Couples therapy can be be the ticket to fewer fights, more trust, and increased love in your marriage. Therapy has helped thousands of couples around the world to fix their marriages. Whether you want to get rid of small negative patterns of interaction such as bickering, or you and your spouse are teetering on the brink of divorce, therapy will likely be able to help you. And the sooner you address your marriage problems, the easier it will be to fix them.
At the same time, couples therapy can be daunting. Where do you start looking? What kind of therapy is right for you? How much will it cost? And, the most important question, will it work?
Let’s break down your options in three key areas: quality of care, affordability, and privacy.
Option #1: In-person counseling
Option #2: Online (remote) live counseling
Option #3: Marriage retreat or workshop
Option #4: Power of Two
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If you’re looking for marriage counseling, how can you know if the therapist you choose has any real skills or expertise in couples therapy?
In person counseling: Look for titles such as LCSW, MFT, Ph.D, MD and Psy.D next to someone’s title. While each of these certifications are different, they let you know that this individual has received proper training and accreditation to be a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist. Marriage retreats or group sessions that are designed or run by accredited individuals are also a good bet. Check out reviews from previous clients or participants as well to get a sense of how other couples have benefited from these services.
At the same time, credentials aren’t everything. Sadly, there are some bad apples out there. Also, there are many different approaches to couples therapy and each couple may find that a different approach works best for them. Read our guide to picking a good couples counselor to make sure that your therapist’s methods are working. And if one counselor or program isn’t working for you, don’t hesitate to move on until you find the right fit that helps your marriage.
Online counseling: Unfortunately the internet is a bit more of a Wild West. There are lots of “relationship experts” out there who have flashy marketing but no training. Taking these courses can actually end up making your marriage worse. Same goes for marriage retreats of workshops. Be careful and look for accreditation or scientific proof that their methods work.
Power of Two Online: This is the real deal. The Power of Two program is based on the book and workbook by Harvard educated and world-renowned author, family clinical psychologist Dr. Susan Heitler. Dr. Heitler is commonly quoted by national media including CBS Morning Show and Fox News, and by magazines like Men’s Health, Cosmopolitan, and Psychology Today. Her books are often used in universities around the world to teach therapists how to do quality couples therapy. In addition, the Power of Two program has undergone rigorous scientific study that has proven it to be just as effective as the most respected in-person education.
We can’t deny it: couples counseling can be expensive. In-person therapists can charge between $120 to $300 per session. While these services may well be worth the price, regular sessions at these rates are beyond many couple’s budgets. Luckily, you have several other options for couples therapy.
Remote relationship counseling options (over the phone or video chat) cost at least $2/min, which is $120/hour. This can be just as expensive as in-person counseling. This option works well for some couples who have the money but travel a lot or don’t want to drive to a therapist’s office. Still, that money can add up.
Marriage retreats, too, can be quite pricey, although it’s only a one-time commitment. However, while the workshop may be enlightening, the lessons you learn there will likely fade over time without continuous learning and application.
Power of Two Online: Power of Two Online is a different kind of online marriage counseling. It’s a do-it-yourself course where all the core marriage skills you need are taught through engaging short videos, worksheets, and interactive exercises. At the same time, each member is paired with a real, live relationship coach. Your coach is there to listen to your specific needs, customize the program for you, and answer your questions by email. It’s the best of both worlds, and for a fraction of the price.
Couples counseling is a deeply personal matter. For some couples, concerns over privacy can be what discourages them from seeking out counseling in the first place. Remember, everyone, and seriously, everyone, has problems in relationships. Secondly, no one expects you to solve all your problems on your own. Going to couples therapy means that you have dedication, love, and respect for your marriage and want it to be the best it can be.
At the same time, Power of Two recognizes that you don’t necessarily want to share your private life with everyone else. Online couples therapy is discreet. With an online program you don’t have to sit in a counselor’s waiting room with other patients, you’re not going to accidentally run into someone you know at the doctor’s office, and you don’t have to talk about your marriage with total strangers as you do with in-person, remote, or group counseling sessions.