How much does relationship counseling cost?
The national average cost for relationship counseling ranges from $80 to $90 per session, or a total fee of $800 to $900 for 10 sessions. The total cost depends on the type of counseling or therapy (marriage counseling, couples therapy, family therapy), the qualifications of the counselor, and whether you meet at their office or online.
Whether it's marriage or a serious partnership, relationships make life sweeter and offer comfort and support during rough times. But when things aren't going so well with your loved one, relationship problems can lead to emotionally charged communication blunders and unhappiness at home. For many couples, seeking relationship, family, or marriage counseling can help prevent or deal with relationship disagreements.
Before you find a counselor who specializes in couples or marriage counseling, get an estimate of the cost of relationship counseling and what you can expect from these counseling sessions.
What's in this cost guide?
Relationship counseling can help couples and families learn interpersonal skills, improve communication with your loved ones, and work through problems in various types of relationships (it's not just for couples!). A licensed therapist can also help couples and families in which one (or more) person struggles with mental health disorders. Mental disorders like depression and anxiety can affect both the person suffering from them and those closes to them.
Relationship counseling with a certified therapist or marriage counselor can take several different forms: from premarital counseling to discernment counseling for those considering divorce.
Below are five types of relationship counseling to a relationship or marriage counselor might offer:
- Premarital counseling. Working with a couples counselor before you get married helps you and your soon-to-be spouse lay the groundwork for a happy and successful marriage.
- Couples therapy. One of the most common types of relationship counseling, couples therapy helps couples in intimate relationships communicate better, meet each others' needs and work through problems. Both married and unmarried couples can seek out couples therapy.
- Marriage counseling. Marriage counseling is similar to couples therapy. Marriage counselors help married couples resolve marital problems, improve their relationship, and possibly avoid divorce.
- Family therapy. Family therapy involves more than just the couple. It could include kids, step-kids, in-laws, or other members of your extended family. This type of counseling focuses on how each person affects the family unit and may help relatives learn to alleviate conflicts, communicate better, and resolve issues.
- Discernment counseling. This type of couples counseling help couples evaluate their situation and decide whether or not to divorce.
Issues that may be addressed in therapy include: addiction, blended family challenges, infidelity, physical and mental health issues or disorders, sexual intimacy issues, stress, and coping with major life events.
Marriage and family therapy should be brief, solution-focused, based on attainable goals and done with "the end in mind," according to the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT).
The national average cost of relationship counseling is $80 to $90 for a session of about an hour. Depending on the counselor and type of therapy, the cost can vary from less than $35 to $195 or more per session, or from $350 to $1,950 for a package of 10 sessions. Therapists typically charge a per-session or per-hour fee, and some offer sliding scales or packages.
The factors that affect the cost of marriage counseling, couples therapy, and family therapy include: the type of counseling, the credentials and experience of the counselor, where you live, the length of each session, and whether your health insurance covers relationship counseling. Some therapists offer sliding scales based on income for patients paying out of pocket.
So you can better estimate how much you'll pay, here are examples of the rates charged by four counselors:
|Counselor||Cost of relationship therapy||Location|
|Angela Hayes, Licensed Professional Counselor helps couples learn new communicate tools and how to meet each others' needs in healthy ways.||$50-$70 for a 55-minute couples session||Birmingham, AL|
|Kathryn Armstrong, Licensed Professional Counselor specializes in marriage counseling and helping married couples work through difficulties.||$95 for a 50-minute individual session and $140 for an 80-minute couples session||Austin, TX|
|Suzanne Freid, MA, Licensed Professional Counselor certified in the Gottman Method of couples counseling.||$195 for a 75-minute couples session, offers sliding scale rates||Austin, TX|
Insurance can help reduce your out-of-pocket costs. Many therapists accept health insurance from companies such as Aetna, Blue Cross Blue Shield, and Cigna. If you'd like to use insurance to save on counseling services, call your insurance company to see if your plan covers couples counseling or family therapy.
Yes, singles can get relationship counseling. A person in a relationship may choose to get individual counseling if their partner does not want to seek counseling. Some singles get counseling after a breakup or divorce in order to understand and change relationship patterns. Singles may get therapy with the goal of building a happy, healthy relationship in the future.
No matter which type of counseling you need, you can find a relationship counselor near you. When searching for a counselor be sure to:
- Check credentials. It's important to find a licensed, qualified therapist you can trust with the details of your relationship. Only consider professional counselors or licensed therapists with graduate or postgraduate degrees and credentials from the AAMFT.
- Find a good fit. Whether you plan to get therapy alone or with a loved one, you'll need to feel comfortable and safe opening up to the therapist about intimate topics. Call the therapist to ask a few questions by phone, or schedule an initial consult, to ensure good match.
Does relationship counseling really work?
According to Psychology Today, couples therapy is about 75 percent effective. Many couples find that relationship counseling gives them the tools and insight they need to fix their relationship and talk through marital problems in a safe space. If both or all people involved are willing to work on the issues, relationship counseling may be a first step toward a happier life together.