Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is Christian couples counseling?
Let's start by putting your mind at ease -- Christian Counseling is NOT a couple's Bible Study, a teaching series on Marriage 101 or a refresher of the Ten Commandments! Click Here to learn more!
2. Does marriage counseling work?
Of course, there are great differences in marriage relationships but the studies are encouraging! Counseling does not fix your relationship overnight, because the issues did not appear overnight. But, the sooner marriage problems are addressed, the sooner they can be resolved!
Click here to read more and see the couples counseling issues that can be assisted through a professional therapist!
3. How long does marriage counseling typically take?
This is a great question! The length of the process depends on a few things. If both partners are willing to work consistently on their own “stuff” and refrain from blame, then positive results may be visible in just three sessions. On average, couples see me for 12-18 sessions depending on the severity of the issues.
4. What can we expect for our first counseling session?
Coming into therapy for the first time or starting with a new therapist can be a scary thing. So it is always helpful to know what to expect. Prior to the session, it is a good idea to complete the necessary paperwork, so that the time can be spent getting to know you and your spouse, understanding your reason for coming in, hearing your story, and establishing goals for counseling.
5. We do not know you, and are concerned that we will feel uncomfortable sharing the intimate details of our marriage with a stranger. How do you address this issue?
I totally get where you are coming from. This is such a normal concern for couples, especially those who have never been in counseling bofore. You will not be forced to talk about anything that you are uncomfortable sharing.
Keep in mind, it will be important for us to develop a relationship where you feel safe, so that we can work through the issues together. My approach is gentle, non-judgmental and deeply empathetic, and my clients tell me that they feel accepted and affirmed from the moment they come in.
As a result of my specialized training and also because of my relationship with God, anything that you bring into the room will be handled with gentleness, care, and expertise. Also, I offer a complimentary consultation so that you can "try me out" to see if we are a good fit.
6. What perspectives do you practice from?
First and foremost, I practice from a Biblical perspective which is often referred to as Christian Counseling. I believe that if the partners are Christians, God speaks to them and guides their relationship. My role in the process is to encourage and facilitate the working of His Spirit in their lives. I also use a strength-based approach which accentuates the strengths and positive qualities of each partner, and acknowledges that each individual has the knowledge, skills, resources and the God-given abilities to contribute to the success and happiness of their marriage. I do not engage in blaming either partner, there is no “bad guy,” and I do not take sides. My work affirms the strengths of the relationship, seeks to build on these, and teaches the couple to do the same.
I also utilize a Family Systems-based therapeutic method known as Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). EFT is a wonderfucouples and seeing their marriages transformed because this transformation dramatically enriches the lives of their children, thus positively influencing the family as a whole.
Studies have shown that children from happy marriages are less likely to experience mental health problems, abuse drugs or alcohol, or drop out of school. Studies have also shown that happily married couples experience fewer emotional problems, live longer and enjoy greater financial stability. The benefits of a happy union are far reaching.
7. What are your other areas of practice?
My other areas of practice are with family therapy, counseling for teenagers, one-on-one counseling for individuals, and grief counseling. Some of the issues I address with clients include depression, anxiety, anger, self-esteem and identity concerns, grief and loss, crisis of faith and life balance.
8. Suppose my partner does not want to come?
Come anyway! Often a change in one partner’s behavior causes changes in the relationship as a whole. If one partner is consistent in positively adjusting their behavior, sometimes the other partner will make positive changes too.
9. Are there any couple clients who you will not see?
This is such a difficult question as it is my desire to help everyone! However, in the client’s’ best interest, if there are issues with abuse, addiction, deep trauma, a current affair or ambivalence, it is usually recommended that they receive specialized counseling before coming to couples therapy. In this way, we can focus on matters directly related to the relationship, and see greater success.
10. Do you take insurance?
Currently, I do not accept insurance, but will give you a receipt to submit to your insurance provider, if they have agreed to reimburse you for out of network services. I have found that when insurance companies are involved in the business of therapy, client records can be requested and so confidentiality is not guaranteed. Also the diagnosis needed for third party reimbursement becomes part of the client’s permanent record and many of my clients are not comfortable with this. Visit the Counseling Fees page for more information!
Does Marriage Counseling Work?
Have you ever wondered if counseling was worth the time and effort? Click the blue link to see the latest research results showing the results "Does Marriage Counseling Work?"!
If you are just looking for a great starting point, click here to see Juliet's list of books that are recommended reads for strengthening marriages!