Marriage Counseling

What is Marriage Counseling?

Marriage Counseling is offered to improve the relationships of married couples. No one wants to continue fighting or arguing. As with other forms of counseling, marriage therapy is a way to give wedded couples a neutral place to explore their differences, build healthy ways to interact, and work to find solutions to disagreements. Couples can find so many benefits by attending therapy.

The environment must be safe for both spouses to communicate their concerns and be heard. Techniques like Emotionally Focused Therapy, Imago Therapy, Gottman Therapy, and other well-known, research-oriented are ways a marriage therapist works with a husband and wife to navigate the difficulties of building a healthy relationship. We provide this type of opportunity through our marriage counselors online through video, or in our office in Augusta, Georgia.

How much does marriage counseling cost?

When clients call our office to schedule an appointment, they usually ask, “How much does marriage counseling cost?” Here at Legacy Marriage Resources, we have set fees that may change from year to year. If you want to know what we charge then check out our fee page.

The rate for marriage counseling differs depending on what counseling agency you go to and what therapist you see. Each therapist has their specific specialties and training, giving them more experience and ability than others. You may want to ask about the training of each therapist to see what you prefer. Some counselors are in training and supervision. This does not mean they cannot help. They have been trained and are under supervision, which means they are receiving help from a supervisor. So you can feel reassured that they can help you with your concerns. They usually do charge less than a fully licensed counselor who has been working with married couples for a while.

Marriage counseling cost usually ranges from $75 to $250. The average cost depends on the experience of the therapist. The average cost of marriage counseling in Augusta, GA is between $100 and $175. It’s always good to call around and ask about prices and what you are actually getting. You want to make sure you get someone who cares and is willing to fight for your relationship.

Is marriage counseling covered by insurance?

The simple answer is no. However, insurance companies like Blue Cross Blue Shield, Aetna, or United Healthcare will sometimes tell you they do. However, the better answer is that it depends. When you use your insurance, the insurance company requires a diagnosis. A counselor cannot diagnose a relationship or couple, they have to diagnose an individual. They usually use different assessments to do this. A bio-psychosocial assessment is traditionally an assessment that seeks out the reasons an individual is coming to counseling as well as their history and other details to help narrow down the symptoms and issues the patient is presenting with. The final result that an insurance company desires is a diagnosis based on these assessments for a mental health disorder listed in the ICD-10 or the DSM-5.

Since insurance companies are seeking a diagnosis, if a marriage counselor follows through on assessing for a mental health diagnosis, the insurance company expects that they are treating the proposed diagnosis. This means that the insurance company assumes that the counselor is treating an individual for the stated mental health disorder.

We do not accept insurance for this reason. It can be too confusing, and in our perspective unethical to diagnose an individual and look like you are treating that individual on paper when you are really doing something totally different. We see marriage counseling as treating the relationship. Our counselors may still look at the symptoms and diagnoses of the individuals involved, but we wouldn’t be reporting it to insurance companies to get paid. We prefer to use this information to help the individuals in the marriage to get healthier while working on the cycles and systems in their relationship. The goal is to improve the relationship as a whole. However, if an individual does need counseling for themselves, we will refer out if the person decides they want to use their insurance over and above seeing one of our therapists.

When is it important to attend marriage counseling?

This question is often asked long after the marriage is in decline. If you are struggling with anything, it is a healthy decision to consult a marriage counselor. Whether you are feeling withdrawn, having trouble compromising on a disagreement, or just want to make sure you are connecting well, the decision to work on your marriage is never a bad choice.

Waiting too late will make the problem worse. The longer you allow a concern in your relationship to continue, the more difficult it will be to resolve. Husbands and wives would do well to at least call multiple couples therapists to see what they can offer. At the very least check with a marriage therapist to see if they think you should attend a few sessions. The reassurance will make you feel better and help you make the best decision for what could be a lifelong win for your marriage.

If you are experiencing anxiety, depression, loss of enjoyment in life, or questioning whether you want to continue with the relationship. Please don’t wait. Even just getting individual counseling for yourself can improve your part of the relationship. Being able to talk to someone who you feel is nonjudgemental and willing to listen can do wonders for you. Feeling alone is a major problem in most couples’ conflicts. At the very least, speaking to a therapist will help you feel like you have someone walking through your darkest moments with you.

When is it not okay to attend marriage counseling?

This is a great question and needs to be answered. I believe marriage counseling can always be helpful. However, safety is so important in relationships. That is also true in the counseling office. Most conflicts are based on not feeling loved, heard, or safe with a spouse. Thus, we tend to try to protect ourselves verbally, physically, or in some other way.

Since counseling is supposed to be a safe environment for both spouses to express their needs, wants, and concerns freely, unsafe actions cannot be tolerated. Physical violence and abuse is something we assess for. As a marriage counselor, we do not start with marriage counseling when there has been physical altercations between a married couple.

Sometimes, we may do individual counseling first to establish the history and what is going on from both partners’ perspectives. Then once some work is done to create clear boundaries and start building some interpersonal skills, a couple might be brought together to test the waters.

What should I expect when I see a marriage counselor?

Beginning Marriage Therapy

All counseling starts with building the relationship between you and your marriage counselor. They will want to know a lot of information about each of you. You will want to tell them about the history of your relationship, your pertinent personal history, your current marital struggles, and more. During the first session, you will provide all this information to help your counselor understand what your marriage is like at this point.

You will also be assessing if your marriage therapist is the right fit. Be sure to let them know any concerns you have about counseling or themselves as your therapist. Ask them any questions that will help you feel more comfortable. Research shows that the relationship between a therapist and a client is pivotal in the success of therapy.

Future Sessions With Your Marriage Therapist…

As therapy continues, you will work with your marriage counselor to keep track of your progress as you develop new skills, practice those skills, and process stuck points in your relationship. Some relationship counselors work as a passive holder of your problems and believe that you as husband and wife know best what you need. They work to help you understand what your conflicts and hurts are and then encourage you in the process of working together to find mutual solutions.

They will help guide you in discovering that you are the experts in your relationship. This will usually help you to develop ideas that will work for you to improve your relationship and feel confident that you have the relationship skills to continue to grow over time.

Choosing Your Marriage Counselor

Other marriage counselors are very directive. They give lots of tasks, resources, and guidance to help you as you journey through the process of therapy. They may also process your thoughts and emotions together to help you think through possible solutions that you as spouses can agree on.

Many therapists are middle of the road when it comes to being directive or more passive. You will want to find which one you are most comfortable with. Once you work through therapy with your counselor by meeting specific goals along the way, you will eventually be able to stop therapy with the confidence that you can be your own therapist. You will have a whole new set of skills and understanding of how to have a healthy marriage that lasts through tough times to come.

To choose a marriage therapist that is best for you, make sure you call around to different ones. Sometimes you might find an LMFT (Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist) who is specifically trained in systems therapy. They are capable of seeing the systems in your relationship that are operating to keep you stuck. Other therapists who have other licenses (LPC or LCSW), tend to be trained to provide mental health counseling for individuals but may have received extra training to help couples. It would be best to just call different counselors’ offices and try to ask some good questions.

What to do now?

We would be glad to talk to you and see if our therapists are a good fit. Our marriage counselors in Augusta, GA are trained and desire to help you through any of your relationship concerns. We also have couples who come see us from all over the CSRA, including providing marriage counseling to couples in Evans, GA, Martinez, GA, and Grovetown, GA. We also offer online marriage counseling.

Call us today if you have any questions and one of our therapists will make sure to try to answer all your questions to help you make the best choice when it comes to finding marriage counseling for you and your spouse.

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