Couples Therapy Q&A

What is an initial consultation?

An initial consultation will be our first contact. The purpose of the initial consultation is for us to see if working with me will be helpful to you. I can get a sense of what you two as a couple need help with, and you can get a sense of how I work. We will also discuss what areas of difficulties required attention if we continue with therapy.

An initial consultation is typically 3 sessions for couples. At the end of the consultation period we can talk about whether continuing with therapy feels helpful.

How long is your session? And how often do we meet?

Initial consultation sessions as well as ongoing therapy sessions are weekly and 50 mins long. However, some couples find 50 mins to be short and prefer a longer session (1 session is 50 mins, 1.5 sessions are 75 mins).

What is your cancellation policy?

During the initial consultation period I have a 48 hour cancellation policy. If after the initial consultation period (which is 3 sessions long for couples) a decision is made to continue with therapy then I will reserve a time for you each week. You will be responsible for that time. Missed sessions will be charged.

How long is therapy?

Treatment lengths depend on a variety of factors, including the nature, scope, and history of your presenting issues. It can be addressed during the initial consultation.

Do you see us jointly or individually?

Because people come to couples therapy to work on their relationship, couples sessions are joint. However, sometimes partners in a couple would request an individual session. We can discuss further as to what feels helpful depending on what the couple is going through. 

What if my partner refuses to go to couples therapy?

Please review this for ideas on how to approach your partner. For some couples the need to go to therapy is a conversation that happens more than once over a span of time (weeks or months). It will be important to listen to your partner’s concerns so they feel respected and listened to, but be firm about your own view that it is what you want, as you believe it will help. Sometimes partners will agree to at least try when you communicate clearly about what is on the line regarding the relationship.

How do I decide if I need an individual OR couples therapist?

I tend to recommend people to come in individually first if they feel unsure. After we discuss the issues that require attention, we can then sort out if what will be a more helpful approach.  

I need BOTH an individual and a couples therapist.  Can you be both?

I can only be your individual OR couples therapist.  Having said that, my experience is that some people find it helpful to have their own course of individual therapy alongside coupes therapy. I will be happy give you a referral to see someone for a separate course of therapy.

We would like to know what therapy is like and what to expect. 

Like individuals, no two couples are completely alike, and so it might not be very helpful to generalize, since each couple’s dynamic, needs, and situation are unique. However, the goal of couples therapy is to provide a space for two partners to listen to and understand each other. The process typically starts with partners discussing their dissatisfactions and what they would like to see happen. History of the relationship, problems that create difficult feelings, previous attempts to address problems, and partners’ unmet needs in the relationship are common loci of attention at the start.

Find out more.