How Much Does Couples Therapy Cost?

Last Updated on April 22, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Relationship struggles can leave couples feeling disconnected, hopeless, and in distress. Seeking professional therapy is often the best path forward to restore love and communication. But for many, the potential costs make the idea of counseling seem out of reach financially.

By learning what impacts couples therapy pricing, the average costs per session, insurance and payment options, and budget-friendly alternatives, couples can determine if this vital investment in their future is affordable.

While investing in counseling requires a financial commitment, the long-term rewards of a strong, healthy relationship are truly priceless.


  • Average couples therapy costs $100 – $300 per session, with many influencing factors.
  • Credentials, experience, location, session length, and frequency impact pricing.
  • Research counseling approaches to understand expected benefits and costs.
  • Use insurance strategically. Seek sliding-scale discounts if needed.
  • Don’t sacrifice fit and quality just to save money.
  • View therapy as an investment in your relationship’s long-term happiness.

How Much Does Couples Therapy Cost?

Across the country, average prices for couples therapy range between $100 and $300 per session, based on the typical $75-$200 national range along with higher costs in major metropolitan areas. However, numerous factors like city location, therapist experience, session length, and frequency all impact pricing significantly.

For example, seeing a highly qualified marriage counselor for 90-minute sessions multiple times per week in New York City or San Francisco will fall on the higher end of the scale. Working remotely with a newer therapist at a nonprofit clinic for occasional 50-minute appointments will be much less expensive.

While the cost per session varies widely based on your situation, the long-term rewards of better communication, increased intimacy, and a happier partnership make counseling well worth the price for most couples.

According to Choosing Therapy, couples therapists can charge upwards of $250 to $300 per hour in higher-cost-of-living areas. The average cost of couples therapy is around $150, although newer therapists may charge less for their sessions. Therapists in private practice typically charge the highest fees, and most therapists charge more for couples therapy than individual therapy sessions1.

Houston Therapy Solutions offers two program packages for pre-marital counseling, with the most comprehensive package costing $800 for eight 1-hour sessions and the second package costing $500 for a more a la carte approach. These services are not typically covered by insurance and are considered self-improvement services.

Heights Couples Therapy in Houston, TX, offers individual counseling at $125 per hour and couples counseling at $150 per hour. Pre-marital counseling packages range from $500 to $800. The practice does not accept insurance but offers out-of-network reimbursement for clients with PPO plans.

Crystal Mind Counseling in Texas reports that the average cost of couples counseling or marriage counseling can range from $100 to $200 per session.

Factors Impacting the Cost of Therapy

Many elements influence the overall cost per session and total investment for a full course of couples therapy. Being aware of these key factors allows couples to budget accordingly.

Therapist Experience and Qualifications

One of the main factors affecting cost is the experience level and credentials of the therapist. Counselors who have been practicing marriage therapy for many years and hold advanced certifications or degrees typically charge higher session rates.

  • For example, a newly trained therapist with 5 years of experience may charge around $100 – $150 per session.
  • A mid-career professional with over 10 years experience could charge $150 – $200.
  • Highly seasoned therapists with over 20 years under their belt often charge $200 – $250 or more.

In addition to years in practice, counselors with higher levels of education (PhD, PsyD) and specialized training in couples therapy modalities may fall at the higher end of pricing.

Geographic Location and Market Rates

Another major cost factor is geographic location. Session costs directly correlate to the standard cost of living and average wages in different cities and regions.

  • In small rural towns, couples therapy often starts around $100 – $150 per session.
  • In mid-sized metropolitan areas, pricing might range from $150 – $200.
  • In major coastal cities like Los Angeles, New York City, and San Francisco, it’s common to see rates from $200 – $300 per session.

If willing to work remotely via telehealth, couples can sometimes access therapists in lower-cost-of-living areas to save money. But be aware of state laws, licensing restrictions, and insurance reimbursement policies around remote care.

Session Length, Frequency, and Package Discounts

Other pricing factors include the length and frequency of appointments. Most therapy sessions run 45-50 minutes. Longer sessions of 60-90 minutes typically cost more. Counselors also sometimes offer package deals if couples purchase multiple sessions at once which lowers the per-session rate.

  • Regular weekly 50-minute sessions may cost around $150 – $200 each.
  • 60-90 minute sessions can range from $200 – $300 per extended appointment.
  • Buying a package of 10 sessions at once may lower the per-session cost by $10 – $20.

The overall budget will also depend on frequency. More frequent therapy appointments (2x per week) add up faster than spaced out sessions (every other week).

Clearly many variables impact the overall investment, but being aware of them helps couples plan their therapy budget.

Different Types of Couples Counseling

There are many therapeutic approaches designed to improve romantic relationships through various techniques and interventions. The most common types of couples counseling include:

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT)

Focus: Identifying and changing negative communication and behavior patterns; modifying irrational thoughts.

Average Cost: $100 – $200 per session

Cognitive Behavioral couples therapy helps partners communicate more constructively, challenge damaging assumptions, and stop toxic arguments. Through exercises and dialogue, CBT builds relationship skills to increase intimacy.

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)

Focus: Uncovering unmet emotional needs; creating stronger emotional bonds.

Average Cost: $150 – $250 per session

Emotionally Focused Therapy concentrates on identifying each partner’s attachment style and buried needs. Couples learn new ways to respond to emotions vulnerably and empathetically.

Gottman Method

Focus: Fostering friendship, admiration, and intimacy through research-based techniques.

Average Cost: $200 – $300 per session

Based on 40+ years of marriage research, Gottman Method couples therapy boosts friendship, romance, and positive communication. Specialized exercises build the “Love Map”, a shared knowledge of each other’s worlds.

Imago Relationship Therapy

Focus: Improving conscious and unconscious communication patterns between partners.

Average Cost: $125 – $225 per session

Imago therapy helps couples engage in intentional dialogue to improve listening, empathy, and vulnerability. Partners gain insight into how childhood experiences affect their reactions.

The benefits and average costs can vary greatly between therapeutic approaches. Doing thorough research to find the right form of counseling tailored to your relationship needs and budget is time well spent.

Insurance to Reduce Out-of-Pocket Costs

Couples Therapy ServicesHealth insurance policies often provide coverage for couples counseling, typically reimbursing 50-80% of the total cost of sessions after a copay or deductible. However, benefits and limitations vary between plans:

  • Call your insurance company to understand your coverage levels, copays, coinsurance rates, number of allowed sessions, and in-network providers.
  • Know the billing practices – some therapists bill insurance directly while others require upfront self-payment from you.
  • Consider network status – seeing an in-network provider yields the highest coverage. Out-of-network therapists often get reimbursed at a lower rate.

With proper planning, insurance can cover a large chunk of couples therapy costs. But be prepared for some out-of-pocket expenses even with coverage.

Here are some tips for using insurance wisely:

  • Maximize sessions: Make the most of allowed visits. Spread appointments out if limited.
  • Get authorizations: Ask for pre-approvals for an extended number of sessions if needed.
  • Appeal denials: Fight any claims denied as “not medically necessary.”
  • Negotiate rates: Ask out-of-network providers to match standard insurance rates.
  • Watch the clock: End sessions on time to avoid extra “late” fees.
  • Meet deductibles: Pay cash upfront if unmet deductibles are blocking coverage.

With both therapy and insurance, you get what you pay for. So leverage insurance strategically, but don’t let coverage limits prevent you from getting the level of care needed.

Options to Reduce Couples Therapy Costs

For couples paying completely out-of-pocket, every dollar counts. Some strategies to reduce costs include:

1. Seek sliding-scale fees – Many therapists offer reduced rates on a sliding scale based on household income and ability to pay. Rates could be lowered by $50 – $100 for those meeting income criteria.

2. Seek therapists-in-training – University clinics connected to masters or doctoral psychology programs offer counseling at greatly reduced rates, often $50 – $100 per session, from students gaining required clinical hours.

3. Consider group therapy – Group therapy sessions cost less per couple, averaging $50 – $75 per appointment. Less customization but builds community.

4. Inquire about package deals – Ask providers if they offer packages or commitment plans that discount sessions purchased in bulk by $10 – $20 each.

You might also like our articles on the cost of speech therapy, feeding therapy, or counseling supervision.

5. Seek intensive retreats – Some therapists offer weekend intensive couple’s retreats. While concentrated and costly, the immersive setting may accelerate progress dramatically.

6. Look for free workshops – Check community health centers, religious organizations, and family resource centers for free couples workshops and relationship education classes.

The key is balancing cost savings with finding a therapeutic approach well-suited for your relationship. Don’t sacrifice quality or settling for incompatible methods just to save money.

Weighing the Cost vs. Benefits of Therapy

While the financial costs of couples therapy require planning and budgeting, the emotional and relational benefits are truly priceless. Counseling leads to better communication, increased intimacy, strengthened commitment, decreased chances of infidelity or divorce, and happier, healthier relationships.

For couples on the edge of giving up, therapy can powerfully reignite lost love. The potential rewards make counseling a wise investment for many.

Consider the consequences of NOT getting help compared to the cost of treatment. Ongoing distress takes a toll on physical health, work productivity, parenting, and more. Divorce costs many thousands in legal fees and life disruption.

View therapy as a strategic investment in your future together. With some research and creativity, quality counseling can be made affordable for couples genuinely committed to creating positive change. The potential lifelong returns of a reconnected partnership make the cost worthwhile.

Final Words

While couples therapy requires financial investment, the long-term rewards of increased intimacy, fulfilling communication, and lifelong partnership are truly invaluable.

With some practical research and planning around the key cost factors laid out here, couples can determine if counseling aligns with their budget and relationship needs.

By viewing therapy as an investment in their future, couples can take proactive steps to strengthen their bond and build a healthy foundation based on compassion and connection. In most cases, that foundation will provide immeasurable returns for decades to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the failure rate of couples therapy?

The success rate of couples therapy depends heavily on the commitment level of both partners to make changes. Estimates suggest therapy fails for 35-40% of couples. Lack of engagement, ongoing affairs, domestic violence, or mental illness can reduce chances of improvement.

With both partners fully dedicated to the process, couples therapy yields positive results approximately 60-80% of the time. Don’t give up too soon before the benefits take hold.

How long do most couples do therapy?

The length of therapy depends on the issues involved and progress made, but the average is around 6-20 sessions over a few months. Brief therapy models can resolve some problems in 4-6 sessions. But more entrenched conflicts require longer-term treatment of 8-20+ sessions.

Severe marital distress may take a year or more of ongoing counseling. Most couples report benefits after just a handful of appointments.

Do couples survive couples therapy?

While not guaranteed, couples therapy significantly boosts the chances of relationship survival and satisfaction. Studies show over 50% of highly distressed couples who don’t get help end up divorced. For these high-risk couples, therapy reduces the chances of divorce by 30% in the next two years.

Overall, approximately 80-90% of couples who complete counseling show measurable improvements in relationship health and stability. So yes, most not only stay together but thrive after couples therapy.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *