I’ve never talked to anyone about my relationship problems. I’m used to handling things on my own. Isn’t couples counseling only for relationships on the brink of divorcing or breaking up?
Not at all. Every relationship has times when the tools and strengths that got you and your partner through previous problems don’t seem to be working as well anymore. Perhaps the current issues in your relationship feel overwhelming and are making it difficult to access the past strengths of your partnership. In our work together, I’ll help you identify what those strengths are and how to implement them within the current situation.
What’s the difference between talking to you versus my best friend or family?
The difference is between a loved one who can be a good listener for some situations, and a therapist who has the training and experience to provide active listening and consistent professional support that meets your needs.
While friends and family sometimes get burned out on supporting you with ongoing problems, your therapist can see you through weeks or months of a difficult situation while continuing to be a nonjudgmental advocate for your personal growth. Another reason to seek out a mental health professional is that they can help you approach your situation in a new way—teach you new skills, gain different perspectives, listen to you without judgment or expectations, and help you listen to yourself. And your therapist will focus entirely on you, unlike a friendship in which there is an expectation that you will reciprocate the support. Furthermore, therapy is completely confidential. You won’t have to worry about others “knowing your business.” Lastly, if you were to confide in a friend or family member about a situation that provokes a great deal of negative emotion, there is the risk that once you are feeling better you could feel compelled to avoid that person who now reminds you of a difficult time in your life. Instead, by working with a therapist, you will be able to eventually end the support relationship and move on without those painful reminders.
Do you take my insurance?
I accept self-pay clients only, as I do not bill insurance. There are therapeutic reasons for this, and I believe my clients benefit from the fact that I do not bill their insurance. Your therapy sessions would not be truly confidential if I were required to submit documentation of what we discussed. In addition, due to being free from the restrictions imposed by insurance regulations, I am able to tailor therapy to your needs, including the therapeutic timeline of how long we work together. However, you are welcome to request a “superbill” to submit to your insurance in the hope of being reimbursed for the cost of your visit. Be sure to ask your insurance company how much (if any) of the therapy cost will be reimbursed per session.
My partner and I are having problems. Should we be in individual counseling or come together?
If you are concerned about your relationship, and you would both like to work with me, I would initially work with both of you together. After this work, if one person in the relationship would like to continue in individual sessions, I could work with only one of you. Please note that it is not helpful to move from individual therapy into couples work with the same therapist because of potential trust issues.
How does couples therapy work? What do I have to do in sessions?
Because each couple has different issues and goals for therapy, therapy will be different depending on the needs of the relationship. I tailor my therapeutic approach to your specific needs. In general, I will be facilitating communication between you and your partner in order to resolve issues and move past old hurts into a new kind of intimate relationship. Your job is to come to the therapy session with an open mind and a willingness to learn new ways to interact with your partner.
How long will therapy take?
That depends on you and your individual situation. Everyone’s circumstances are unique to them, and the length of time therapy can take to allow you to accomplish your goals depends on your desire for personal development, your commitment, and the factors that are driving you to seek therapy in the first place.
I want to get the most out of therapy. What can I do to help?
I am so glad you are dedicated to getting the most out of your sessions. Your active participation and dedication is crucial to your success. After all, we only see each other for one session a week. It’s the work you do outside of our sessions that will really help you experience personal growth and transform your circumstances.