MARRIAGE COUNSELING and COACHING SESSIONS:
Marriage Counseling | Relationship Counseling
Why are YOU here today?
You might be looking for marriage enrichment, or you want to start a new relationship on solid ground. Marriage counseling, relationship coaching, or a couples workshop is a great way to give you that.
OR . . .
You might have landed here because you want marriage counseling to try to save your marriage, to make it more satisfying for both of you. You still love your spouse or partner at some level even in the unhappiness — but you don’t want to keep living in the kind of relationship climate you have now. It is too painful and drains you.
Maybe you are experiencing one or more of the following in your marriage:
Even considering marriage counseling can bring up feelings of anxiety or inadequacy for many people! You might be afraid there is no nope or nothing will work. After all you’ve tried on your own — and maybe even went to counseling before. What if you have ALL those issues in the list -- or even more -- like an emotional or sexual affair?
Can couples marriage counseling or coaching help US?
Short answer: Most likely yes!
In my 25 years of working exclusively with couples, there is almost ALWAYS far more hope than couples believe -- even if you experience ALL of those things on the list -- or similar ones. You have to be willing to work for a period of time. The marriage counselor can't be the one doing all the work! But usually couples can turn things around. If you are not sure your spouse is on board to do the necessary work, go to the first session of marriage counseling and then decide. It's very common to have a 'reluctant' spouse when it comes to couples counseling or a marriage workshop or seminar. It's rarely because of lack of love or caring. I highly recommend the video below:
Suggested Articles & Videos:
10 Tips to Get Your Spouse or Partner to Couples Counseling
Video: My Spouse Won't Go to Marriage Counseling
I give couples practical information, tools and skills to address your concerns, to deepen connection, and to help you create the relationship you both want. While YOU will ultimately decide the future of your marriage or partnership, my bias is toward helping you build the kind of marriage or relationship you want together. After working for over 25 years exclusively with marriage and partnerships, I can tell you that there is usually much more hope to build a more satisfying relationship than couples think!
In couples counseling, I teach you, I coach you, but I also help you get to the one or two roots that underlie most of your conflict or disconnection. I help you identify and make the few changes that can have the most impact on the core of the issue.
Good marriage counseling or coaching is not usually about making massive amounts of change. It's learning to make the few changes that will have the greatest impact. When you address the issues at the root that feeds them, your changes affect multiple issues at once. You can also find more creative ways to step out of the power struggle and meet the needs of BOTH partners.
My counseling and coaching is based in the research-based theory and tools of Imago Relationship Therapy developed by Harville Hendrix, Ph.D. and also informed by the work of noted marriage researcher, John Gottman, Ph.D. , Sue Johnson, PhD of Emotionally Focused Therapy and others. Within the last 10 years, research in neuroscience that focuses on the self in relationship, self-regulation, and creating emotional safety has shed light on how to help people learn to make changes more successfully. However, in the end, YOU are the ones who will implement what you learn, or not. (Find out more in my 3-part series on Imagotherapy -- What IS Imago Relationship Therapy?
While we talk about challenging issues in your relationship, I do not allow couples to just fight in my office and expect me to be the referee. Instead, I teach you HOW to talk and understand at a deeper level, and to work through those challenging issues from a place of connection.
I use a 'growth model' instead of a 'medical model' for couples counseling. That means I do not diagnose clients with 'mental disorders' (which insurance requires and sometimes partners THINK they have!), I assume couples have patterns that lead to distress, conflict, and disconnection that come partially from mutual self-protection patterns. Often couples accidentally trigger tender spots and 'buttons' in each other. Spouses are rarely trying to hurt each other -- but every spouse or partner does hurt the one they love -- by accident. Some of of their patterns come from their personal and relational history -- both the positives and negatives. I ALSO assume individuals and couples have strengths upon which they can build a solid, satisfying marriage or relationship if they can learn and implement better information, tools and skills.
In this 30 second video, singer/songwriter Alanis Morissette talks about what Imagotherapy meant to her and her relationship.
Occasionally people decide to end their relationship. However, in the situations where that happens, most of those couples are also glad they did some work to change their own destructive relationship patterns, or to parent their children well without letting the old marriage conflicts bleed into their parenting decisions.
My counseling style uses elements of coaching and therapy, so it is designed to be fairly short-term. In my experience of over 25 years of working exclusively with marriages and relationships, I find that you can do deep and effective work and gain tools for your future in a fairly short term approach. People either come to do the work they need to do, or not. Dragging out counseling or coaching does not change that.
For a couple, it can range from 4 or 5 sessions up to 14. I would say an average is about 8-10 sessions. It will depend on what your issues are and the effort you put into doing the work in-between sessions as well as in your time with me. For example, recovery from an affair can require more counseling sessions than many other issues because of the damage that has been done at so many levels. If you have a few stuck areas, communication or conflict resolution issues, or are trying to enrich or build a strong foundation for the future, it should take less. Your commitment makes a big difference in your rate of progress.
If you are in a committed love relationship, both people need to come. If you have a spouse or partner who refuses, they need to come to at least the first session. Otherwise, I do not have their input and perspective.
• Regular relationship counseling or
coaching sessions of 1-1.5 hours (the 1st one
is 1.5 - 2hours - no extra charge) (See
Fee Schedule here)
if you are from out of town or out of Florida, have problems scheduling regularly, or just want to do more work more quickly to give yourselves a 'jumpstart' to be able to continue on your own, there are a couple of other options:
• Extended marriage counseling sessions or intensives (3-4 hours, 2 half days back to back, 1 full day, 2 full days) (These can be done in-person or by Zoom.)
• Private couples workshop or regular weekend marriage or couples' workshops
The first session of couples counseling or coaching is 1.5 - 2 hours and is different from other sessions because part of it includes going over your goals, issues, how we will work, etc. I try to give you a taste of how future sessions will work. Then I send you home to decide
1) if I am a good 'fit' for you (if not, I'm happy to give you a referral)
2) if you are willing to make a commitment to do the work (I do not require a commitment to do a certain number of sessions, but without a commitment to doing the work, you will waste time and money. Either the counseling / coaching will take longer than necessary, or you will not take the steps you need to make meaningful change.
I like to do a few sessions fairly close together (1-2 weeks apart) to lay a foundation and then I like to spread them out a little more so couples can implement the work in-between sessions. The idea is to help you integrate it successfully so you can continue using the tools and skills long after you finish working with me.
- If you want in-person counseling and live out of the area, I usually recommend extended sessions of 3-4 hours.. With extended sessions, we can do a good chunk of work, send you home with things to implement so that you can do the work in fewer sessions. Sometimes I will see a couple once, then have them return in 2-3 weeks to give them a foundation to work, then spread out the extended sessions to once a month.
Intensives of 1-2 full days of couples counseling (7 hours a day) came into being for couples who flew in from out of state to work with me. It is open to any couple -- even if you live in the Orlando area.
Private Couples Workshops🔻
A related option is a private couples workshop of 2 days which combines the counseling/coaching aspect of an intensive with some of the key pieces of the weekend workshop. It is one couple and me in my office.
My focus is on your marriage or relationship, and/or your relational patterns that work and don't work in your marriage or partnership.
If either of you have issues with alcohol, drugs, other addictions, chronic depression or anxiety (not just related to the relationship situation), diagnosed personality or other mental disorders, you need to address that outside of marriage, couples, or relationship counseling. Clearly people are often depressed or anxious when they have disconnection, conflict, or other distress in their marriage or relationship. We can discuss your particular situation in the first session to decide what combination of work will be best.
Sometimes spouses or partner's think their partner has a mental disorder and they do not! They may be reacting to patterns in the relationship that trigger primal reactions that don't work, but that is part of what we address in couples counseling or individual relationship counseling.
However, addictions, and chronic problems that go above and beyond the normal relationship issues will continually sabotage your progress in marriage counseling. In these situations I require that the person begin treatment, recovery, or counseling for those issues -- or to be at a point of maintaining well with medication for those situations. Each person and couple differs as to when to start couples counseling when they are working on those other issues. If you are currently in counseling or a program, I will coordinate with your individual counselor. (Informed consent will be required and partner information is not shared unless you sign a specific release for it.)
See our office information for listing of fees and our policy on use of insurance.
- For information on online workshops format, click here.
- For information on online workshops format, click here.
- Next small group workshop:
• April 27-28, 2024
( in person**)
- Limited to 6 couples.
Location: Springhills Suites Hotel in Altamonte Springs. ( Orlando area)
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