What is the Average Cost of Marriage Counseling?

by Stephen Waldo

Average cost of marriage counseling

“My wife and I have definite problems in our marriage. We’re slipping apart, but I really want to fix it!”

“Everyone keeps telling me to try marriage counseling, but I don’t know much about it…” 

“What’s the average cost of marriage counseling? Is it worth it? Will marriage counseling save my marriage?”

You probably already know that marriage counseling is one of the most popular prescriptions for marriage problems in America today.

Thus, you might be tempted to believe that marriage counseling is the secret ingredient for a happy marriage. Since so many other people have done it, you should too, right?

The question is, does marriage counseling even work?

As you continue reading this article, we’re going to cover each of the following topics:

  1. What is the Average Cost of Marriage Counseling?
  2. Is it Covered by Insurance?
  3. How Many Sessions with a Counselor Will You Need?
  4. Is Marriage Counseling Worth It?
  5. Are There Any Better Alternatives?

As you can see we’ve got a lot of ground to cover, so I don’t want to waste too much time with an introduction…Let’s go ahead and get to the meat and potatoes of this FAQ!

What’s the Average Cost of Marriage Counseling?

First things first, how much does marriage counseling cost?

For 90% of professional marriage counselors, one session equals one hour, so the hourly rate is also the per-session cost.

Recent data says that most marriage counselors charge between $75 and $150 an hour on average.

Most counselors recommend at least three months of therapy (12 weeks) with one session per week. Some counselors will drop down to $50 an hour and others may go up to over $200 an hour, but $75-$150 is the average.

Your counselor will probably use the first couple sessions as an assessment of your current marriage problems. Then, they may recommend extra individual or group sessions depending on what they learn from those first sessions.

So, the average cost of marriage counseling is ~$1,500 for 12 weeks of therapy, but it could end up being anything between $600 and $2,000+.

Is Marriage Counseling Covered by Insurance?

Another question you often hear is, “Does my insurance cover marriage counseling?”

Unfortunately, the answer is NO. Insurance companies will not cover the cost of your marriage counselor.

The only exception to this rule is when at least one spouse is suffering from a mental disorder such as bipolar or anxiety disorder. And even then, your mileage may vary. Many insurance companies will launch a full investigation for this sort of claim if they sense something fishy.

If your marriage counselor tells you that your insurance covers your therapy, but you don’t know about any mental illness between you or your wife, that’s certainly something to be worried about!

Marriage Counseling is Always Cheaper than Divorce

If it works (more on that later).

This is really the question you should be asking yourself… Is your marriage headed for divorce? Is your wife ready to leave you?

If the choice is between getting a divorce and seeing a marriage counselor, then you should always choose the latter. It’ll be cheaper, more enjoyable and more fulfilling. You’ll get the opportunity to learn more about yourself and more about your wife.

Perhaps a better argument though, isn’t to focus on the benefits of marriage therapy, but rather on the terrible consequences of divorce:

  • The average cost of a divorce is minimum $5,000 with many costing $10,000 to $25,000
  • The average divorce attorney’s retainer fee (paid up front) is around $3,000, which is double the average cost of marriage counseling
  • On top of that, there’s the emotional trauma placed on your kids
  • You’ll have to fight over the house, your savings, your car and all of your other valuable belongings
  • And we haven’t even said anything about alimony or child support

As you can see, divorce should definitely be avoided if at all possible. Even if you are “thiiiiiiiss close” to throwing in the towel, give it one more shot and go to couple’s counseling with your wife. It’ll be worth it if you can get back to the way things used to be.

How Many Sessions Do You Need?

I’ve already told you that most marriage counselors recommend three months of weekly counseling to start with.

However, many times a counselor will recommend more than three months of counseling. Many couples end up staying in for six months or longer… I’ve even heard of one couple who continued seeing their marriage counselor for over two years.

Is Marriage Counseling Worth It?

The problem with marriage counseling is that it’s not a guaranteed solution.

For example, my parents tried at least 5 different marriage counselors over the course of several years only to end up getting divorced. I don’t know how accurate it is, but I’ve read that the marital therapy industry as a whole has around a 50% – 60% success rate.

Not terrible, but certainly not guaranteed.

So, is marriage counseling worth it?

Absolutely! When it works. If it keeps you out of divorce and keeps your wife at home, that’s priceless.

However, sometimes all that marriage counseling will do is add frustration, apathy and animosity to an all ready struggling marriage. Probably not quite the news you wanted to hear, I know, but it’s the unfortunate truth. I’ve seen it happen.

Please note that if you have kids, then marriage and family counseling may be something to consider. This will help you cover your bases and prepare your family for a challenging time in your life.

“What Are My Alternatives to Couple’s  Counseling?”

So, if marriage counseling isn’t the absolute sure fire solution to all your marital problems, what other options are there?

Well, you could start by reading through our resources.

Or you could learn more about my favorite marriage course for men.

Or you could grab a copy of my free ebook titled 9 Essential Traits of a Good Husband (scroll down to get it). It’s a great read, and it’s free, so why not?

Beyond that, I also have lots of other free articles, guides and resources available to you here on HusbandHelpHaven.com

Whatever you decide to do from here, I hope that you and your wife can reconcile and that your marriage can be a long and happy one.

Thanks so much for reading!

Much manly love,
– Stephen

Stephen Waldo

Hi! My name is Stephen. I’m the guy behind Husband Help Haven. My mission here is to help as many men as possible become the best husbands they can be, and save as many marriages as possible along the way. Even though I’m not a marriage counselor, I want to encourage men everywhere to become better husbands, fathers and leaders. Full author bio