No Counseling Is More Costly
Guest Author, Anne Kass, - a retired District Judge of Albuquerque, New Mexico
GET COUNSELING!!! This is the most frequent solution judges in divorce court suggest to divorcing couples. Marriage counseling, divorce counseling, anger management counseling, parenting skills counseling, problem-solving skills counseling, communication counseling, grief counseling. The list is long.
The most frequent response is, "I can't afford to do that."
Unfortunately, the most important question, one that is seldom asked or answered, is: What will it cost not to get counseling?
I think the main reason this question is seldom considered is because it is so difficult to analyze what the cost may be not to do something. Straight forward arithmetic will determine what the cost of doing it will be!
Counseling costs $50 to $150 per hour. NOT to go to counseling appears to be free. However, not going to counseling often means that whatever problem the family is having will become more severe. Indeed, not getting counseling is almost always far more expensive in the long run because of the general rule: Nothing stays the same. It will either get better, or it will get worse. Problems between or among family members that are not addressed will get worse one hundred percent of the time.
Not getting marriage counseling can lead to divorce. Divorce is expensive, both immediately when lawyers must be paid and over time as two households must be maintained.
Not getting divorce counseling or problem-solving counseling can lead to the divorce dragging on and on. Obviously the longer one needs the services of lawyers, the greater the cost.
Not getting anger-management counseling can lead to domestic violence, which can lead to criminal charges for which an expensive criminal defense lawyer will need to be hired.
Not getting parenting skills counseling can lead to conflicts with children which then can lead to delinquency problems, also making it necessary to hire expensive lawyers.
Of course, paying lawyers is only the tip of the cost-iceberg. The long-term consequences of not attending to family relationships also include terrible emotional and societal costs. Children can drop out of school or run away. Adults can try to distract themselves from the discomfort of a damaged relationship by using drugs or alcohol. So can children. Parents can treat one another disrespectfully and in the process teach their children to do the same.
There is no question that taking positive and resolute action to address a family problem requires families to spend money, but NOT taking action often costs even more, later.
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