Why do people seek relationship counseling?
Contrary to popular belief, being in a long-term committed relationship can be extremely challenging, especially after the “honeymoon” period wears off (anytime between 6 months and 2 years).
When conflicts start to arise and differences emerge, most couples are at a loss regarding how to handle these stressors. Some people turn their loved one into their enemy and get into painful patterns of hostile fighting about all sorts of topics, never sure of what the real issue is. Often, even after couples make up, they still sense that nothing has actually been resolved.
Other couples don’t seem to fight, but they don’t really feel known to each other either. After the initial falling in love period, they no longer feel like they are sharing their life with a loved one, but with a stranger.
Conflict is inevitable! It’s normal. But it takes real skill to handle conflict without damaging the bond that couples share. Both hostile fighting, or complete conflict avoidance (being strangers) are unhealthy relationship patterns that must be changed.
My job is to help you handle conflict in a more productive way, and to identify the real issue underneath the topics you argue about so that you can get back to the strong bond you felt when you first met and fell in love. Most couples can’t do this on their own, which is why they seek my guidance.
Do You See Gay and Lesbian Clients?
Yes, of course! I have worked with many LGBT couples in my practice. Many of the challenges same sex couples face are the same issues that heterosexual relationships are plagued with.
However, therapists must be knowledgeable about issues specific to this population, such as the discrimination and harassment such couples may endure, as well as how accepting (or not) their family members have been of them and their relationship. Their sex lives may also look a little different than typical heterosexual relationships, so I am trained to be attuned to these differences and to be accepting of them.
Should My Partner Join Me?
If your partner is willing to come to relationship counseling, yes! Couples get into distinct relationship patterns that need to be interrupted. I listen to each of your experiences within your marriage to identify the shifts you each need to make.
What if My Partner Won’t Come?
That’s ok! I have worked with many clients on an individual basis and we are still able to get to the root of the issue so that significant changes can happen even if only one person is doing the work. Because couples get into repetitive cycles of conflict (or avoidance), if one person shifts their dynamic, often the whole relationship can change.
How Much is Couples Counseling?
My rates begin at $100 for a one hour session. I also do extended sessions for those that need more time. Please see my rates page for more information.
Do You Take Insurance?
I do not take insurance. Many of my clients prefer to pay out of pocket for my services, as opposed to simply choosing someone who happens to be in their network.
However, if you choose to use your insurance, it would be as an “out of network” provider. You would be responsible for my fee up front. Then I would provide you with a receipt of our sessions which you would submit to your insurance. The insurance company may be willing to reimburse a portion of my fees. You should get in touch with your insurance carrier in advance to go over your benefits.
There are So Many Choices Out There, Why Would I Choose You?
There are a lot of therapists out there and many of them are very good. It can be hard to choose the right fit for you, your partner, and your relationship. But with almost a decade of experience working with individuals and couples, with my ongoing commitment to providing excellent service by taking the most up-to-date and well-regarded couples trainings, along with the fact that I’ve also been a therapy client and marriage counseling client, I am uniquely qualified to help you strengthen your relationship, reduce conflict, heal from betrayal, communicate effectively, and much more.
I Had a Bad Therapy Experience. Why Should I Try Again?
Therapy is such an important component to having an amazing life and relationship, that you owe it to yourself to try again. Sometimes people just don’t click with a certain therapist. It’s important to make sure you choose someone well-trained in relationship issues, who makes you feel comfortable, but who is also directive about helping you see the issues in the relationship and guiding you to make the changes necessary to improve your marriage.
I offer a 30 minute complimentary phone call so that you can see if I can be helpful to you in whatever your marriage is struggling with.
What Will a First Session Be Like?
The first session is pretty laid back and is more informational than anything. I recommend a longer session for couples (90 minutes or even 2 hours) in order to get as much information as possible so that I can be helpful to you from the very first session.
In that timeframe, I will ask you both about your experience in the relationship, the things you would like to see change, your relationship history (how you met and how things progressed). By the end of the session you should come away with several goals to begin implementing right away to begin changing your relationship dynamic.
How Many Sessions Will it Take?
On average, 10-12 sessions is recommended on a semi-regular basis to begin to see major changes in the dynamic of the marriage. However, I’ve seen couples get what they needed out of therapy in as few as 3 sessions.
I have couples who come every week or two when they first start out, and then taper down to once a month or even once every few months when they start incorporating the changes on their own and meeting their goals.
Every couple and situation is different. If you are recovering from infidelity or another major betrayal, or if the resentment in your relationship has been building up for years, or if one or both members of the couple have past trauma, healing will typically take longer. However, it’s completely up to you how long and how often you are willing to come. I work with you to accommodate your schedule and budget as best I can.