Frequently Asked Questions About Marriage Counseling:
1. What happens in marriage counseling?
In marriage counseling, both partners are given the chance to share their concerns and perceptions of the marriage. Spouses are asked to respectfully listen to each other and attempt to understand what concerns their partner has. Marriage counseling focuses on rebuilding the marriage and has a very positive, future focus. In order for marriage counseling to be helpful, however, both partners must want to participate and want to rebuild the marriage.
2. What type of therapy can I expect from Transformational Marriage™ Counseling?
Transformational Marriage™ goals include changing the thoughts and expectations of both partners in terms of hope, forgiveness, selflessness, and praise. This approach includes aspects of cognitive psychology, family systems theory, and spirituality.
3. Do you provide counseling to people of all faiths?
Absolutely. Although the principles of Transformational Marriage™ are completely consistent with principles of Biblically-based Christian theology, they are also applicable to people with a variety of spiritual belief systems. My Christian faith is a part of who I am as a person, but I do not impose that faith on my clients in any way. I believe that understanding the faith systems of my clients is extremely important to gaining insight into who they are. Integration of faith in counseling is completely at the discretion of my clients. If you would like spirituality to be a part of the services you receive, this is available, but only if you so choose.
4. Are there other couples for whom Transformational Marriage™ Counseling might not be appropriate?
Yes. In the following situations, a different referral might be indicated:
- Domestic Violence – If there is a risk of domestic violence based on current or past behavior of either spouse, marriage counseling may not be clinically indicated. This is due to the fact that bringing up difficult issues in a counseling setting, when there is already an unstable and potentially dangerous environment, may not be appropriate. The standard of care in the field in such situations is to have the individual who initiated the violence obtain domestic violence offender treatment with a state-certified provider, while the other spouse receives domestic violence victim assistance from a different agency.
- Divorce Mediation – Divorce mediation services focus on issues such as child custody mediation, resolution of divorce issues, and maintaining a positive relationship through the divorce process. These are not services that I am trained in providing. Therefore, if either spouse has already decided to file for divorce or is not interested in addressing marital issues, divorce mediation services may be more appropriate than marriage counseling. In such a case, I would need to refer the couple to professionals who are trained in this specialty service.
- Couples with no Intention to be Married – My knowledge and training are best-suited for work with couples who are married or intend to become married. It is likely that couples who are not intending to be married and are interested in other types of relationship counseling might be best served by a referral to a therapist with specialty training in working with couples who do not intend to be married.
5. How often will we meet and how long can I expect marriage counseling to last?
- We will schedule an initial intake session so that we can get to know each other and determine if we both feel that I am the right person for you to work with. If so, we would then schedule 2-3 additional sessions to identify the issues treatment would need to address and determine what type of treatment is indicated.
- The length of treatment will depend on you, your spouse, and the issues you are dealing with in your marriage. I usually recommend weekly sessions, and although I do agree to meet with couples less regularly, this can extend the length of the overall counseling process.
6. Is marriage counseling confidential?
- With the exceptions detailed below in #6A, existing law mandates that all communication between a client and a psychotherapist is confidential and written permission is required for such information to be relased.
- However, when the exceptions listed below do exist, confidentiality cannot be maintained.
- You should know that email communication is at your discretion, as this is not seen as a confidential form of communication.
- At the start of any marital counseling process, I will require that both parties sign releases of information to allow me to share anything one partner shares with me with the other partner. This prevents any “secrets” in the therapeutic relationship in marriage counseling.
6A. The following situations will likely make it necessary to break confidentiality:
- Any perceived risk of danger from a client towards themself or others by a client or reported by a client, which could include suicidal risk, homicidal risk, violence risk, or any other type of risk of harm to a child, adult, or elderly person.
- Any perceived risk of potential child abuse or elder abuse by a client or reported by a client.
- Any court subpoena or other court order requesting or requiring release of information.
- Any lawsuit or worker’s compensation claim filed by a client regarding or involving a therapist.
- Any government request for health oversight information.
7. Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. I accept MasterCard and Visa payment, in addition to cash or check payment.
8. Do you accept insurance?
I do not participate with or accept any payment from insurance companies at this time. If you would like documentation of the sessions we have, I will be glad to provide a statement for you, but I do not file any insurance claims or complete any insurance paperwork.
9. When do you have appointments available?
At the current time, I see clients for appointments on Mondays and Tuesdays between 3:00 to 9:00 p.m. I can arrange other appointment times on an as-needed basis, but regular appointments will likely need to occur during these times.