Frequently Asked Questions
Do you work with couples together or separately?
Both. Mostly I work with both spouses together in the session. On rare occasions I work with a couple primarily through individual sessions with each. On occasion I supplement couples counseling with an individual session with one or both partners.
What kind of couples do you primarily work with?
Most couples come to me at a crossroads in their relationship where the need is to repair communication, restore connection, or rebuild trust…or all three. There often is a measure of healing that needs to take place. Many couples come to me because of a conflict issue or a conflict style of relating to one another. Some couples just need the equivalent of a chiropractic adjustment while some couples need surgery. The common denominator is that both couples have at least one partner declaring that just maintaining the status quo is no longer an option. Something must change. And both couples are saying we need help getting unstuck.
My spouse is resistant to counseling right now? Do you still recommend counseling and will you see me?
Yes. One of the things many clients have found helpful is my assisting them in engaging and responding to a resistant spouse. One of the tough issues we tackle is how to deal with a partner who is emotionally detached or even hostile, who will not acknowledge shared ownership of the relationship problem, and who seems set against change.
While I do have a relationship issue, I want to come to counseling alone for right now. Is that okay?
Yes, I certainly respect that.
Do you counsel with children?
I counsel exclusively with adults. As a marriage therapist I often counsel with parents who have child/parenting concerns as a part of their relationship stress. But when the need is for counseling directly with a child or teens I make referrals to skilled and caring counselors who specialize with that population.
I know you mostly do relationship counseling but I heard from a friend of mine that you also do a lot of counseling with individuals, especially people struggling with depression.
That’s true. One of the books I’ve written is about depression, a book which happens to contain some of my journal entries from my own personal battle with the monster back in 2003. I know what it feels like to suffer and I know what the journey of recovery looks like and requires.
How long will counseling last?
That really depends on your goals for counseling. My training is in short-term solution-based therapy. I’m available for as long as you genuinely need guidance, but I don’t believe in dragging out counseling and searching for more to discuss when you are satisfied with your progress and growth.
How often are sessions?
Weekly sessions are the norm, but I have many clients who come every other week. Factors which may influence appointment scheduling are the nature of the client’s issue or concern, sense of urgency, motivation, work schedule, and yes their budget. I’m flexible about scheduling because I understand there are a number of factors that influence a client’s availability.
Since you mentioned budget, this is probably a good place to ask how much you charge.
My fee is $160 for a full one-hour session.
Would it offend you if I asked what the going rate for counselors is?
Not at all. Whether it is counseling or getting your roof repaired I think you should know what comparable rates are in your area. You’ll find I’m in the mid-range of cost for professional counselors. I think it is very important to view working with any counselor as an investment, not just as expense. I think you have to ask yourself what a healed heart or a restored marriage is worth, not just what an hour of counseling is worth. To be really frank, you are not paying for a counselor’s time, you are buying results–a changed life, peace of mind, or a transformed marriage.
What payment options are available? Do you take insurance?
Clients pay at the time of session by check, cash, or credit card. I’m sorry but I do not take insurance.
What are your office hours?
I offer appointments Monday through Thursday with the first session beginning at 7:30 AM and the last session beginning at 3:30 PM. (If the need is for sessions later than 3:30 I have a colleague in the office who takes a limited number of late afternoon and early evening sessions.)
What if I have other questions?
Please don’t hesitate to ask. You may call me or e-mail your question to me at firstname.lastname@example.org