Frequently Asked Questions
1. How much do your counseling services cost?
Information about fees and payment can be found here. If you are interested in using your insurance, it is important that you discuss your specific coverage with your insurance company.
2. Can you see me individually for counseling and then see me and my spouse as a couple for counseling?
Generally, the answer is no. Please call to discuss your unique situation. Typically I will only see you in counseling individually if you have chosen Discernment Counseling over couples/marriage counseling.
3. Are counseling services private?
Coming to counseling is like coming to any medical facility. Your counseling information is kept confidential with some exceptions licensed counselors and other medical professionals are required by law to report, such as abuse. The limits to your confidentiality will be explained during the first session with your counselor. One of the benefits of coming to a private practice, as opposed to a larger group practice, is that you have more privacy. There are no large waiting rooms where you may feel uncomfortable waiting for your appointment with a number of other individuals or a number of staff members who can easily access your case file.
4. What is your availability?
In general, my office hours are from 9:00-5:30 Tuesday-Friday. I do have appointments after 5 on Thursdays, but those are highly sought-after appointments and my current clients have first choice at those appointments when there is an opening.
5. How many counseling sessions will I need?
This depends on a number of things such as: What do you hope to accomplish? How motivated are you to make changes? Are you willing to do work outside of session? How ingrained is this unhealthy pattern?
6. How often do I/we need to come to counseling?
It depends. Your counselor will discuss a recommendation with you. Usually you are seen on a weekly or every other week basis in the beginning of your counseling sessions. As you build momentum and begin to integrate skills more in your life outside of the counseling office, the frequency of sessions lessens. It also depends upon schedules and finances.
7. How do I know if you are the right counselor for us?
I have written two articles that you can access here and here which address what to look for when you are looking for a relationship counselor. It is important that you do not choose your counselor through google or yelp reviews. Speak with your friends, family members, or other professionals about who they trust. At times counselors work with individuals who are struggling with serious mental health issues and this can influence their thinking about whether or not a counselor was helpful to them which makes an online review from a stranger difficult to use for your unique situation. There are also a number of fake review sites and actual organizations that make a business out of writing fake reviews online.
8. Will you take sides in marriage counseling?
A trained marriage counselor’s role is not to be a mediator or problem solver. The role of a marriage counselor is to teach you skills so that you can navigate your journey as a couple. Being a mediator or a referee only makes you dependent on a counselor to pick sides. That being said, if someone is engaging in a pattern that research shows is destructive to your relationship, it is your counselor’s role to interrupt that pattern.
9. Will you tell us if we are going to get divorced or if we should divorce or what is the likelihood that we will make it?
It is not your counselor’s role to tell you if you should or shouldn’t be together. Your counselor is not there to make predictions about your marriage. A trained marriage counselor will help point out destructive patterns and help you to minimize those patterns. They will also help you learn skills to build your relationship into a stronger one.
10. We are interested in pre-marital counseling. What will the counselor do for us?
For pre-marital counseling the Center utilizes the Gottman Assessment. The Gottman Assessment is based on over 40 years of research identifying what keeps a relationship together and what patterns dissolve relationships. There is a small fee for the assessment which is required for premarital work along with a minimum of 3 sessions to review the assessment and for the counselor to do some education regarding marriage research and keeping your marriage strong.