What should I do if my husband/wife refuses to attend counseling?

Actually, this is not as hopeless as it may seem. Couples research has shown that significant change can occur within a relationship due to the influence of just one partner. You may have already tried everything you can think of with little of no success. In counseling, you will learn proven ways to provide the positive influences that are keys to relationship success.

What should I do if I think it's too late to save our relationship?

Though relationships can seem hopeless, it is seldom too late. Many couples do not seek counseling until their problems are severe, when talking has failed so many times that they stop trying, when anger and avoidance have become the most common responses to what appears to be irresolvable conflicts, or when loneliness leads partners to live separate lives. Fortunately, many of these relationships can be saved with the right kind of counseling help.

What if I don't love my partner any more?

This is a very common question. Actually, feelings of care and desire for a partner become numbed (suppressed) over time in a troubled relationship. It seems as though they are gone, when in reality they have been overwhelmed by feelings caused by chronic resentment, disappointment, loneliness, or contempt. Relationships headed for failure make it increasingly difficult to experience love. The good news is that in counseling you will learn to practice the principles and habits of successful relationships. Over time, love usually returns.

What if my partner and I have different goals for counseling?

At the beginning of counseling this is often the case. Couples do not need to have the same goals for counseling to be successful. However, differing goals need to be harmonized and integrated into the overall direction of counseling. This is the counselor's responsibility working in concert with the couple. Unfortunately, some goals are mutually exclusive, such as one partner wanting to end the relationship, while the other partner wants to work at restoring the relationship. Mutually exclusive goals are impossible to achieve. Fortunately, most couples do find common ground.

Why should I see a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist?

Marriage and couple's counseling is very different from individual therapy. It requires specialized education and training to successfully help couples with their relationship problems. Many times marriage counseling fails because the therapist is not equipped to facilitate change. A couple may give up because they believe there is no hope for change, when in fact the counselor is not equipped to help. A licensed marriage and family therapist has gone through a rigorous course of education and extensive training to specifically address the demands of conjoint relationship counseling.

We've already tried counseling, why should we try again?

Marriage counseling often fails, not because of the couple themselves, but because the counseling approach does not address the core dyanamics that produce lasting change. Their counselor may not have been equipped to help them change.

Also, it is common for couples to withdraw from counseling before the progress becomes an enduring pattern of interaction. The couples rapid progress leads them to believe that counseling is no longer necessary. Then as conflicts and old patterns return, the couple comes to believe that their problems are stronger than counseling's ability to help. As an experienced relationship therapist Roger Shaw is experienced in helping couples overcome many enduring and seemingly hopeless problems.

Do you accept insurance? How does insurance work?

There exits a confusing array of insurance arrangements (PPO, HMO, etc.). The first thing you should do is check with your insurance carrier. Check your coverage carefully and find the answers to the following questions:

  • Do I have mental health benefits?
  • What is my out of pocket deductible and has it been met?
  • How many sessions per calendar year does my plan cover?
  • How much does your plan pay for an out-of-network provider?
  • Is there a limitation on how much you will be expected to pay per session out of pocket?
  • Is a primary care physician's approval required?

Is therapy confidential?

In general, federal and state laws protect the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information can not be disclosed without written permission. However, there are number of exceptions to this rule. Exceptions include:

  • Suspected child abuse or dependant adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
  • If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
  • If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their client's cooperation in insuring their safety. However, if they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.

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