1. What are the benefits of marriage (couples) counseling?
It is natural to wonder what the benefits are to marriage counseling. Couples enter into counseling for different reasons.
- Some couples are just starting out and would like to discover their strength areas as well as talk about some concerns or areas that are challenging for them.
- Some couples have hit several speed bumps along the way and can’t seem to talk about their feelings or challenges without the conversation getting heated.
- Some couples are just very stuck and feel isolated and alone.
In all three of these areas the benefits of marriage (couples) counseling can be similar.
Marriage counseling provides a safe place to discuss current issues and learn to open the lines of communication in an effective, non-judgmental way.
Marriage counseling can:
- Foster a place of understanding
- Create healing
- Re-connect a lost relationship
2. How much does counseling cost?
Counseling costs can vary greatly. I believe in making therapy affordable for everyone.
I do not take insurance. However, some insurance companies will reimburse you for a portion of the fee as an “out of network provider.” I am happy to provide you with a receipt that you may submit to your insurance company. Please contact me to inquire about my fee.
3. How often or how long do we need to come to marriage (couples) counseling?
The answer to this question solely depends on the needs of the couple. Some couples receive very positive benefits from just a few sessions. Most couple comes to therapy weekly from 3 months up to 12 months or longer. Some couples come in weekly, others every other week and others monthly.
The first session is designed to discuss what will work best for you.
- We look at your current concerns
- Discuss your goals
- Answer questions
Depending on your current situation, I usually recommend coming in weekly for a 90-minute session for the first month. At the end of the first month we will talk about how you are both feeling, look at the progress and determine if it is appropriate to move to a different schedule.
Communication is key. I will often ask how you are feeling about the work we are doing. I invite any feedback you or your partner may have before or after any session.
4. What if one of us doesn’t believe in counseling or is reluctant to come?
It is normal to have some degree of reluctance when thinking about inviting a third party into your personal business. Some individuals simply do not feel comfortable sharing their feelings with a therapist. I completely understand.
It is fairly easy to go to the doctor if your leg is fractured and have them cast it and send you home to heal. If it is your relationship that is fractured and in need of casting, then why should you treat it any differently? It can be challenging trying to move toward healing, if you skip the cast. In other words, therapy is like a cast. Its sole purpose is to provide a safe and comfortable place to discover hurts, discuss your relationship struggles and learn how to be a better partner. The goal is to create a happier, more fulfilled relationship with those who are important to you.
There are two ways we can address reluctance:
- I can see only one person in individual therapy. Often times seeing one partner and helping them discover and learn things about themselves can create a shift in the relationship. However, it is not a substitute for couples therapy and may not change certain relationship patterns.
- I can talk with one/both of you on the phone prior to scheduling any sessions to answer any questions you may have. Sometimes looking beyond your comfort zone allows you to welcome the positive change you really desire. In many cases, individuals get over their reluctance very quickly and are often the ones who find counseling (therapy) beneficially as they start to see a positive shift in their relationship. My approach creates a sense of safety and encourages you to open up and disclose vulnerable feelings.
5. How do I choose a marriage counselor?
Choosing the right counselor or therapist can be extremely overwhelming and/or intimidating. The success of your experience in couples counseling will relate directly to your compatibility with your therapist. It is important to feel comfortable and trust the person you are working with. I recommend calling and asking a few questions about their experience and therapeutic methods. Most importantly, trust your feelings. It needs to “feel right” for you!
6. When are you available (weekends, evenings)?
I work on Monday, Tuesday and Friday. I am available from 8am until 8:30pm on those days. I am also available on weekends in an emergency situation.
7. What is Premarital or Premarriage Counseling?
Premarital counseling gives you the opportunity to learn about creating a lasting marriage. Many of us have not taken a course on how to have a successful marriage. We often do not spend a lot of time preparing for marriage. Premarital counseling will teach you, what research has shown, to predict divorce and how you can avoid it. Start preparing for your marriage today.
8. What is the Premarital counseling “investment package?”
Please feel free to call if you have other questions that were not addressed above.
These are just a few of the frequently asked questions.