While marriage counseling has long been a way for couples to reconnect and work out their problems, the cost of marriage counseling frequently scares couples away. The good news is, marriage counseling doesn’t have to cost as much as it did before the recession.
The recent economic downturn has created tough financial times which inevitably lead couples into relationship trouble. For married couples who were having problems before the economy’s collapse, the addition of financial trouble into the equation only increases their likelihood of divorce or separation. While marriage counseling has long been a way for couples to reconnect and work out their problems, the cost of marriage counseling frequently scares couples away. The good news is, marriage counseling doesn’t have to cost as much as you might think.
Making Marriage Counseling Affordable
First, check with your health insurance provider, if you have one, to see if therapy can be covered in part by them. While many times group plans have a mental health benefit, individual and family plans may not. If extending a post-employment COBRA plan is an option, that may be something to consider as well.
The good news is, that many marriage counselors understand the problems couples are facing these days in terms of being able to pay for therapy. Some have seen less referrals as a result of the economic downturn; therefore, they are even more likely than before to make therapy affordable for potential clients. Here are a few suggestions to bring up with potential therapists in order to make marriage counseling more affordable:
1. Let the therapist know that the cost of marriage counseling is a concern for you, and ask if there is any way you can work with them that will fit your budget. Sometimes therapists will adjust their fees based on the client’s income. Don’t be discouraged if the first few you speak with don’t; keep trying to find one who will.
2. Work with the therapist on coming up with clear goals and objectives that you wish to get out of therapy. Talk with your therapist about those goals and the timeframe it might take to achieve them. Make sure to “do your homework” by following suggestions provided by your marriage counselor.
3. Some therapists can work with married couples every other week, rather than weekly. Ask if this is an option.
4. Some therapists can take payments by credit card. This may also be an option if you can’t pay for a session with cash.
Finding a Marriage Counselor
With these ideas in mind, there are quite a few ways to go about finding a marriage counselor these days. Personal recommendations from people you know are great, but most people don’t have experience with marriage counselors, and because of privacy concerns, the ones that do don’t go around bragging about it. Start your search with your insurance provider if you have one, because you will be more likely to be reimbursed for costs if you use their providers. If you don’t have an insurance provider, there are paid directories like ours, The Family & Marriage Counseling Directory, and directories of professional licensing bodies, like the AAMFT, ACA, and APA, all of which are respected licensing bodies amongst mental health professionals.