Will your insurance let you get the best help?

prescription drugs © Russell Shively | Dreamstime.com

If you go to a psychiatrist, the odds are small that you will get anything more than some prescriptions. According to a 2005 survey, 89% of psychiatrists do nothing but prescribe medications. Is this because drugs are so great that they can fix just about anything with ease? Sadly, this is not the case. For some drugs are the only hope, and for some they are the best option, but for many drugs are neither the only nor the best choice – especially for the long-term. So why are psychiatrists limiting their practice to dispensing drugs? Because it’s the only thing insurance companies will pay for.

My point here is not about psychiatry. I have often had my plea for a couple to get help put off with “Our insurance won’t cover it.” A marriage is dying, and taking the kids with it, and a couple can’t get help because their insurance won’t cover it? REALLY?!

Yes, this is horribly short-sighted of the insurance companies. The cost of divorce in both physical and mental problems, for husband, wife, and children, is massive, and an insurance company would save money by covering counselling that could save the marriage. However, that’s not my point either.

My point is this: your marriage is vital and precious, and if you value it half as much as you should, you will find a way to get the help needed to stay married. You will also find a way to get the help you need to have a better marriage. “My insurance won’t cover it” is a cop-out. There are plenty of marriage resources out there that are free, low-cost, or provided on a sliding scale. If you can’t find what you need that way, then figure out how to cut back so you have the money needed to get help. Trust me, it will cost you far less than a divorce will cost, and you will be far better off.

By the way, your pastor may or may not be a great starting place for marriage help. Not all pastors are trained for this, and not all are good at it; however, some are fantastic, and most will know someone who is if they are not.

This rant a result of the NYT story Talk Doesn’t Pay, So Psychiatry Turns Instead to Drug Therapy

Image Credit: © Russell Shively | Dreamstime.com


Links to blog posts that stood out to me this last week:


New blog this week: the official Divorce Busting blog. I’ve been impressed by the good stuff I have read here. If you marriage has problems, this is a great resource. If your marriage is running well, it’s still a good resource!


Better Husbands and Fathers

Be a Better Husband and Father by NOT Buying the iPad 2: Good thoughts here. Everything we buy costs us time and money – and we don’t always have either to spare.

Black and Married with Kids

“Help” Versus “Doing Your Fair Share”: Another dead on post from Tara. Do you think you are doing your bride a favour when you do your fair share?

Divorce Busting blog

How to Make Your Spouse Want to Change: No, this is not the secret to getting what you want – but it is a powerful way to motive your bride when she seems unwilling to work on your marriage.
How Long Does it Take to Save or Improve Your Marriage?: Hint – it takes time and consistency.

Engaged Marriage

74 Simple Things You Can Do to Brighten Your Spouse’s Day: Great list – I suggest you print this out and check it regularly.

God Centered Marriage

Yup, that’s a lie..: “Nothing” may be the most common lie in marriages. Are you guilty?

Journey to Surrender

We Become What We Behold – Choose the Good Stuff: The title alone is helpful, but read the post.

Marriage Gems

The Formula for Unhappiness is Revealed: U = I – R: This is a brilliant post that you can apply to your marriage and just about anything else.
8 Ways to Spring Clean Your Life & Relationship: Good list here – grab your bride and read over it.

One Flesh Marriage

Hugging The Porcelain Bowl: Some thoughts on the “in sickness” part of marriage.
To Friend or Not To Friend… and You Have A Friend Request . . .: Great thoughts on the power and danger of social media.

Romantic Act of the Day

The Romance of Olden Times: A great idea!
A Love Note Mailbox: The nice thing about this is that it also serves as a reminder for you.
Give Her the Day: When did you last give your wife a day?
Laying Down Your Life: An inspired title for a post on shopping with your bride!

The Romantic Vineyard

10 Hindrances To Romance #9 – Busyness: Glad I made the time to read this one!

2 Comments on “Will your insurance let you get the best help?

  1. As a mental health professional, I would like to comment on a couple of things: First, the particular article you cite was, I thought, rather falsely over-emphasizing the “either-or” of therapy vs. medication management, and was grinding axes for a particular subset of old-school psychiatrists who feel that they “can’t” practice in the way they want to.
    Psychiatry over the past couple of decades has come to emphasize more medical management of serious, brain-based, mental illness, and not so much counselling of interpersonal and life problems. That said, many, if not most, insurances WILL reimburse individual therapy (counselling), usually done by a social worker or psychologist. Marriage/family therapy is like this, but sometimes may not be covered by a specific plan. Even if not covered, it still may be a worthwhile investment in the relationship.

  2. @quercus – I was hoping someone who knew from the inside would chime in. (I was attacking insurance companies, not any processionals. )

    The article I referenced did mention that psychiatrists do point folks to others for therapy – those trained for that, but not for prescribing drugs. On the one hand I see the importance of this from a cost standpoint, but if the psychiatrist and therapists don’t interact, I don’t know that the patient is getting the best treatment.

    I know there are those in the medical industry who want to move to a system where doctors diagnose, and pharmacists prescribe. Maybe that could work in the mental health field – maybe not.

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