1. Does talking about problems really help?
If all that happens in a session is talking about your problems, that is not likely to be helpful. I will actively work with you to define goals and start making changes to improve your life and/or repair your relationship.
2. Do you work with individuals, unmarried couples, and same-sex couples?
Yes. About half of my practice is with individuals struggling with depression, low self-esteem, or relationship issues.
3. I love my spouse, but I’m not in love anymore. Can marriage counseling help?
Most couples I see still have plenty of love between them, but they have spent years arguing about the same things and this has drained the energy from the relationship. Working through power struggles with professional help, so that both people feel deeply understood and respected, can create a sense of real partnership and restore passion to your relationship. I believe that love doesn’t end; it becomes blocked by misunderstanding, frustration and disappointment.
It is important not to expect a long-term, committed relationship to feel as exhilarating as a new romance or an affair. Mature love can be very passionate and satisfying, but only in a new relationship do our brains secrete the hormone which is responsible for the “in-love” feeling.
4. How long will we have to come?
That depends on several factors, including:
– How long the problems have gone on.
– How damaging the conflict has been.
– How emotionally mature each person is.
– How much trust you have in each other.
After a few visits I will be able to give you an idea of how long it may take to repair your relationship.
5. We need marriage counseling but my spouse won’t come. Should I come alone?
You can affect the relationship, even if your spouse doesn’t come to sessions with you. Think of marriage like a dance: if one of you changes the “steps,” the dance will change. You might try asking your partner to attend one or two sessions with you to see whether or not counseling will be beneficial to both of you.
6. What kind of therapy do you do?
I use a variety of techniques, drawn largely from Emotionally Focused Therapy, the Gottman Method, and Cognitive-Behavioral models. I often suggest homework exercises for you to complete between sessions.
7. How much do you charge?
My fee is $150 per session.
8. My spouse cheated on me and I don’t think I can ever forgive him. Why bother with marriage counseling?
Most couples are able to endure the crisis of infidelity and repair the marriage.
If you have children, they will benefit from your attempt to restore trust, even if the marriage eventually ends.
9. Can’t we just read a self-help book?
There are many good books on improving marriage and I often recommend them to the couples I see. In my experience, reading about solutions isn’t enough to effect lasting change.
10. Will my insurance pay for marriage counseling?
In order for you to receive benefits, I must provide your insurance company with a mental health diagnosis. Some insurance providers require very detailed information about you which may compromise your privacy. To determine what they will pay, contact your insurance company directly and ask them what your outpatient mental health benefits are, and whether you have out of network coverage. Contact me if you would like help finding out what your insurance will pay.
11. Do you have Saturday or evening appointments?
I occasionally see established clients on Saturdays, and my evening hours are limited. I do offer early morning and lunch hour appointments.
12. Do most of the couples you see stay together?
Yes, although many couples wait until it is too late to repair the marriage. If you’re considering marriage counseling, I urge you to get started today.