Wondering how couples therapy works? I’m happy to answer your questions.

We’ve never worked with a therapist before. Isn’t it better to try to resolve things on our own?

Couples who seek professional help are reaffirming their love and commitment to each other. All of us, no matter how strong we are, need help now and then. The strengths you’ve used in the past may not be sufficient to solve the problems you’re currently facing. Sometimes, the issues we’re up against are so overwhelming we can’t access our greatest strengths. I can help both of you tap your own inner resources in specific ways that will empower you to tackle your current challenges head-on and make real progress as a team.

What’s the difference between seeing you and getting help from trusted friends or family members?

Friends and family can provide love and support, but a trained therapist knows how to help you gain a wider vision of your life together – and the ability to help you build specific strengths to address the issues that are holding you back as a couple.

When you work with me, I will listen to you without judgment or expectations. I will also teach you how to listen to yourselves and each other. Everything you say will be kept confidential; you will never have to worry that your innermost thoughts will be shared with others. You will be in a safe space where you can speak your truth without fear of shocking or hurting anyone. As you gain understanding of the patterns within the life you share, we will work on practical strategies for change.

How does therapy work? What are we expected to do?

Every couple comes to me with different concerns and goals. The therapeutic approach we take will depend on where you are right now and where you want to go. The main requirement is willingness to see your shared life in a new light and embrace change. You must commit to showing up, being honest and working hard. If you can make this commitment, you will see progress.

Why do you schedule 90-minute and 120-minute sessions instead of the usual 50 minutes?

Long experience has shown me that it often takes 30, 40, even 50 minutes for a couple to settle in and begin really exploring what’s happening. It can be frustrating and ineffective to break the conversation off at this crucial point. So I’ve moved to longer sessions to help couples make more progress together. This is especially helpful if you feel an urgent need to take action after months or years of feeling lost, worried and fearful for your marriage.

When will things begin to change for us?

That’s not a question I can answer here. You are a unique couple, each with your own life stories. We need to determine where you are right now and where you want to go. The length of time you need to accomplish your goals will depend on the challenges you are facing, the resources available to you and your desire for personal and mutual growth. My role is to help you work steadily toward the changes you want to see.

We want to get as much as we can from therapy. How can we do this?

I’m so glad you are dedicated to your own health and progress. Being fully engaged is crucial for success. The work you do outside of our sessions will help you realize your goals. We will talk about this daily work when we meet and I will suggest ways you can keep the momentum going.

Is couples therapy the right way to go? Or should we see you separately?

If you are worried about your relationship and you would both like to work with me, I would begin by seeing you as a couple. At some point, we may agree that one of you should start individual sessions. This would happen with the understanding that we will come back together again to apply what we have learned one-on-one to the work of healing your relationship.

What is a “couples intensive”? Why should we consider one?

Couples intensives are a focused retreat where we give full and undivided attention to you and your relationship. Starting in October 2022, I will offer one-day and two-day intensives, with each day divided into unique sessions with ample breaks so you can eat, relax and return feeling refreshed.

Couples intensives are a proven way to uncover and heal the issues that can destroy intimate relationships. During an intensive, partners can engage more fully and make faster, more satisfying progress than they typically achieve, even in 90-minute or 120-minute sessions. In fact, I’ve heard many couples say they achieved more in a weekend than they accomplished in months of traditional counseling.

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