Counseling FAQs

Couples Counseling FAQs

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    Is therapy covered by my insurance?

    We are not registered as an in-network provider with any insurance panels. This means that we don’t work with insurance companies directly, and you will have to pay up front for your sessions. However, we can give you an invoice that you can submit to your insurance provider for reimbursement based on your plan. To determine whether your insurance covers the therapy, please call your insurance company directly and ask them what they cover for mental health out-of-network providers.

    Also, it’s important to understand that regardless of whether your therapist is in-network or out-of-network insurance would only cover you if you fit certain diagnosis criteria. It’s best to talk to your therapist in the first session about it.

    If you have an HSA or FSA account, you can pay for counseling directly using your account’s debit or credit card; they don’t usually require diagnosis codes.

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    Why do couples go to couples counseling?

    Relationships can be the most important and satisfying part of our life, as well as the most challenging. If you are feeling stuck in your relationship, or if you are not sure about whether your relationship is going to work out but would like to give it a try, then counseling could be beneficial for you. When inside a relationship, it is sometimes difficult to see why things are not working and how to change them. Many times, it takes an outside perspective to create change—someone who is trained to recognize the patterns that are keeping you stuck and knows how to assist you in changing them.

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    Why do individuals go to relationship counseling?

    Many people are in a relationship but feel stuck around certain issues—like communication, anger, sex, commitment, power, intimacy, and many more. Others would like to have a long-term, satisfying relationship but find themselves being attracted to a partner who doesn’t work for them. Counseling can help you navigate toward a different kind of relationship with yourself and your current or future partner.

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    What sorts of issues do couples or individuals work on in therapy?

    Here are some of the most common issues that we explore in therapy:

    Improving communication. Many couples have irresolvable conflicts that, as time passes, become more frequent, causing them to feel more and more distant. Other couples don’t know how to talk about some of the issues that are bothering them and, by not sharing, they end up feeling distant and unsatisfied. Couples counseling can help couples identify and change the communication patterns that don’t work and can give specific tools for understanding each other.

    Loss of intimacy and passion. Over time, couples often begin feeling more like roommates and less like partners. They don’t feel the same passion or intimacy, their sex life diminishes, and although they still love each other, they don’t know how to rekindle that excitement. A couples therapist can assist them in finding the way back to emotional and physical intimacy.

    Trust issues. Sometimes one person does something that feels to the other like a betrayal—a lie, an affair, or hiding something crucial from the other person. Trust is the foundation of every relationship, so when that trust is broken, it challenges every aspect of being together. Many people come to counseling to rebuild trust, and for many of them, learning how to do that actually results in a much stronger relationship than before.

    Staying together or not. Some couples want to figure out whether they should continue being together. Others have already decided to divorce, but want someone to help them to do it in a way that is amicable and respectful. Couples counseling can assist couples in going through transitions by clarifying the needs of both individuals and assisting them with difficult communication.

    Finding a life partner. Some individuals come into counseling because they are longing for someone to create a long-term commitment with but don’t know how—either because they haven’t found the right partner, or because they have only found the “not-right” partner. A relationship therapist can help identify the root causes of these patterns and help create new kinds of relationship.

    Premarital counseling. Couples on the brink of beginning a life together come to premarital counseling as a way to acquire the tools and the skills necessary to make that new life successful.

    Emotional intimacy issues. Sometimes partners know that they love their partner and want to be with them, but find that they are having difficulty being close to them or sharing certain feelings or issues. They come to counseling to learn how to be more open to their partner in a way that feels safe and easy.

    Other issues. These might include conflict around parenting, differences around lifestyle choices and values, and dealing with undesired behavioral problems.

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    What is your approach to couples counseling?

    The approach at The Couples Center is warm, practical, and focused on specific, attainable results. We design a short-term process based on your needs and goals. All of the therapists at the Couples Center specialize in working with couples, providing you with a wealth of knowledge and experience.

    In couples counseling, the therapist never takes sides. Instead, she or he acts as an objective third party, ensuring that both partners find and express what is right for them. Your therapist will work with you both to identify some of the patterns that are getting you stuck in your relationship, and then will help to change those patterns. In this way, we assist couples in building deeper levels of interaction, communication, and connection.

    We do not tell couples whether they should stay together or not. Instead, we clarify what is right for each person and empower both of them to create change in their own relationship. To understand more sign up on the right and watch our video “From Conflict to Connection.”

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    How does therapy help change things?

    The first element to creating change is insight. Most of the time, our life is being governed by unconscious patterns. Therapy helps us become conscious of our limiting patterns and with that new awareness, we have the freedom to choose different behaviors.

    The second element is having new experiences. For example many times couples try to talk to each other about important issues but end up feeling angry and misunderstood. Having the experience in therapy of being really heard and validated by your partner can help us feel close and a lot more connected.

    Finally, we continually provide you with the tools you need to navigate your way towards a stronger, deeper relationship. For instance, if you are starting to get into an argument about a core issue, try using the easy steps discussed in our post How to Turn Arguments into Conversations. For more information on this topic, read How Change happens in Psychotherapy.

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    If my partner doesn't want to come, should I come by myself?

    The answer is yes. Relationships are a dance between two people. Although it is wonderful to have both partners come to therapy, we only need one person to change the steps of the dance. If you find a way to communicate better or to step out of negativity with your partner, then you change the whole dance, transforming your relationship.

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    How long does therapy take?

    Therapy is usually done on a weekly basis and sometimes biweekly for a 50 – 60 minute session. We usually begin by meeting on a weekly basis and, as we progress, the sessions are spaced out to give you time to absorb and practice. In terms of duration, every person and/or couple is different – some people need a relatively short time and others want to continue for a longer time, depending on their goals. We find the best results are achieved when couples make an initial commitment of 10 sessions. With our short-term, focused approach, this number of sessions is enough time to identify patterns and find and practice methods to make some significant change.

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    How do I find the right therapist for me?

    In choosing a therapist, there are two important factors: firstly that the therapist specializes in the area in which you want to work, and secondly that you feel comfortable on a personal level with that therapist.

    All of the therapists at The Couples Center specialize in working with couples doing couples counseling and marriage counseling, and also working with individuals around relationship counseling. We have an extensive pool of therapists from which to choose, all with different skills, expertise and personalities. We strive to find the best fit between therapists and clients.

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    What happens in the first meeting?

    In the first meeting we will gather more details about each one of you and about you as a couple. We will discuss what you feel are the biggest challenges in your relationship and how these challenges came about. We will also explore what it is you want to get out of counseling and how we can get you there. The entire process will be described in more detail, and you may receive some initial feedback from the therapist in terms of the patterns or challenges that he or she has identified. There will also be time for you to ask questions and discuss your concerns about the process with the therapist.

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    How do we get started?

    In order to get started click here to fill out the contact form. Someone from The Couples Center will call you to talk discuss your needs and our services, and then will match you up with a therapist who can schedule your first session.