken,” states Pema Bakshi, relationship writer. She describes going to couples therapy in her early twenties as “one of the best investments she ever made.”

Take a look at the typical age ranges of individuals in couples therapy today:

At What Age Did Couples Start Attending Relationship Counseling?
Age Range Percentage
18-25 18%
25-30 31%
30-35 21%
35-40 17%
40-45 8%
50-55 3%
55-60 1%

Source: MNU

Do Insurance Companies Cover Marriage Counseling?

It appears that only a minority of those needing therapy can actually afford it. According to the U.S. Income Statistics Report, in 2020 54% of Americans had a household income of less than $75,000. This means that traditional marriage counseling is simply unaffordable for millions of Americans.

To make matters worse, many health insurance companies will not pay for marriage therapy. Since couples therapy doesn’t fall under the umbrella of “mental health” counseling, most standard health insurance plans do not cover it. Are you covered?

Try Together - the couple coaching app

Resolve your relationship pains with Together - a couple coaching app developed by leading therapists.

Try for free

The Cost of Doing Nothing

Sweeping marital issues under the rug is like leaving a wound untreated. You risk the wound festering, leading to worse pain in the long run. 

Ignoring relationship problems can have long-lasting negative consequences, such as:

  • Emotional and mental anguish
  • Resentment
  • Distrust
  • Communication breakdown
  • A loss of intimacy

If these problems persist, the relationship may end in divorce.

“The cost of marriage counseling is pennies compared to the costs of divorce,” writes marriage counselor Kent R. Brand. “When you consider the cost of separate households, split income, costs for psychological trauma, emotional costs to the children, extra travel time, future court costs, and years of many unknown and hidden costs, I estimate the total cost of divorce to range from $500,000 to millions of dollars.” 

NOTE: The team at Together want to make it very clear that pursuing couples therapy is not recommended in an abusive relationship. If you are concerned that you may be in an abusive relationship, we encourage you to stay safe and reach out to local authorities and helplines.

A Brief Note on Types of Couples Therapy

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Image credit: Vince Fleming (via Unsplash)

Before you book a couples therapist, it’s key to understand what kind of therapy you’re signing up for. Here are three common therapeutic approaches you may come across in marriage counseling:

  1. The Gottman Method: aims to increase intimacy, respect and affection.
  2. Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT): focuses on how your thoughts influence your actions.
  3. Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT): focuses on identifying the painful emotions triggered by relationship situations, and de-escalating negative cycles. 

Wondering what Together is based on? Good question. The app content draws on principles from EFT in combination with ACT—and for good reason. There is a large body of research showing that EFT is effective. In fact, it’s widely recognized as the best-validated approach for working with couples today. ACT, too, is supported by hundreds of scientific studies.

Try Together - the couple coaching app

Resolve your relationship pains with Together - a couple coaching app developed by leading therapists.

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Try This Alternative Before Traditional Counseling

Here at Together, we believe that fulfilling relationships are central to human health and happiness. But we also understand that marriage counseling is expensive. That's why we encourage you to try our marriage counseling alternative before you splurge on traditional couples therapy.

Let's sum up some of the benefits of trying Together first:

  • Together is accessible any time, anywhere: While your therapist may not be able to help you out of hours, Together is at your fingertips, 24/7. 
  • We won’t break the bank: Our service is cost-effective; you don't need to spend thousands of dollars.
  • Available immediately: Finding the right therapist can be a lengthy, cumbersome process. On the flip side, all you have to do to start our program is download Together from the App Store!
  • Together is private: If you don't want to talk to a therapist about the intimate details of your relationship, you don't have to. Using Together's program, you can work on your relationship in complete privacy.

Closing Thoughts From Together 

As always, we want what's best for you.

We answered some of your burning questions today. How much is marriage counseling? Is it covered by insurance? What’s the average price of a couples counseling session?

We hope our answers and suggestions will help you take a step forward and start to work on your connection.

Don’t wait six years to build the relationship you want and deserve. Start today!

Sources

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