Couples Therapy

“To make a relationship last: Couples must become better friends, learn to manage conflict, and create ways to support each other’s hopes and dreams” ~Dr. John Gottman, PhD

Wherever you are in your relationship, I am happy to meet you there.  The idea of going to couples therapy can be intimidating for many people.  It is my hope that I can make the experience safe, approachable, (and perhaps fun?!) for both you and your partner.

My job is not to find who is to blame in your relationship, but to help you find where you are getting stuck. To help you find more effective ways to communicate.  To help you reconnect.  To help you see that you both have a role not only in painful patterns of disconnection, but also the joys of reconnection and repair.

You do not need to be in a place of despair or desperation to benefit from Couples Therapy.  Research has shown that many couples wait an average of seven years before seeking help for their relationship, after lots of damage has already been done.  I will meet you wherever you are in your relationship.  I happily work with all kinds of committed partners, whether you are married or not.

I have received extensive and advanced training in couples therapy, primarily in Gottman Method Couples Therapy and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.  At the beginning of therapy, we will work together on creating a detailed assessment to determine your specific needs and I will tailor my services specifically to you.  I also value a non-judgmental, person-centered approach to therapy.  I do not wish to tell you how to live, but to help you figure out how to live the life you want to live.

I am experienced to help you with the following issues:

  • General Relationship Building/Growth/Communication
  • Infidelity/Affair Recovery
  • Emotional Disconnection
  • Couples in Addiction Recovery
  • Premarital Counseling
  • New Parents/Pregnancy/Transition to Parenthood
  • Ethical Non-Monogamy
  • Sex Positive
  • Discernment Counseling (COMING SOON)

Couples Therapy Frequently Asked Questions

Deciding to seek help from a professional can be an overwhelming experience!  It takes a lot of courage to recognize a problem and to try to work on making it better!

Your relationship with me as your therapist is an integral part of the success of treatment and I encourage you to get to know me and ask questions to make sure it feels like a good fit.  It is important that you are able to trust my judgment and feel safe to discuss sensitive issues with me and with your partner.  Some questions to ask your therapist may include:

  • What is your philosophy on what makes a relationship work?
  • How do you practice therapy?
  • Under what circumstances would we discontinue therapy?

I am dedicated to providing an individual and collaborative approach to every person who seeks treatment with me based on your identified needs.  Many people report feeling less distressed after the first few sessions, but that is not always the case for every couple.  I will work with you on developing a plan that makes sense to you and we will continue to evaluate progress throughout your treatment to determine when therapy is no longer needed.  Generally, many couples attend therapy for 6-15 sessions, but this is not the case for every couple.

I typically start therapy with an assessment process that takes place over the course of a minimum of three sessions.  The first session is with you and your partner, the second session(s) we will meet individually, and the third session is feedback and treatment planning.  We will have a much better idea of what you can expect in terms of length of treatment at the end of our assessment.

Couples therapy is not a provided benefit under most insurance plans, because insurance plans require medical necessity for treatment. This means that to use your health benefits, you need a diagnosable mental health disorder and your therapist needs to prove that your disorder is causing significant impairment in your life.  Even if you have been diagnosed with a specific mental health condition, the focus of treatment in couple’s therapy is the treatment of your relationship.  Treating your relationship may improve your mental health condition, but this is considered Family Therapy, rather than Couple’s Therapy, and there is a difference between the two.

If you call your insurance company and ask if they cover couple’s therapy it does not guarantee coverage of services.  Insurance will often cover a procedure code that allows a family member to be present in therapy (i.e. Family Therapy).  As stated above, the focus of counseling in family therapy is on the treatment of a diagnosable mental health condition.  In family therapy, your partner is considered as a support person in the treatment of your mental health condition.  In couple’s therapy, you are both receiving treatment equally and the “client” is your relationship dynamic.  When billing your insurance company, I need to be able to prove that I am providing interventions that are focused on the treatment of your specific mental health condition, not focused on relationship growth or improvement.

Unfortunately, insurance companies consider couple’s therapy as maintenance (like getting a brake tune up or oil change on your car).  You would not expect your insurance to cover cosmetic enhancements, and couple’s therapy is seen by the insurance company in a similar light.  It may improve your quality of life, but it is not considered medically necessary.

If you wish to call your insurance company to inquire about couple’s therapy coverage, be specific and ask about covering the diagnostic code Z63.0 Relationship distress with Spouse or Intimate partner for procedure code 90847.

My standard rate for therapy sessions are $125 per 60 minute session.  Please do not hesitate to contact me about questions or concerns regarding fees and insurance.