The cost of marriage counseling depends on a number of factors, including the experience and credentials of the counselor, the geographic area in which the couple seeks counseling, and whether the counseling is subsidized by private or government funds. In many cases, the level of education achieved by the counselor and his degree of experience will have a significant bearing on his professional fee. Additionally, the cost of therapy in a particular area is often affected by the local economy. Marriage counseling costs may also be affected by the mode of counseling offered, with group counseling often costing less than private sessions.
Marriage counseling is offered by people of differing professional backgrounds. While many have mental health credentials and are licensed as counselors, psychologists, or clinical social workers, some people also rely on clergy or other religious leaders for couple's counseling. In many cases, the cost of marriage counseling through a clergy member may be very low or even free, as the clergy member is expected to provide counseling as part of his job and is typically paid a salary by his church. In other cases, the counseling may be performed by a licensed mental health professional who has completed a significant amount of post-graduate education. Counselors who have more education, such as those with doctoral degrees, may be able to command higher fees than master's-level counselors.
Some therapists offer group counseling services. The cost of attending group counseling is often less than that of private counseling, because the group members each bear a share of the cost of the therapist's fees and the cost of the meeting room. Other options that can reduce the cost of marriage counseling include obtaining counseling through student clinics, in which graduate students, under the supervision of licensed therapists, can provide marriage counseling at significantly reduced fees.
In some areas, counseling and mental health centers may offer marital therapy at lower costs because the centers themselves are subsidized by taxes or grants. These community counseling centers often have a sliding fee scale, making the cost of marriage counseling affordable for people of even modest incomes or those who do not have health insurance. The cost of living in a geographical area will also affect the cost of marriage counseling, as therapists will typically adjust their rates according to the average wages in the area as well as the costs of doing business, such as renting office space or hiring an assistant.