A couple who says they never fight is either lying or headed for disaster. Everyone has their own thoughts and opinions. No two people will ever agree on everything, 100% of the time.
Openly talking about your disagreements and even fighting (when done right) are healthy ways of clearing the air. When you don’t talk about stuff in the interest of not fighting, you simply become a powderkeg primed to explode at the tiniest spark.
Couple’s counseling can help couples learn to disagree and communicate in healthy ways. However, since finances are one of the top things couples fight about, finding the money to pay for counseling may be a challenge.
Here are 7 tips to find affordable couple’s counseling.
The best way to make couple’s counseling more affordable is to take some of the financial burdens off your shoulders. There are a few ways you can do this.
The first is through insurance. Many health insurance plans still don’t offer counseling benefits. However, with the growing interest in mental health issues, it’s becoming more common.
Check your policy or call your insurance company to find out what they offer.
An unfortunate downside of this is that many companies require the counseling to be medically necessary. That means one of you will need a diagnosis to qualify for benefits.
This can unnecessarily stigmatize one person in the relationship. (We’re here because of her depression problems, or his anger issues are the root). Even if couples don’t overtly blame the other, this can cause an underlying mindset shift that will interfere with therapy.
2. Employee Assistance
Savvy employers know that happy employees make for a more productive and harmonious workplace. And happiness starts in the home.
Thus, some companies contract with counselors or mental health agencies to offer free counseling sessions to their employees. The number of sessions may be limited, but it’s a good way to get started. You might find that all you need are a few productive sessions anyway to learn better communication skills.
3. Mental Health Agency
Another option to look into is getting counseling through a mental health agency. These agencies often have programs to help ease the financial burden. The last thing you need to be worried about with couple’s counseling is how to pay for it.
To that end, they may set you up on a payment plan to ease the strain. Some agencies also offer a sliding scale that is based on your income. There’s no reason that affordable counseling services can’t be available to you, regardless of how much money you make.
4. Online Counseling
Another obstacle to couple’s counseling may be that there are no good (or affordable) options in your area. You may not have time to travel the distance required to get to an appropriate counselor, not to mention the added cost of transportation.
In this day and age of technology and video conferencing, you don’t have to let that hold you back. Many counselors and agencies offer online counseling services.
It may feel a little less personal to talk with a counselor over the internet. But remember, it is never about the counselor anyway. It’s about learning to connect with your spouse who is, of course, in the same room as you.
You can view here one great option that offers remote services. This company offers counseling services with a slightly different philosophy than the mainstream. If you feel like their approach would work better for your situation, you can take advantage of their online services even if you don’t live near one of their locations!
5. Work with an Intern
Another great option to save on the hourly rate is to work with an intern. At first, this might sound strange.
Wouldn’t you rather work with a full-fledged counselor with years of experience behind them? In an ideal world, sure. But those years of experience are going to cost you financially.
You can instead work with an intern at an agency or even in a counselor’s office. Typically, you can get excellent services at a much-reduced rate.
Interns are usually overseen with care by one of those professionals with years of experience. If something comes up in a session that the intern doesn’t know how to deal with, they can easily get guidance from their mentor.
6. Self-Help Options
If the cost of counseling is just too prohibitive you can also look into self-help options. Or better yet, combine the two.
Tell your counselor that money is tight and work out a plan to meet less frequently. But ask them to recommend exercises, books, and other resources that you and your spouse can work through together on your own time.
You can also look for self-help options on your own. But know that each of you will have to put in a real effort to see any kind of positive change.
7. Reevaluate Your Priorities
If all else fails, maybe it’s time to reevaluate your priorities. For some couples, there may truly be no room in your budget for couple’s counseling. For many, however, it’s simply a matter of rearranging your priorities.
Maybe you need to cut down on going out to eat or some other form of recreation for a few months. Try using an expense tracker to look at your budget objectively and see what you can live without for a time while you work on bettering your relationship.
Couple’s Counseling Can Be Affordable
Don’t let the cost of couple’s counseling prevent you from working on an important aspect of your life. Sometimes it’s not about what you can afford to do but what you can’t afford not to do.
Though divorces are common, anyone who has been through one will tell you it’s something to avoid. It’s even more important when there are children involved. No matter how great you think you are at co-parenting, your kids will always be adversely affected by your choosing to split.
Looking for more thrifty family life advice? Feel free to check out our blog!