Marriage and Couples Counseling sessions are 70-minutes in duration, which helps us completely explore issues in each session. While starting out weekly is ideal for supporting couples who are experiencing a lot of distress, the reality of our busy lives doesn’t always allow meeting weekly. It is an option to start marriage and couples therapy with every other week sessions.
Some of the issues I like to work with include helping couples develop more trust, intimacy, passion, and communications skills. My philosophy in working with a couple is to help each partner honestly look at how they are contributing to relational patterns. I use an integrative approach of experiential, emotionally focused, and mindfulness-based therapy to expand awareness of your process of relating. With expanded awareness of the patterns, I help partners identify when an undesired way of relating is happening, communicate in healthier and more connecting ways, and make different choices in relating. The best way to see if I can assist you in your healing journey is to contact me for a free 30-minute consult. If I feel I am unable to help you, I will provide referrals to make sure you get access to the right kind of care.
After an initial consult and mutual agreement to work together, we would meet for an initial intake. This usually takes 1 or 2 sessions where I will ask you about biological, psychological, and social factors that may be influencing the issues you are experiencing. We will also explore and establish your goals for counseling, which we will continue to revisit to evaluate your progression.
I will also introduce you to some tools we will use in therapy. One of primary tools I find useful is mindfulness, which helps one develop more awareness of their present experiences. If mindfulness is new to you, it is fairly easy to learn and you don’t have to be a guru to use. In fact, you don’t even need to have any experience! Also, while developing a mindfulness practice on your own can be beneficial, just using mindfulness in sessions can greatly enhance insight and having corrective experiences! With couples, mindfulness with eyes open and being aware and contemplative of your emotional reactions helps to unpack relational patterns in a present moment way.
The amount of time couples will work with me varies. I have witnessed clients make lasting changes within a few months and I also have worked supporting clients through very difficult and long-term problems. At a minimum, I would plan on making a commitment to at least 10 sessions to give yourself time to evaluate your progress.
Counseling is not without risk. Some people experience an increase in feelings of stress, especially during the early stages of counseling. Some problems may seem to get worse before they get better. Exploring longstanding, deeply-seated issues can sometimes initially seem to aggravate rather than help the issue, especially in couples and family counseling. Some people find themselves feeling emotions and having insights that are new and uncomfortable, sometimes leading to feelings of discouragement and thoughts of quitting counseling. Some people are surprised by how others in their lives respond as counseling progresses. These dynamics are natural and to be expected. You may also experience other unique consequences of counseling. I encourage you to talk with me about them as and if they occur.
I work with all sexual orientations, gender identities, and sexual life-styles. With the goal of helping you feel safe to explore very personal issues, I will collaborate with you in understanding your needs around safety, feeling respected, and having a voice in the therapeutic process.
If you would like to learn more about my other service, checkout my individual counseling or group counseling pages. If you would like to connect with me or set up a free 30-minute consult, please visit my contact page.