How do/did you logistically see a marriage counselor?

Hi - I feel like it might be in me and my husband's best interest to see a marriage counselor, at least for a few times. My question, however, is how do people logistically do this?? We both work full time and have two little kids. Do people see counselors at night?  If so, do you just suck it up and pay a baby sitter each time I guess... I don't know how much a therapist is, but I'm guessing we're talking several hundred dollars a session then (when you factor in the baby sitter)?  (And that would then more or less come at the expense of us being able to go out to do something fun another night, which doesn't seem in our best interest either, but I guess it is what it is)? Also if someone has done this, do you have any specific recommendations for marriage counselors in Oakland or Berkeley that see people in the evening?

Otherwise, we work nearby each other in the same city, but to try to go, say, during a "lunch" hour would seem weird to go and potentially have some emotional discussion and then both of us go back to work.  Right?  Or am I overthinking that? 

Any tips or simply an example of what you have done in the past would be helpful.

Thank you.

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Couples definitely see marriage counselors in the evening - I think most marriage counselors have evening hours for exactly that reason.  And I agree with you about the lunch hour thing. I tend to get really teary in any emotional conversation, and would not want to go back to work looking like I've been crying, even if I'm otherwise OK.  Also, I've seen at least one counselor who seemed to make a point of doing happy chit-chat for 45 min and saving the confrontational stuff for the last 10 min., so that I always left his office a mess.  If you do end up with a lunch hour session, you should tell the therapist your concern.  He or she might be able to help alleviate that.  

Another idea - I don't know how flexible your jobs are, but maybe you could see a counselor in the late afternoon - take your "lunch" hour then or just leave work early-  so that you get home around the same time you normally do and don't have to spend extra on child care.   

Yes, it is an expensive drag, but what can you do. Book the babysitter for Wednesday nights (or whatever) for three months straight, go to therapy and then out to dinner or for a long walk together, to debrief and re-center yourselves before rejoining the kids. And if they're already asleep when you get back home, so much the better. If you end up ending therapy sooner, keep the babysitter time as your date night to get away.

A couple of ideas. 

How about do a trade childcare with another family? Maybe someone from the same school to make logistics easier. 

Or try having formal meetings once a week instead of seeing a counselor. Sometimes it is easier to talk when you are not worried about money. Just put the kids in front of the tv, or wait until they are asleep, then sit down and talk over one or two issues. This can be more effective than counseling. 

Couples with small kids often opt for therapy during the day when their kids are in school, and yes that usually means the lunch hour. It can be hard sometimes to go back to work afterward, but no harder than going back home to young kids (and missing your weekly date). It's also much easier if you and your partner, in collaboration with your therapist, can agree to let go of whatever might have been stirred up by the session, either until you have the time and commitment to talk about it in a structured way later in the week, or just leave it until the next session. 

We see a counselor in the morning, after dropping kids off at school. It makes us both slightly "late" for work, but within reason. And it is totally worth it. If your work hours start earlier or are more rigid than mine, I'd suggest clearing it with your manager. You don't have to tell them what it's for; just that you have an appointment every Tuesday morning (or whatever), and you'll make up the work time.

If morning doesn't work, I'd do lunchtime in the City. You could walk around the block together afterwards to decompress? Or even walking by yourself might help. But you won't be rushing home for the babysitter, and you won't be adding to the already expensive undertaking by paying additional childcare.

When I've needed to see a counselor I would often take their last appointment during business hours and leave work a little early, just like a doctor appointment.  That's worked well for me and if things are really busy at work, I'll just take my lunch at my desk so leaving early won't be an issue.  Not sure how flexible work is for you and your husband but that allows us to not have to book a babysitter or return to work when emotions are high.

I just go during the day, at lunch, and suck it up. Yes, it's difficult, but it's unaffordable otherwise. I don't know where people get the money. If I could afford stuff like that I prob wouldn't need counseling. 

I haven't had this exact situation, but I think I've had similar enough experiences that can apply. Evening or weekend hours would be helpful (especially if you can pair it with babysitters or playdates or relatives helping out). If that's not possible, treat it like medical appointments- I've had regular, recurrent appointments for physical therapy and fertility issues, and have had friends with weekly psychotherapy appointments. Your workplace might let you take paid time off in small increments (like 2-hour blocks) for a limited time of weekly or bi-weekly appointments. If you can get it at the end of the day, great. If not, try to get it right before "lunch" so you have recovery time if needed. Also, ask the therapist. I'm sure you're not the first couple to come up against this, so they may have suggestions on what has worked for others

If you get any suggestions of counselors in the Berkeley/Oakland area, please share. 

It can be expensive in both money and time, but it's worth it.  Do whatever you can!  Many counselors meet with couples on the weekends.