I get it…paying for counseling is a big commitment, and can often be a hindrance for those seeking it out. Even though I’m in the counselor’s chair now, I still pay for my own counseling. So I can empathize with you.
I have had the same questions about the cost of counseling as you have had. And at one point, I put this question to my counselor (basically, how do you convince someone that paying for the cost of counseling is a good investment). He responded to me with something like this:
“Rhett, if I told you that you could pay $3,000 (that would have been about a 30 sessions at the time)…a dollar amount that most people don’t think twice about spending in clothes or trips or entertainment over that same period of time…but this $3,000 would change your life and marriage in a positive way…would that be worth it to you?”
“Of course it would be worth it!” I said.
You see, we spend all kinds of money on things. Things that we need, things that we don’t need, things that we want. How we spend our money says something about what is important to us because we have spent a lot of time and exerted a lot of hard work to get that money.
So if someone says to me, “I can’t afford marriage counseling,” yet I know they don’t think twice about buying the newest iPad, hipster jeans, weekend trip, or nice dinner out on the town — then I may wonder how important their marriage is to them, or how important it is for them to work on their issues. Maybe it’s not that important after all.
It’s not unusual for a couple to come to counseling and the husband tell me that they can’t afford counseling, yet he just bought a new boat. Something doesn’t add up here.
A few years ago I saw a counselor a little over a 100 times in less than a two year period. It was not only a huge commitment of time and energy, but a very big financial commitment as well. But I can easily say that that counseling was the catalyst that helped me grow the most that I have ever grown in my life. I didn’t know that going in, and so there was a risk there, not knowing if the financial investment was going to translate into the change I wanted. But I knew that getting into counseling was more important than spending that money on other things.
You see, people spend money on what is important to them, so if counseling is important, they will find the money, save the money, set the money aside, etc.
You can find counselors ranging from $20 to $300 and up. So there is some counselor that will fit into the price that you can afford.
So let me ask you the same question my therapist asked me, but with a different dollar amount:
“If I told you that a $1,000 worth of counseling (7-10 sessions) would change your life, your marriage, your family, and help you work through some personal issues, would that be worth your investment?”
If you need counseling, don’t put it off. There is always a way that it can be paid for. There are counselors who use sliding scale fees based on one’s income. There are those who take insurance. There are those who do some pro-bono work as well. Or maybe you have to put eating out off for a few months. Or postpone that trip to the beach. Or maybe you really don’t need the newest technological gadget, big screen tv, boat or car.
If finding counseling is worth it to you, you will find a way to make it happen.
Was the money you spent to see a counselor worth the financial investment you made? Why or why not?
If you couldn’t originally afford counseling, what did you do to save money for it?