Marriage & Family Therapists * Active Couples Counseling & Coaching *
Communication Guidelines & Skills * Relationship Education

We Welcome Questions

If the Frequently Asked Questions listed below don't cover your concerns feel free to call and ask us directly. Simply leave a message on our confidential answering machine and we will return your call as soon as possible. Please let us know if there are different numbers for daytime and evenings at which you can be reached, and up until what time we can return your call. If you are not home when we call and you would prefer us to not leave a message, let us know that when you call.

Q#1. What if one of us is reluctant to come? How do we deal with this?

A#1. Well first of all, it's quite understandable that someone is reluctant at first to see a complete stranger about such personal matters as an intimate relationship. Often one partner is more interested or reluctant than the other.
Prior to setting-up an appointment, we are available by phone for either one or both partners to talk and answer questions. We can offer reassurances of our strong commitment to not take sides but rather to help each of you see and understand the validity of your feelings. In the vast majority of cases people get over their reluctance quite quickly. Our relationship specialists all believe it is important for each person to feel safe, understood and empathized with. Even when someone has acted inappropriately, we avoid judgment or criticism. Our approach of creating safety allows and encourages people to open up and disclose vulnerable feelings. When this happens empathy is much more possible, (even for the person who has felt hurt), and taking responsibility for negative behavior is much more likely to occur.

Q#2. How long and how often do we need to come?

A#2. Let's first discuss how often to come. It is best when you start to come to do so, weekly. A weekly schedule gives you and your counselor a chance to build trust and establish a regular rhythm that is helpful in keeping both of you on the path that will restore intimacy and connection. It takes a while to become aware of how each of you gets stuck in a certain repetitive cycles, over and over again. You will be learning how to slow down and maneuver the tricky and slippery slopes that cause these patterns to pull you in.
How long until both of you feel really good and are able to maintain the benefits of therapy on your own is highly variable and hard to predict. A lot of couples fall somewhere in a range from 3 months to 12 months. Some longer, some shorter. We welcome hearing how you both see your progress and when you feel you have met your goals. We will also checking and discussing your progress with a view to having you leave as soon as possible.

Q#3. How can couples therapy help us…what happens in sessions?

A#4. We will attempt to answer this important question by painting a brief picture of some of the difficulties that couples typically

Inevitably. there is some loss of the deep feelings which brought them so close together. Despite their best intentions, many couples find it not at all easy to maintain the closeness and intimacy of their loving connection.
At the same time as each person needs to feel closely connected as part of a twosome , each also deserves to be respected for the differences and personality traits which define them as an individual.
Herein lies a modern day dilemma -- how to find ways to be intimately bonded as a "we" while maintaining and respecting each person's right to be an "i" -- an individual with one's own ideas, feelings and perspective on life. (Please note, this is a substantial change from a few decades back in time when there was less room for, and even greater suppression of, individuality).
Gradually, as these differences between partners become more evident and pronounced over time and with the complexity of our modern culture --- disappointment and disillusionment set-in. The wonderful old feelings of secure attachment and everlasting love may be called into question as doubt and worry emerge.
The struggles between the "i's", can often result in stressful & upsetting interactions.
To overcome this some couples will try to avoid conflict by resentfully complying --- slowly, gradually distance grows. Other couples engage in angry escalations to eliminate the threat of differences, hoping that one person will prevail. Both of these responses, or a combination of them, result in emotional pain, distance and isolation.
Therapy can help couples reduce emotional reactivity to one another by creating a temporary model of a "safe haven". In this mutually supportive environment finger-pointing, anger and defensiveness can be set aside, and each person can feel heard and understood in new ways. We help couples to express themselves in better ways so that the hidden validity of their most authentic feelings can be understood. Gradually, their reactive interactions slow-down and calm down. As fear diminishes, angry escalations recede. This leads to a softening of the blaming and lessening of distancing patterns that so often are sure signs of stuckness and barriers to reconnection. This mutually supportive "safe haven" invites the understanding and empathy that allows a major shift and restores loving feelings.
We will help, coach and encourage you to structure new interactions and sustainable ways of staying connected. Our goal is to help you develop the skills, and renewed emotional trust , so you will be able to sustain these benefits and take home your own "safe haven" as quickly as possible.

Q#4. Do you take insurance?

A#5. We do not bill, or accept third party payments from any insurance company for our services. We will, upon request, provide a billing statement for you to submit to your insurance carrier for reimbursement based on what your policy allows . The specific eligibility and amounts of coverage vary so widely from carrier to carrier that you will need to call your insurance provider and make this determination yourself. For more information please check our fees page.

Q#5. Do you have openings in the evenings or on weekends?

A#6. Many of our relationship specialists do see clients in the evenings and some on weekends. Please discuss this when you first call. We will make every effort to find a regular time that will work for both of your schedules.

Q#6. When we did therapy before this my partner felt ganged up on. How can we avoid that happening again?

A#7. At the Couples Center we are committed to impartiality and to the well-being of the relationship as our primary focus. This is an issue that should be brought up with your counselor right away so it can be openly discussed. If you or your partner should ever feel you're being misunderstood by a Couples Center counselor, or being treated unfairly, we ask that you let us know so it can be discussed and addressed. We are sincerely committed to creating a therapeutic environment where each of you feels safe, fully understood and treated fairly and equally.