How does marriage counseling work?
The first step is finding someone you are both comfortable with. Feeling like you can trust the therapist who is working with you is important to the therapeutic alliance. The goal of marriage counseling is to learn new ways to interact and to gain some insight into why each other is the way you are. This new way of coping combined with additional understanding can help couples to create meaningful change. Read our blog post on what to expect from marriage counseling.
What is the success rate of marriage counseling?
This is largely variable depending on the skill of the therapist and the unique factors associated with the couple. Traditional marriage counseling has a success rate of 70 to 80 percent. Some research was done a decade ago and it indicated that 38 percent of couples who receive marriage therapy got divorced within four years of completing therapy. This study was done with couples therapists who were new to the profession and not trained on evidence-based practices like Emotionally Focused Therapy, Gottman Therapy, or PACT. That said, couples both have to work to make meaningful change.
What can a marriage counselor do for you?
Marriage counselors are highly skilled at helping couples to learn more productive ways to deal with conflict and disagreements. 65% of arguments are unresolvable and couples and the downfall many couples make is focusing on winning arguments as opposed to progressing. A marriage counselor helps you to build skills for managing conflict – even when upset. The goal is to build new skills for the friendship of the couple to feel safe. (Read our blog post How To Fight Right)
Is marriage counseling effective?
Couples counseling can help to repair a fractured relationship, but it helps the outcome if couples get in for marriage counseling before the damage is too widespread. When the damage is too extensive, it can be much more difficult to rebuild. Things like abortion, multiple affairs, emotional abuse, violence, and drug abuse can be difficult to come back from. So, in a nutshell, don’t wait till it’s too late.
Is marriage counseling covered by health insurance?
Very often marriage counseling is not covered by insurance but that isn’t always the case. We will check your benefits to make sure if it is covered under your plan. If you are unsure, you can also contact your insurance company directly. Make sure you use their phone number for mental health benefits (commonly on the back of your insurance card) and ask them if you are covered for couples therapy.
Can I use my HSA to pay for marriage counseling?
Yes, you absolutely can.
How much does it cost for marriage counseling?
This varies. Some marriage counselors do a 60-minute session, some do 90-120 minute sessions to try and cover more ground in a single session. In Austin, data shows that most marriage counselors charge between $125 and $150 an hour on average. Many therapists recommend at least three months of therapy (12 weeks) with one session per week.
How do you choose a good marital therapist?
- You should both feel supported by your therapist.
- If your therapist insists that there is only one way to have a successful marriage, find another therapist.
- Your perspective and feelings should be validated by your therapist. If your therapist sides with you over your spouse, that’s not good. No one should feel ganged up on.
- Make sure you and your partner set concrete goals early on with your therapist. You should be learning new skills and practicing implementing them. (Watch how to complain without criticism)
- Finally, I would suggest that you trust your instincts. If you feel like therapy isn’t helping, pay attention to that. Bring it up in session and if you need to, see someone else.