When misunderstandings, arguments, and conflicts get out of hand in a relationship, you may consider seeking external support.
Couples counseling can help you to address marital and relationship conflicts through the assessment, identification, and resolution of these issues.
In this guide, we’ve looked at three platforms that can help you access affordable couples counseling.
Quick summary table
Best affordable couples counseling services
Let’s begin our reviews.
Below, we’ve looked at three cost-effective couples and marriage counseling services, to help you and your significant other get the support you need.
ReGain is a platform that specializes in online couples counseling, including for marital problems and conflicts.
How it works
This service only employs qualified, licensed couples counselors who have at least 3 years and 1000 hours of experience in providing relationship therapy.
When signing up, you are asked about the issues you and your partner are facing, and based on the information you provide, you’re automatically matched with the most appropriate licensed professional. If you ever want to change therapist in the future, you can do so at any time.
As you sign up, ReGain will provide you a price for a weekly subscription.
You can request special financial assistance during sign-up, if you cannot afford the regular rate. If you or your partner are unemployed, students, are on a low income, or are otherwise struggling financially, you will likely be offered a significantly reduced price.
Plus, unlike other platforms, ReGain doesn’t charge any extra amount if both partners want to take part in online couples counseling – the service is generally very affordable.
Once you’ve completed the sign-up process and have been matched with a therapist, you can have counseling via video sessions, audio calls, or live chat at a time that works for you. These therapy sessions can be accessed through a computer, smartphone, or tablet, using the ReGain website or app.
However, one downside of ReGain is you and your significant other need to use the same device to access the video calls. Therefore, it’s not the best solution for long-distance relationships.
As we mentioned above, you can also use this platform either as an individual or as a couple. If your partner isn’t ready for couples therapy, you can sign up, and choose to invite them later if you want to. If either partner wants to have private counseling sessions, ReGain provides this option as well.
This online couple counseling platform ensures the complete confidentiality of its clients – messages and live chats and other data of this service are fully encrypted. Moreover, you can also use ReGain anonymously, without revealing your identity, if you would like to.
Another online counseling platform worth mentioning is Talkspace. Talkspace has many licensed counselors who have decades of expertise in mending relationships.
Like ReGain, this service can be accessed at very affordable subscription fees, depending on the communication methods you choose, and how often you would like to see your counselor.
For example, you can save money by getting support via text messaging or live chat, rather than having weekly video calls. With the Talkspace app, you and your significant other can have a group chat conversation with a professional couples counselor. You can also save money by having less frequent calls – for example, once a month, rather than once a week – Talkspace pricing is very flexible.
Talkspace also partners with many U.S health insurance plans to provide online couples counseling, meaning you might not have to pay much out of pocket, if you have insurance.
To begin using Talkspace, you first have a chat conversation with a licensed therapist, rather than filling out a form, allowing you to ask any questions you may have. The matching agent will then suggest some therapists who can help to address your specific issues.
After signing up, you have unlimited access to messaging (text, audio, and video) with your online therapist. You can request live video sessions as well, which can be scheduled at a time that works for you. You need a computer, tablet, or smartphone with an internet connection in order to use this counseling service – face-to-face support is not currently available.
3. Family Marriage Counseling
Family-marriage-counseling.com is a directory that provides contact information of cheap relationship therapists who are available near you.
Simply navigate to the website, select your state, and you can search the available mental health professionals. Then, FMC will provide a list of therapists and their phone numbers, addresses, websites, and areas of expertise.
Although the site is called Family Marriage Counseling, it also lists the contact details of couples counselors, as well as those that focus on marriage counseling specifically.
The FMC directory can be used without any charges or fees, and you can ask for the price of counseling sessions from each therapist over the phone or via email. Unfortunately, it’s not possible to filter by how much money sessions cost. However, many of these therapists will provide sliding-scale pricing, based on your ability to pay, especially if you are on a low income.
This directory is also helpful in choosing the right counselor as it provides some guidelines and sample questions that should be considered when seeking a therapist. For instance, what is the cancellation policy of the therapist? What type of therapeutic methods are available? Is the therapist a clinical psychologist, or a licensed relationship counselor?
Unlike the other two services we’ve looked at, FMC can provide access to in-person couples counselors. This can be very helpful if you would prefer to discuss your challenges and get support face-to-face.
How much does couples therapy cost?
There’s a marked difference in costs between online and in-person therapy.
As a result, we’ve discussed the costs of each type of therapy separately.
Cost of online couples counseling
Online couples counseling services are often very cost-effective because they don’t need to pay for a range of different overhead costs, such as receptionists or individual offices.
On average, most online couples therapy sites can be accessed for about $80 per week, giving you access to relationship counseling from a licensed professional with a significant amount of counseling experience.
However, online therapy can be more expensive in some situations, because it’s not always covered by your health insurance.
Cost of in-person couples counseling
In-person couples counseling is often more expensive than online couples therapy.
You can expect to pay about $100-$150 per week for face-to-face therapy, including one session a week. Pricing varies from state to state, and also depends on the qualifications and experience of the therapist you choose.
How to get cheap couples counseling
There are a number of ways you can save money and get access to cheap couples counseling.
- Find a provider that offers sliding-scale pricing, based on what you can afford to pay. Therapists who offer flexible pricing are more common than you might think. Counselors that charge using this method will likely mention it on their website, but if you find a really great therapist who doesn’t mention this type of pricing structure, it doesn’t hurt to ask. You may be required to provide proof of income to get a reduced fee.
- Utilize online services, like ReGain, and their financial aid options. If you qualify for financial aid through ReGain, you can pay half price or even less for couples counseling. Talkspace also offers special discounts for students and those who cannot afford regular fees, through promo codes and coupons.
- Use a more basic, cheaper online counseling option, such as live chat support via Talkspace.
- Search for a counselor that is covered by your insurance provider, and then make a claim to reduce the amount you pay out of pocket.
Unfortunately, it can be quite challenging to get access to free couples counseling. These types of free services are seldom provided by licensed professionals – rather they are often supported by people with lived experiences, who may or may not have some basic training.
You might be able to get help with relationship issues through a local charity or community group, who may have partnerships with local mental health professionals. To explore this avenue, it’s a good idea to contact local organizations over the phone or in-person to see if they can help.
In-person vs. online couples therapy
Both face-to-face and online couples counseling have their pros and cons.
As far as in-person therapy is concerned, it brings direct interaction with your therapist. Your counselor can easily observe your facial expressions, sitting position, and implicit gestures in face-to-face sessions, which can make it easier to analyze the dynamic between a couple. Moreover, in-person therapy is recommended for severe mental illnesses, because it allows your counselor to provide immediate support.
On the other hand, online couples counseling is often more easily accessible, more affordable, and more convenient for some people than in-person therapy. You don’t have to travel physically to join a therapy session, as you only need a computer or smartphone to access online therapy. However, it can be a bit technically challenging to talk to a counselor over the internet, especially if you and your partner are seeking help at the same time.
Ultimately, you should choose the type of therapy that works best for you. If you can afford face-to-face support, and have the time to travel to a counselor’s office, then this option makes sense. However, if you think you would find it easier to open up over the internet, due to anxiety for example, then online therapy may be a better choice.
Types of couples therapy treatments
Couples counseling typically utilizes one or more of the following types of treatment.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT)
This type of therapy helps you identify and challenge negative thoughts and behaviors that can cause conflicts and misunderstandings.
By ensuring changes in behaviors, CBT develops acceptance and tolerance for one another in a relationship. It also helps in developing strong communication and compassion in a couple.
To overcome communication issues, emotionally-focused therapy encourages expression and discussion of your emotions.
Various emotionally-focused therapy techniques focus on the healthy sharing of emotions in a couple. For example, helping you to recognize when you may be bottling up emotions, and how to share your thoughts and feelings in a healthy manner.
Solution-focused therapy focuses on solutions rather than problems to resolve conflicts, encouraging you to use your strengths to ensure positive changes in a relationship.
For example, if you are living in a long-distance relationship, more conflicts may arise because you cannot see one another face-to-face on a regular basis. In solution-focused therapy, you might be encouraged to maintain good communication with your partner via regular video calls.
Gottman therapy is focused on the following three areas of a relationship:
- Emotional stability.
- Intimacy and your sexual relationship.
- Having a problem-solving attitude.
In Gottman therapy, you could be asked to build trust, positive behavior, and practical commitments with your partner. Both partners are encouraged to learn about each other’s world, share their dreams and life goals, and turn towards each other in times of conflict, rather than avoiding one another and making the situation worse.
Conflicts between couples can place a significant amount of stress on a relationship, affecting each partner’s life more broadly, and potentially leading to separation. Relationship counseling provides different techniques and methods for the successful resolution of these conflicts.
For online couples counseling, ReGain and Talkspace offer affordable, accessible support. For in-person therapy, the FMC directory lists licensed therapists available near to where you live, including counselors that offer sliding scale pricing.
If you’re still unsure how to find affordable relationship or marriage counseling, feel free to leave a comment below, and we’ll help out.
About the author
When people experience mental trauma or face severe stress, their lives can unravel. My job is to help begin the healing process. I help my patients improve their mental health, strengthen relationships with others, and begin to overcome past traumas. I practice a large range of psycho-behavioral therapies, and have more than three years’ experience in clinical psychology and counseling.
In my spare time, I’m also a professional writer who spreads awareness about mental health issues. I have written many articles on this topic over the years for numerous different publications.
My educational background includes an M.B.B.S from the University of Health and Sciences, Lahore, majoring in Behavioral Sciences, and a Bachelors from G.C University, Faisalabad.