Couples Therapy: What you need to know
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Couples Therapy: What you need to know



Below is a quick description of what Couples/Marriage Therapy is, how it works, and what it costs.


Develop a better understanding of what Couples Therapy is before starting.  




What Is Couples Therapy?

Couples therapy can go by many names: marriage therapy, relationship counseling, couples counseling, couples therapy, family therapy, conjoint therapy, etc.. No matter what it is called, Couples Therapy is the process where two romantic partners work with a therapist to improve their relationship. This may involve working on relationship struggles, behaviors, patterns, and more. 



Who conducts Couples Therapy? 

Couples therapy is conducted by a licensed professional in the field of mental health. The bulk of couples therapists are:

  • Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Licensed Psychologists
  • Licensed Social Workers
  • Licensed Professional Counselors


A couples counselor often practices in private practice and agency settings. Some offer online couples counseling. You can see the list of couples counseling specialists here.




What do you do in Couples Therapy?


Good couples therapy is much more than relationship advice. The couple meets with a licensed therapist regularly to work through a specific issue, or to improve the relationship overall. Sessions typically last 60-90 minutes, but can be longer depending on the issue at hand and the preferences of clients.



Couples therapists use a variety of methods and treatment approaches. Some popular approaches include



Homework may be provided by couples therapists. This may include readings or exercises. Date nights are also commonly prescribed.



What Does Couples Therapy Solve?


A couple may seek therapy for many reasons. Some couples may be experiencing a lack of closeness or connection. Other couples are dealing with affairs and infidelity. Further, other partners have frequent conflict and arguing, and some couples are struggling with sex and intimacy.



Just like in Individual therapy, mental health issues are also addressed in couples therapy, such as anxiety, depression, addictions, or behavioral/emotional problems.



Couples that seek couples therapy are likely interested in bettering the relationship, increasing connection and intimacy, and overall achieving more satisfaction in their relationship. This forms of therapy has been proven to help with many of these issues.




What is the success rate of couples therapy?



Couples therapy has been shown to be a highly effective form of counseling. Thus, it is considered a very helpful way to make change happen in your relationship.




What do you do in Couples Therapy?


When a couple first meets with a therapist, they will likely fill out assessments. They may also answer a variety of questions about their past. This helps the therapist better understand the issue the couple is facing. Next, the therapist listens to the history of the problem, each partner’s strengths and background, and more.


The therapist and couple will create goals for therapy and what they are hoping to change and gain insight on. 


As therapy progresses, the therapist will introduce skills for the couple to make necessary changes and growth. A couple will be done with therapy when they want to be done, or when the therapist notes growth, or both.


Lastly, there is no required time limit to couples therapy.


 Couple Kissing



How Much Does Couples Counseling Cost?



There are many therapists that provide couples counseling. Each has their own set price. Some offer a sliding scales where people can pay a lower price. Thus, the average cost varies. Once thing to consider when finding a couples therapist is the price of the service.


Many couples therapists have gone to college between 6-10 years to develop the professional and clinical skills to practice. Thus, their cost of the service should reflect that. 


“Finding a good couples therapist is similar to finding a good lawyer, though.” says Dr. Kyle Zrenchik, Couples and Sex Therapist at ALL IN®


“It’s important that you work with a therapist you like, and that really knows what they are doing. The good ones usually aren’t cheap, but they are well worth the investment. If a marriage counselor is cheap, you should ask yourself why.”



Is Couples Therapy covered by my health insurance?


The short-answer is: it depends. If either person meets certain criteria, couples therapy can be covered by health insurance companies. Most clients that come to ALL IN that want to use their health insurance do so successfully. 


Not everything may be covered, however (such as services provided outside of normal hours, Deep Dive programs, or relationship coaching).



Is there a reason not to use my health insurance for therapy?



Perhaps. When client’s elect to use their insurance, they sacrifice a certain level of confidentiality, as records can be requested by their health-insurance company, life insurance company, or other interested parties (such as divorce lawyers or parenting consultants).  



For clients wanting the highest-degree of confidentiality, discuss these concerns with your therapist to be provided alternative methods.



Couple having fun



Do I need to go to Marriage Counseling?


Research indicates there are many benefits from engaging in marriage therapy.


According to research done by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, over 97 percent people said they got the help they needed from couple’s therapy.  Also, 93 percent of couples said they had more effective tools for managing their problems. 


Improvement of communication skills and problem solving, taught in couple’s counseling, has been found to reduce intimacy issues and enhance compromise, kindness and honesty within the relationship.


It has also been found that less conflict and relational stress can improve mental health. 


However, having more negative than positive exchanges between partners can diminish these benefits and actually hurt one’s health, especially for those who have been married for a long time. 


Having healthy communication, a reliable partner and understanding in marriages can boost a person’s health, according to experts. 


People who have completed couples therapy report improved physical health and the ability to function better at work after attending therapy. This is because research shows that people in unsatisfying marriages are more likely to be ill


If you or your partner are considering divorce, then read up on Discernment Counseling.



When is the right time to begin Marriage Counseling?


Every relationship has ups and downs. So, it can be difficult to identify when to seek support. You don’t have to wait until your relationship shows signs of trouble to seek guidance. 


In fact, research has demonstrated that couple’s counseling is most effective when couples begin sooner rather than later.


An article in the Journal of Social and Personal Relationships argues that some problems that lead to unnecessary divorce may be present from the beginning of the relationship


Start by finding a therapist who specializes in marriage therapy. You may have to meet with several marriage counselors until you find the right fit. It’s important that both partners feel comfortable with the chosen therapist.


There are always many reasons not to start something like Couples Therapy. This includes cost, time, or or a belief that it is unecessary.


 Have a conversation with a therapist to help determine if such therapy is needed, helpful, and appropriate.




How long does marriage counseling take? 


Marriage counseling is often short term. You may only need a few sessions, or you may need therapy for several months. But you may need more if your relationship is in bad shape. Couples typically meet with a marriage counselor once a week for an hour to 90 minutes. 


Typically, couples will meet with their therapist weekly. Also, both members of the couple attend all appointments. Once there is some improvement in goals, sessions may drop down in frequency.


Couples Counseling typically lasts between 8 and 15 sessions. 


Discernment Counseling lasts anywhere between 1 to 5 sessions.


It’s that simple.


Relationships are not easy and don’t come with a how-to manual. Sometimes couples need some extra support, guidance and tools to develop or maintain the relationship they desire. 


Marriage therapy is designed to do just this. If you’re ready to make the changes you want and to reignite the passion in your relationship, contact us.  We can connect you with a trained and talented therapist for your relationship.


If you are not sure if you are even wanting to stay in your relationship, but are not quite ready to leave, consider Discernment Counseling.



Disclaimer: ALL IN Therapy Clinic aims to improve people’s lives through providing effective mental health counseling by passionate professionals. We publish quality material for your own education. Our publications are researched, cited, reviewed, and edited by our licensed mental health professionals. The information we provide to you is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. It should not be used in place of the advice of your qualified healthcare provider. 




Written and reviewed by

Dr Kyle Zrenchik, PhD, ACS, LMFT

Dr. Kyle Zrenchik is the Co-Founder of ALL IN, the Creator of the Couples Erotic Flow model for treating sexual issues in individuals and couples, Designer of the Deep Dive programs at ALL IN, and is one of the most well-respected couples counselors in the Twin Cities.

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