What does it mean to be a “marriage friendly therapist”?
Some therapists will attempt to maintain a “neutral” stance about your marriage. Sometimes this stance comes from therapists not being trained marriage and family therapists which causes the therapist to maintain their individual focus even while doing couples therapy. Sadly, this often causes the therapist to take sides with the individual they identify with more, or to focus on one or the other’s individual happiness over and above the health of the marriage. Both of these outcomes can lead to unhelpful marriage therapy or even divorce. I see your marriage as my client. While you are always in total control of your marriage I am here to help you save it, repair it, and love being married. I do not help couples discern if divorce if right for them. I do not help couples amicably divorce. I believe that nearly all marriages can be saved, with rare exceptions, and if you desire to save your marriage I will help you do it!
One or both of us are worried that you would take sides, will you?
No. Emotionally Focused Therapy works from the premise that every couple has a cycle. Therapy aims to de-escalate that cycle, help the couple understand their cycle, promote forgiveness, heal past hurts, and build or rebuild a secure connection. This all occurs in a non-blaming manner; the cycle is the enemy not either spouse.
What are the advantages to marriage therapy?
We are relational beings; we are created, wired, designed for connection. All of our individual challenges are either helped or made worse in and through our relationships with others, especially our most intimate others. Emotionally Focused Therapy capitalizes on a couple’s deep and unending need and desire for a loving, secure connection. When an insecure connection is made secure couples do better together of course, but each person also does better in individual areas of their lives too.
What if I would rather do individual therapy?
Sometimes marriage therapy is not an option. Sometimes women just feel like they would like a place that is theirs alone to sort out their thoughts and feelings about the past, present, or future. Sometimes a woman would like to focus on her relationship with God or her relationship with herself rather than directly on her marriage. Maybe things feel quite satisfactory in a woman’s marriage and family life but there is still a feeling of discontent. All of these are good reasons to consider individual therapy.
How long will it take?
Unfortunately, this is not possible to say in a general FAQs page. Each couple’s and individual’s circumstances are unique and the length of time therapy takes depends the couple or individual themselves. Emotionally Focused Therapy is designed to be a shorter term therapy and we will assess together, along the way, how you are progressing towards your goals.
What if we are not Catholic, Christian, or any religion at all?
In today’s world not all couples or individuals identify themselves as Catholic, Christian, or religious at all. That is ok! Emotionally Focused Therapy is an empirically validated, secular therapy that depends on the strength of model the skills of the therapist. Faith or religion need not enter the therapy room if the couple or individual client does not desire it to.
Why don’t you take insurance?
The majority of health insurance plans do not cover marital therapy even if they include behavioral health coverage. Furthermore, insurance companies require the therapist to submit a mental health diagnosis in order to reimburse for the session. I do not believe that a mental health diagnosis is always necessary and do not feel comfortable creating a diagnosis that I do not feel is clinically justified. Another concerning issue is that once that diagnosis is made it becomes part of an individual’s permanent medical record and sometimes that can be problematic for the client in the future. Finally, insurance companies dictate the number of sessions they will pay for and I believe that it is between the couple, or individual client, and myself as to how long therapy is going to last.