Family and Marriage Therapy Programs don’t come cheap. If you are looking for a low-cost alternative to expensive marriage therapy from a private professional, you may want to look to see if any colleges or universities in your area offer family and marriage therapy programs.
Therapy can be very expensive when you are paying anywhere from $80 to $150 per hour for a licensed clinician. Many couples don’t have an extra several hundred dollars a month in their budget to cover that type of expense, no matter how much they need the help. Family and marriage therapy programs offered by colleges and universities are usually much less expensive and thus much more affordable.
These programs provide valuable services to people in many ways. Not only do they conduct ongoing research on important topics, they also provide supervised student training. The therapy or counseling services offered by these family and marriage therapy programs typically utilize graduate students who are getting a degree in clinical psychology, general counseling, clinical social work or marriage and family counseling.
The students are not yet licensed but are providing therapy in order to gain clinical experience which is required by most, if not all, graduate programs. They work under the supervision of a licensed counselor, therapist, psychologist or social worker. As they work with you as a client, they discuss your progress and any concerns or questions they have with their supervisor. This both protects you as a client and also ensures that you are getting quality therapy.
Some family and marriage therapy programs may require that you fall within a particular household income range in order to qualify. They also are usually only available to you if you do not have any type of health insurance which covers outpatient mental health services. In some programs, there may be no fee at all, but many do require a fee for services. Part of the reason for this is because people are generally more committed to and invested in the counseling or therapy process if there is a cost to them. When services are free they are often devalued by the client.
Many families and marriage therapy programs have a facility that is separate from the college or university. But others offer the services right there on the campus. Confidentiality is required just as it is with any other type of mental health or medical care.
If you are reluctant to get help through one of these family and marriage therapy programs because you don’t think a student-in-training can help you, you may be shortchanging yourself out of a very valuable service. Graduate students are not only eager to learn, they are not yet burned out by the profession like some seasoned clinicians who have been doing therapy for years. Also, many graduate students are often very aware of and informed about the most recent advances in treatment for a variety of disorders, which may be to your advantage.
Family and marriage therapy programs are definitely worth making a call to see if there is a program in your area and if you qualify. You will never know unless you try, and if your marriage is in crisis, isn’t it better to thoroughly check out all your options rather than just discount them? If you qualify, at least give it a chance. You may be surprised at how much benefit you may get out of it. See if this will help.