Why Longer Couples Sessions?

Why Longer Couples Sessions?

Insurance companies in the USA reimburse therapists for 50-minute individual sessions.

Most therapists bill their sessions in this way, and practice within that time span. But couples sessions require a longer period of time.

"Evidenced-based" couples sessions devoted to science-based couples therapy is not based upon a "50-minute hour." The standard for those practicing in this way is one hour-20 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes.

Look below to see how long each session lasts, and contact us directly to learn how much each clinician charges.

Services Provided

Time Allotted

Initial Assessment Meeting (both of you)
2 hours
Individual Diagnostic Sessions
45-50 minutes
Feedback Session
1 hour 20 minutes
Ongoing Couples Therapy
1 hour 20 minutes
Individual Therapy
(when in ongoing couples therapy)
45-50 minutes
Shorter Sessions
(optional, later in treatment)
45-50 minutes
Get Acquainted Meetings (no charge)
15-20 minutes

Will these couples sessions be accepted for insurance coverage?

90847 (couples or family therapy with the client present) are 50-minutes each and require that one partner be given a diagnostic label. Therefore while technically both partners can be in the room, one of the partners, who has been given a psychiatric diagnosis, is the center of treatment.

Prolonged Service codes (99357) has been used as an add-on code (30-74 minutes) but they were never intended as "couples therapy." Z-codes, (Z00–Z99) are diagnosis codes used for situations where patients don’t have a known disorder, and few insurance companies reimburse for any couples sessions that are without a mental illness

For additional information about proper length of sessions and the issues around insurance reimbursement see: Will My Insurance Pay for Marriage Counseling?