• Couples Counseling FAQs

    If you haven’t done couples counseling before, you might have questions, or feel nervous. That makes perfect sense! Below are answers to questions people frequently ask about couples counseling.

    Can we use insurance to cover our counseling?

    I do not accept insurance for couples counseling.

    You may want to read: 15 Reasons You Should Pay Me Cash to Do Your Couples Counseling


    How much does couple counseling cost?

    The first session is $275, and all subsequent sessions are $200. Fees change occasionally, and I will guarantee you three months of counseling at whatever rate is on the fee agreement you sign when you become my client.

    Will you work with any couple that wants to work with you?

    In order to work with me, a couple has to:

    • be highly motivated and willing to do whatever it takes to fix their relationship. My weekly hour of counseling isn’t nearly as important as your time between sessions where you work on the stuff I’m teaching you. If you can’t or don’t do that work, I can’t help you.
    • both want to do counseling. I don’t and can’t convince anyone.
    • be willing to trust me and let me do my job
    • be on time for sessions ready to work, and be at all or nearly all scheduled sessions
    • pay my fee consistently and on time, which will allow us to keep the work the main focus

    How does counseling work?

    My approach is very teaching-based. Every week you will be learning what doesn’t work and why, and specific interventions that will help you replace bad habits with better ones that we know help build healthy relationships.

    During session I want you to be completely dialed into what we’re doing, not busy taking notes (though you are welcome to). So after most sessions I’ll send both of you a session summary, which will summarize the teaching, remind you of the steps to do the assignment, and sometimes even provide links to books or videos that may be helpful.

    In this way you are getting not just 45 minutes of my time, but stuff you can continue to read, process through, and work on all week.

    Also helpful: About Me

    What happens in the first few sessions?

    • Session 1Couple Oral Interview. I’ll ask you a series of questions designed to help me know your history and backstory. Couples usually really enjoy telling me these stories, and I love hearing them.
    • Computer assessment — You’ll each do this at home individually on a computer. This is a scientific assessment of both the strengths and difficulties in your relationship. There is a one-time $39 fee that goes to the creators of the assessment, paid by the first person to log in to do the assessment.
    • Session 2 — A 90-minute session where I’ll meet individually with each of you for 45 minutes.
    • Session 3 — We review results of your computer assessment and I assemble all the data from your consult call, intake forms, couple and individual interviews, and your computer assessment and we work together to come up with an initial direction for our work together.

    Why all the assessment? We really need to get down to business right away!

    Please see this post on my blog, under the heading What Can You Expect.

    How long will couple counseling take?

    Gottman-based counseling typically runs between 13-26 sessions.

    My partner keeps saying we need couple counseling, but I think we can handle our problems by ourselves. What do you think?

    If your partner believes there’s a problem in your relationship, your relationship has a problem. It will only make things worse to not deal with it. The number one reason couples counseling fails is because couples wait too long to get help. See the bottom few paragraphs on this page.

    Will you tell my partner what’s wrong with them?

    I’ll help each of you see your own issues, because you can only fix you. And I’ll also help each of you behave in ways that will make it most likely your partner will do their own work.

    Will this work for us?

    The sooner after you realize there’s a problem and get help, the more likely it is that you’ll be able to fix what’s wrong. Many couples wait too long to get help. The success rate with Gottman-based counseling is about 75%.

    What if we just don’t love each other anymore?

    If you used to be in love, chances are good you treated each other really well back then. When we behave in loving ways, our partners fall in love with us. When we stop, they fall out of love with us. When we start again, they can usually fall back in love with us again, but you’ll have to learn to trust each other and trust the process.

    What if there has been an affair?

    Affairs don’t have to end marriages, and frequently don’t. You may be able to fix this if you’re both up for the investment, but it’s going to be tough, probably for a really long time.

    I don’t think I can handle the anxiety I’m feeling. I’m not sleeping since my partner said they might leave. What do I do?

    This is a terrible feeling, but very common. If you feel like you’re falling apart, I strongly suggest you see your doctor and explain what’s going on. If you’re in crisis and need to talk to someone immediately, call Crisis and Access Services at 810.257.3740. They have trained people there who can listen and help 24 hours a day. If you’re feeling suicidal or homicidal, don’t mess with that — go directly to the ER.

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