Frequently Asked Questions
What hours are available for appointments?
We offer psychotherapy sessions Monday through Friday. Depending on the particular therapist, you may be able to arrange morning, afternoon, or evening appointments. Appointments are usually scheduled on the hour and are about 50 minutes long.
When you work with couples do you meet with both partners together or do you schedule individual interviews?
Each therapist has their own particular style. For the most part, therapists prefer to meet with both partners together. This is the usual, safest and most effective way to work. On occasion, a therapist will schedule an individual session as part of the initial assessment process, or if there are issues that are too sensitive to discuss and explore in a couples meeting. For example, if couples are working on sexual problems, an individual meeting to get a sexual history can be helpful. Individual meetings are always arranged with both partners agreement, and with the understanding that it is destructive for the therapist to be holding “secrets.” The focus would be on individual issues that can be integrated into the couples work.
Do you give feedback and direction?
Yes. We consider ourselves on the active end of the spectrum in terms of participation in sessions. We see ourselves as facilitators of change and as educators. We do not embrace the “medical model,” where the therapist is the expert doctor and you are the patient. Rather, each of us as therapist brings something important to the table as part of a dialogue in which we work together to find answers and solutions that fit for you, as you confront life’s challenges.
Should we do couples counseling if my partner is unsure about continuing the relationship?
It can be very helpful to attend couples counseling even if there is uncertainty about the future of the relationship. It is common, especially if couples are in crisis, for one or both partners to have mixed feelings about staying together.
Is there a way to work on the relationship if my partner is unwilling to attend?
Yes. And you could set a goal of having your partner participate. We see relationship interaction as a kind of “dance.” If you gain clarity about your end of the equation, then you can change your “steps.” And if you start a new dance that you think is good for both you and the relationship, and make a good invitation, many times your partner will come around and join in. This concept in the psychotherapy field is called “couples therapy with one partner present.”
Can I meet the therapist to see how it feels and decide if I am comfortable with that particular therapist?
Yes, of course. We do charge for the initial visit. If you decide for any reason that you want to seek other resources, it is part of the therapist’s job to help you find them.
What is your theoretical orientation?
This is a question that is occasionally asked. While there is much overlap and we are all familiar with a variety of theoretical approaches, each therapist has their own particular style.
We want to emphasize that we try to fit the model to the client, and not vice versa. Our intention as therapists is to remain flexible and to find an approach that is right for you. Each of us integrates the major schools of thought – family systems, cognitive-behavioral, and psychodynamic approaches – with systems theory being the foundation.
We also make use of more recent, cutting-edge approaches – emotionally focused therapy, narrative therapy and solution-focused brief therapy. We tend to focus on the here-and-now, believing that past conditioning is being worked through when people make constructive change in the present. However, it can be important to understand and explore past experience as part of an overall growth process.