Frequently Asked Questions
Answers to common therapy questions
The church we are getting married at offers premarital counseling; won’t that be enough on its own to prepare us for marriage?
It depends. Some churches offer extensive programming for premarital couples getting married in their church, while others have one or two brief meetings with the couple and hand them a workbook. These brief meetings often are very shallow in their content, and do not really address the important issues that all premarital couples should discuss. Also, these meetings may be rendered less helpful because of the couple’s discomfort in talking through sensitive issues such as sex, living together, and family boundaries with a member of the church. Couples will get the most out of counseling if they are able to talk openly and comfortably in an environment where they will not feel judged, and where they can walk through important issues with the guidance of a skilled marital therapist.
Is there a curriculum for your premarital counseling?
Yes, and no. In all of our premarital counseling packages we will cover the following topics: communication, conflict resolution, relationship history, individual histories, finances, sex, intimacy, spousal roles/expectations, work-life balance, family boundaries/the in-laws, and future plans. Each session is specifically adapted to the partnership, and will flow depending on the needs, wants, and strengths of the couple. We will spend more or less time on each topic based on what you and your partner feel is important to discuss, in conjunction with the guidance and expertise of the therapist.
We are being mentored by an older couple at our church for premarital counseling; will this be enough to prepare us for marriage?
Mentorship by an older married couple is a great resource, and I encourage you to take advantage of this opportunity. However, it is possible that you may not feel comfortable talking through certain issues with this couple, especially if they are associated with your church, your parent’s church, or your in-laws church. Topics such as sex, finances, and family issues can all be quite sensitive, and having time and space with an unbiased therapist can be most helpful. Not to mention that a marriage therapist is specifically trained to work with couples and assist them through this transition.
How far out from our wedding day should we start premarital counseling?
There is no set date for when you should complete your premarital counseling by. Some venues or officiants will require that you complete your premarital counseling before your wedding day; and if this is the case for you, we would recommend starting your premarital package about 8-10 weeks out from your wedding day. The last few weeks before your big day will be extremely busy, and things will come up that might prevent you from attending a premarital session. If you do not have a requirement by your officiant or venue to complete premarital counseling before your wedding, you can start as early as you would like or even finish up after your wedding date.
Is premarital counseling going to tell us whether or not we should be getting married?
No. Premarital counseling and your therapist is not here to tell you whether or not you should be getting married, or if you are making the right decision. Premarital counseling is a process through which you and your partner can grow closer together, while you develop the skills and knowledge you need to have a successful and long-lasting marriage.
Can we complete the premarital counseling package after we have already gotten married?
Absolutely! If you did not have time or the finances to complete premarital counseling before your wedding, it is a great idea to go through our premarital or newlywed programs after you have tied the knot. These programs overlap in their content some, and it is never too late to lay a strong foundation for your marriage from the start.
How do I know if my marriage needs counseling?
Couples can seek counseling for a variety of reasons. Some couples sign up as a means of performing routine maintenance on their relationship to see if everything is running as smoothly and efficiently as possible. While others seek counseling when they have run into some issues that keep popping up over and over again, and never seem to get resolved. If you feel like you are struggling with communication, conflict resolution, hurt feelings, or intimacy in your marriage, you should consider connecting with a therapist for couple counseling.
My marriage is struggling, but I don’t know if I need counseling or if we both need counseling?
Relationship issues can be addressed individually or with both partners present. Many times, we will do a combination of session types to fully address issues that are happening within a relationship. You can begin therapy solo, and invite your spouse in at a later session. You could also begin therapy as a couple, and seek subsequent sessions as an individual. One thing to keep in mind here though is that for couple therapy sessions it is the therapist’s job to be on both partner’s team. In order to create a fair and unbiased playing field for everyone, you should talk with the therapist to figure out if solo sessions or couple sessions are best for you and what you are wanting to accomplish in therapy.
I typically talk my relationship issues out with my friends and family; why would I need to talk to a therapist?
It is wonderful that you have friends and family you can talk with when things get tough. Social support is an important part of successful marriages. However, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists are specifically trained to work with couples and relationship issues, and are bound by professional standards of client care and confidentiality. While your friends and family may have some helpful insights into your relationship problems, couples should be careful to maintain healthy boundaries among their family and friends as to avoid residual hurt feelings or opinions held by these caring others after the issue has been resolved. Talking with a therapist allows you to find time and space to discuss difficult or private issues with someone who is trained to help you sort these issues out.
Isn’t couple therapy only for couples who are about to get divorced?
Couples often wait to seek therapy much too late after problems arise in their marriage. Many couples only turn to therapy as a last resort, but this is not when couple counseling can be most effective. Couples should perform maintenance on their marriage regularly, and should address issues before they get out of control. Couple counseling is for any couple who would like to improve or strengthen their relationship, or resolve tricky issues that keep popping up for them.
You offer some packages that include dance lessons; what dances are we learning and how will this help us in our relationship?
The key to partner dancing is communication and trust. In these lessons you will get the opportunity to learn and practice foundational communication techniques, as well as learn some new moves with your partner. We teach couples to perform the waltz, two-step, or polka. Each of these dances are typically performed to country-western music, but can also easily be used with classic love songs and other genres.
What should we wear to our dance lesson sessions?
You should wear comfortable clothes, and close-toed shoes. Boots or shoes with a leather sole are preferred over shoes with rubber soles. It will make moving around easier and smoother. If you are learning to dance for your first dance, you are welcome to wear your shoes for the wedding specifically to practice in.
How long are therapy sessions?
Sessions are 50 minutes long. Extended two-hour sessions are also available for clients who have limited availability or would prefer longer/less frequent sessions.
How early should I arrive for my appointment?
Clients should arrive 5-10 minutes prior to the start time of their session. Session start and end times are strictly adhered to and late arrival will lead to shortened therapeutic work time.
Do you take insurance?
We currently do not accept insurance at this time; however, we can provide you a receipt for services that you can take to your insurance provider to seek personal reimbursement.
What forms of payment do you accept?
All payments are processed electronically through the client portal using the client’s credit card. Cash or checks are not currently accepted.
Are there different prices for couple or family therapy sessions?
No, all sessions are the same price regardless of how many client/family members are present.
Do you provide sessions that are longer than just 50 minutes?
Yes, 2-hour (110) minute sessions are also available for clients who have limited availability or would prefer longer/less frequent sessions. Longer sessions are particularly ideal for couples or families as the extended session allows more therapeutic work to be accomplished and processed.
Do you do phone sessions or video sessions?
In-person sessions should be prioritized, and extended phone sessions are associated with a fee proportional to the length of time spent on the phone. Video sessions are also available for clients who need/want to attend therapy sessions from the comfort of their own home or office. HIPAA compliant video conferencing software is used and clients must confirm their presence in the state of Texas per licensure jurisdiction requirements.
What happens if I miss my appointment or need to reschedule?
Clients needing to cancel or reschedule an appointment should do so at least 24 hours in advance to avoid being charged the full session fee. You can call, text, or email us to let us know.
How long does the therapy process take?
The length of the therapeutic process varies from client to client and there is no single answer to this question. Research shows that client’s notice the most change after about eight sessions but topics such as trauma, abuse, PTSD, or infidelity often take longer to resolve. Our goal is to not have you be a client forever; we want to equip our clients with the skills and tools they need to become self-reliant, well-rounded individuals.