At any point in your romantic relationship, you can be faced with a number of difficulties. Couples therapy can help when you’re feeling stuck. Maybe you can’t figure out a way to navigate communication, sex, or betrayal of trust. Or you’ve suffered from a serious blow like sex addiction or an affair, and you feel as though you’re on the brink of divorce or a breakup.
Some reasons you might consider couples counseling are:
- Problematic communication patterns: criticism, contempt, defensiveness or stonewalling
- Getting stuck in the same conflict over and over again
- Feeling like certain topics are off limits in your relationship
- Recovering from an affair or infidelity
- You’ve experienced sex or love addiction in your relationship
- Feeling like you’re growing apart
- Desire to strengthen the foundation of your relationship before marriage
- Triggers of past trauma are affecting your relationship
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you work with couples?
John Gottman has done 40 years of research on healthy relationships, and I use his concepts to emphasize strengths in your relationship and improve areas of weakness, such as conflict management skills. Rather than overemphasizing what’s wrong in your relationship, I encourage you to add to your arsenal of strengths. We target past experiences of trauma that influence how you connect, as well as your reactions in the present moment to your partner. My goal is to make my presence felt as little as possible as you adopt skills learned in therapy and translate them into your everyday life.
What should I expect when we start couples therapy?
I’ll meet with you during the first session to talk about the issues that led you to seek out couples counseling, as well as the history of your relationship. Next, I’ll meet with each of you individually to hear your personal perspective. Finally, we’ll collaboratively create a treatment plan using an assessment of your strengths and needs for improvement to focus on the areas you want to tackle first as a couple.
What will change as a result of couples therapy?
You will learn new tools for honest, kind, and direct communication. You’ll put into practice strategies to talk about issues such as money and sex in a way that leads to compromise and understanding. You’ll likely come to a greater understanding of yourself as an individual, even though it is not individual therapy. If you’re coming in due to betrayal of trust from sex addiction or affairs, the primary emphasis is re-establishing trust before leading into improving upon the relationship.
What is the cost of couples therapy?
The first session of couples therapy is $150, which includes a comprehensive Gottman Relationship Checkup assessment. Following couples sessions are $100 for a 55-minute session.
Why should I go to couples therapy instead of individual therapy?
Ask yourself: would some or all issues I’m dealing with be resolved if my spouse or partner would change? If you answer yes, then you’re likely to experience benefit from couples therapy. If you also have individual concerns, it may be helpful seek out individual therapy at the same time as couples therapy.
Can I work with you for both couples and individual therapy?
My policy is to work either with the couple or an individual to avoid an issue of bias and to aid in my focus to provide the most effective care. Throughout the course of marriage therapy, I may meet individually with one or both members of the couple on a certain issue, but if I perceive that there is a need for more comprehensive individual work, I will refer out to an individual therapist colleague that I know and trust.
If I were working with you individually and you desired a few couples sessions in order to implement the skills we’d been working on in individual therapy, I would gladly complete a few couples sessions. Similarly, however, if I sensed that there was a need for more intensive couples work, I would refer to a different couples therapist in order to maintain the best possible standard of care.
What is your “no secrets” policy?
I believe that in order for couples therapy to be effective, the focus needs to be on the healing of the couple. If one member of the couple were to share with me information that they desired to be kept secret from the other partner, that would undermine the work we do together. Therefore, I ask that all my clients agree that whatever is shared with the therapist is open for discussion in a couples session.
How long should I expect to be in couples therapy?
I recommend couples remain in weekly sessions for 8-10 weeks in order to begin to see improvement. At that point, we can re-evaluate your progress and see other issues that may have arisen during that time. With such issues as infidelity and sexual addiction, you can expect a longer process of healing due to the intensity of the betrayed trust.
Are you running into trouble communicating with your spouse or partner? Do you feel like the two of you are constantly getting stuck in arguments that never seem to reach resolution? Give me a call at 734.656.8191 or email me today to learn more about how I can help.