Yes, now more than ever, your insurance will cover couples therapy, and you should make good use of it.

Relationships can be hard even under the best of circumstances. But with the crisis of COVID-19, many couples are feeling hit from all directions. There is financial stress, parenting challenges, fear of the unknown, and few resources to recharge. For couples who must also navigate co-parenting or having a family member on the frontlines, it’s too much. Many of us are running a deficit on emotional (and physical) reserves. As stated in The New York Times, the coronavirus may turn out to be the ultimate stress test for couples.

It’s not that our relationships did not experience strife before COVID-19 – they did. But John Gottman’s research shows that historically couples are not quick to act. With the average couple waiting six and a half years from the onset of trouble to seek help. This delay in pursuing support is understandable. For many of us, couples therapy can feel indulgent when we are short on time and money. Hanging out with our feelings can seem like a luxury; one certainly not afforded to much of the world’s masses. It can be tempting to sink into what Brené Brown calls comparative suffering. 

Comparative suffering is when we feel the need to see our pain in light of other people’s pain. It predisposes us to say things like “at least I’m not starving like children in Africa” or “at least I have a job when so many others are unemployed.” At first glance, it might even seem to be a form of gratitude. But first glances can be deceiving; comparative suffering is more about denying our pain than it is practicing gratitude.

There’s an irony here – the more we lean into our feelings (the whole bloody mess of them) and give them validity, self-compassion, and room, the more we can extend empathy to those around us. We can’t blow air into a balloon when we are winded, and right now, we’re all winded. With COVID-19, we’re looking at a marathon, not a sprint. Given that, we should minister to our tender spots because if we don’t name what we feel, we can’t feel at all. We must ask – where do I hurt? Where does my relationship hurt? Listen to our hearts and speak.

If you are concerned about whether or not your insurance pays for couples therapy, don’t be. Right now, for in-network plans there are no copays, deductibles, or costs associated with medical or mental health services related to the stress of COVID-19. If your marriage is strained or in crisis due to the myriad of challenges quarantine and the coronavirus present, you’re covered. Furthermore, insurance is now covering telehealth, which means you can see a couples therapist for online couples therapy from the safety and comfort of your own home.

Making time for therapy now will keep your heads above water for years to come. At NCCT, we are committed to offering a multitude of affordable and no-cost resources to uphold you and your family during the crisis of COVID-19. From weekly online couples therapy covered by insurance to private online intensives and live streaming on our Facebook page, we’re in this together.

Take good care of your hearts,

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