Couples Therapy is a very distinct and challenging work to do. There are many counselors and therapists who say they do “couples counseling” but have no training to do such. As a result, people often think that couples counseling does not work. Or that they have tried couples counseling and it wasn’t helpful so they should just give up.
Doing real marriage and family therapy requires not just a set of interventions, but a new way of seeing people and the interactions they have with each other. True systems work requires the therapist to see the relationship and not just the two people, and in fact we often will see the children, the couple’s parents, the people they work with, their health problems and many other things that all have influence on how these two people are interacting. This is what is different in doing marital therapy with someone who has training as an MFT versus someone who does not. The changes that happen change how the system works and isn’t just short term change.
Dr. David Schnarch, author of Passionate Marriage - “We would be better served by thinking of marriage as a ‘people-growing’ institution.”
“What if sexual desire problems are common and normal because they're part of the "people-growing machinery" of committed relationships?”
That being said, I do have training in a variety of interventions for couples including Sue Johnson’s Emotion Focused Couples Therapy, John Gottman’s Gottman Method, David Schnarch’s Crucible Method and many other family and marital assessments and interventions. In addition to these couples methods, I also use some individual interventions with couples such as Internal Family Systems, play therapy and sand tray work, emotion focused coaching and mindfulness based practices as needed. I also can do parenting help and family therapy as needed. Every couple is different and the things they struggle with are different so I tailor the plan to meet the needs and goals you have for change.
At this current time, most insurance companies will not cover marriage or family therapy unless there is one person who has a diagnosed mental illness and the goals for therapy revolve around helping that person recover from their mental illness. Unfortunately, that is not how most families or relationships work, it is never just one person who needs to be “fixed,” it is the system that needs the change to help everyone be more healthy. There are two options:
1- we can talk about a legitimate mental health diagnosis for one person and have the goals for treatment be about getting them better.
2- come into therapy knowing that insurance will not cover therapy for this work. If you have questions about this, please contact me directly.