Brief Marriage Counseling

In 1992, Managed Care insurance companies forced counselors to learn to resolve issues briefly by limiting the number of sessions to five. Many of the best therapists quit because those companies were paying therapists with doctoral degrees the same as those with masters–$60 a session. Most of those that quit had been making $125 and could not compete with those now charging $60. Clients did not recognize the difference in quality, thinking that all counselors were about the same. That misconception still exists today. Since then those health insurance companies have relaxed their requirements and will allow an unlimited number of sessions. They learned quickly that they could make more money by allowing more sessions or unlimited sessions.

I had just begun private practice in 1992. The challenge was easy to accept because I didn’t know any better. Having just begun, I had no clients and saw Managed Care as a way of getting some. Even $60 was expensive for many people and I was in favor of clients not paying anymore than necessary. So I gladly accepted the challenge and learned how to resolve issues in five sessions. I made a game of it like “Name that Tune” and got to where I could tell the clerks in the insurance company that “I can name that tune in one session.”

From that point I began striving to resolve marriage problems in less sessions, but it was very difficult. In one article I describe my history of barriers to learning a brief method of marriage counseling. Today, I’m giving you the short version. It has taken me 33 years to learn a brief method of marriage counseling in just six sessions. Learning these six skills can save clients from months to years of traditional counseling. Learn more on our website