Between us, we have six decades of training in state-of-the-art couples therapy. We translate the latest research into compassionate, practical guidance drawing on our expertise to create the best and most lasting results for your unique relationship needs. Every day, we use our own marriage as a living, loving laboratory for practicing and perfecting the skills and techniques that we bring to your sessions.
The short answer? As soon as it crosses your mind! Statistics show that couples generally put off seeking therapy in spite of their distress. We have discovered that couples tend to wait six or more years before they seek help. This delay allows hurt feelings to accumulate and negative patterns to become well established. It’s never too late but the sooner you come in, the better. This is an investment in your personal wellbeing, the health of your relationship and the happiness of your family.
The duration of counseling varies from couple to couple. Some may benefit from just a few sessions—these are generally people whose relationship has a healthy foundation and who know they are committed to each other for life. Other couples may take longer because the disconnection between them is more pronounced. Healing these relationships takes time and commitment from both partners for the most growth to occur. It has likely taken years to get to this level of distress, so the healing may also take time. The majority of our clients spend from 2 to 20 sessions in counseling.
Initially, weekly sessions from 60 to 75 minutes make the most sense to establish momentum and learn strategies and techniques to practice at home. In fact, much of the work occurs at home between you and your partner and the more you practice, the less frequently sessions are required. Counseling sessions are designed to teach new skills and to provide a safe space in which each partner’s experience is shared to increase understanding and create a deeper connection.
We find that it’s common for one partner to be more willing to come to therapy than the other. This is known as the “dragger and draggee” phenomenon. One partner is viewed as the voice for the couple but as long as you are both willing to attend, the process will work. We have lots of experience drawing out less enthusiastic participants to ensure that you both have the opportunity to express your feelings and benefit from counseling. Sometimes, a partner is afraid that we will take sides. Every session is a safe space without judgment. The only side we’re on is the side of the relationship, advocating for growth and positive change.
Yes, if both of you are motivated and committed to making a change. It takes a willingness to look at our own behaviors and accept how we are contributing to the relationship disconnect. If our intention is to connect and grow the relationship, we need to make sure our actions follow that intention. Often our reactions are based in defensiveness. That defensiveness may have the unintended consequence of wounding our partner and causing misunderstanding. If this sounds familiar, we invite you to investigate couples counseling further.
Couples counseling is a place without judgment or discrimination. The only requirements are a committed partnership and a willingness to attend.
If one or both of you are in active addiction, currently having an affair, or have an untreated severe mental illness you wouldn’t be good candidates for couples counseling or workshops until the issue is addressed.
Please let us know if you would like a referral to an appropriate mental health professional. We would be happy to help you take the first step toward a healthier life so that, when the time is right, we can work together to repair your relationship.
Many people come to the first session saying that they’re not sure about the future but are certain that they can’t continue with the communication patterns they have in place now. We use a technique called discernment counseling to help couples with the momentous decision of whether to continue their relationship. Often these same people are able to recommit when they experience a safe, respectful and compassionate interaction pattern with their partner aided by counseling. Sadly, reconciliation is not always possible. Sessions then provide a place to gain clarity, helping you to make decisions that are not reactive or premature.
One person cannot do the work of two—it takes two people committed to the relationship to make it work! Both you and your partner need to be dedicated to improving the relationship for counseling to be successful and transformative.
Alternatively, we do work with couples who want to end their marriage or relationship in a positive and supportive way, creating a platform for enduring friendship and successful co-parenting, if there are children. This is called conscious uncoupling and the process provides both closure and healing.
We recommend that you “interview” therapists by phone to find out if they have specific training in couples counseling and, if so, what that training is. You may want to ask approximately how many couples the therapist has seen and over how many years; what’s their approach to relationship therapy; how do they structure the sessions and what do they expect from the couple both in session and at home.
Private insurance typically doesn’t cover couples counseling as most insurance companies do not deem marriage/couples counseling to be “medically necessary.” However, one or both of you may have a pre-existing diagnosis (major depression, addiction, bi-polar disorder or ADD, for example) that has impacted the relationship. Insurance companies may reimburse couples counseling due to medical necessity, if the treatment plan developed to address the pre-existing diagnosis recommends couples sessions as part of the treatment. Additionally, Craig is a recognized Medicare provider and marriage counseling is covered by Medicare.
We operate on a sliding fee scale. If you can’t afford treatment, let us know and we will work something out. Please do not let this keep you from participating in at least a couple of sessions to gain the insight and skills you need to begin to grow your relationship.
To support our troops, we’re happy to give active-duty military a 20% discount.