Marriage Therapy & Insurance

Many couples contact me believing that their insurance will cover their therapy sessions. They may have been told as much by their insurance company. The real answer is, “maybe.”

Most behavioral health insurance plans only pay for the treatment of a mental health diagnosis. That diagnosis can then be treated through individual and/or family therapy (couples therapy), which the insurance will pay for.

Couples often seek help for relationship problems which may or may not involve mental health issues. Many relationship problems are simply due to the normal challenges of life and are not caused by a diagnosable mental illness.

If there is no mental illness to be diagnosed and treated, that’s good news! The “bad” news is that insurance won’t pay for your marriage therapy.

It is important to know what type of plan you have and exactly what it will pay for. Just because couples therapy is “covered” does not necessarily mean that you and/or your partner have a diagnosable, mental health condition that needs treatment.

There are some insurance plans and Employee Assistance Programs (EAPs) that will pay for a limited number of marriage therapy (or family therapy) sessions.

Since standard marriage therapy is typically not covered by insurance, I offer sliding scale fees to help make therapy affordable for my clients. Contact me for more information.

Hot Potato!

Unpleasant emotions are like the game “hot potato.” In our desire to get rid of them, we often try to hand them off to someone else. Anxiety in particular gets tossed around between people. It generally takes the form of, “I don’t like the way I feel, so you better fix it by changing who you are.” This usually does not end well.

Granted, there are times when a valid complaint is in order. If someone is standing on my foot, it is reasonable to ask them to move. However, there are many feelings we need to deal with on our own. It is a sign of maturity to be able to manage one’s emotions. The immature person constantly expects others to change in order to be soothed.

Of course, people need to be able to sooth and console each other. Nevertheless, becoming dependent on others for soothing is not what grown-ups do. Take responsibility by learning to manage your own emotions. It will make you a better person and partner.