Please click on each question to read the answer.

What is the cost of counseling?
 Counseling for a couple, marriage or a family is $100 for a fifty minute session.  I also offer a pre-marital program for at a packaged price.  This is not for couples who are having a particular problem in their relationship, but for a couple who wants a program that gives the couple an overview of their relationship to identify areas of strength and growth in their relationship.  Please call me for details if you have interest in this package.

Do you offer discounts or a sliding scale or something for people who are in a financially difficult situation?
Yes, I will offer sessions at my lower demand times which typically means during the day for a $20 discount for those who are in financially difficult situations.  This needs to be at a time of my approval.  Call me to see if I have discount times available for you.

Can I use my insurance for marriage or couple counseling?
 This is a question you will have to ask your insurance provider.   Unfortunately, many insurances do not have coverage for marital or couple counseling.  On the hand some will cover it.  You will have to call to see if you have coverage for this or not.

Do you take my insurance?
If your insurance covers the kind of counseling you are seeking and they will pay to my license then I will give you the necessary information on a monthly basis so that you can be reimbursed by your insurance for your sessions with me.  I will work with you to get this reimbursement, yet I can give no assurances of whether your insurance will reimburse you or not.  Please be aware that your insurance may require that one of you be an identified patient with a diagnosis. I take out of pocket payment at the time of your session by cash, check or credit card.

What should I look for in a marriage and/or family counselor?
First you should be comfortable with the counselor and feel like they respect you and are fair to you.  In the event that a client thinks I am being unfair to them, my hope is that they would tell me so that I can understand and address their concern. A marriage/family counselor should actively structure and guide the sessions rather than take a laid back passive approach.  A more passive manner may work in individual sessions but can be problematic with more people together in the therapy room.  The counselor should be able to within a few sessions begin to offer direction and a plan that would give cause for some hope. In a recent survey of helping professionals, a high percentage said they did at least some couple counseling.   In some cases it was discovered that they just dabbled in it.  What could be worse is if they have little or no training with this specialized area of counseling.  Also when surveying the field of marriage counselors some had acknowledged that they take a neutral approach as to whether the relationship continues or not.  Perhaps because of their lack of ideas or their own bias, some therapists may offer you a prescription that you should divorce or that you should put the relationship on hold and engage in long term individual therapy. I think doing these things is inappropriate.  I don’t know how partners can suspend dealing with each other.  I do not think couples should stay together at all cost, yet I assume that my job is to try to help create hope for the couple’s relationship to continue.   If these are things you don’t want, then be cautious and ask questions.

How successful are you in helping couples?
If you mean by successful you mean that the relationship continues on in an improved state.  I can conservatively say over 70% of the couples I see would at least fit this definition of success.  I could further say this, if after three sessions, the couple buys into the plan and direction that I offer to them, than I could raise the success rate to above 85%.  Some partners come in planning to drop off their partners to get help while get out.  Sometimes partner are hiding infidelities, and some may have addictions or mental health issues that they refuse to address.  In these situations my ability to help is hampered.  These situations tend to be rare though.  The most common reason for failure in my marriage/couple counseling is when a spouse comes into the counseling with a rigid inflexible agenda for me to follow in fixing their partner.  Sometimes they have their own diagnosis for me too and a plan of action they expect me to follow.  These partners tend to fire the therapist who won’t work their plans and then shop around for a therapist who will follow it. Another reason for failure is when the couple has something that keeps them from having sufficient continuity to their sessions.  Missing sessions is indicative of a less likely positive outcome.

How long will it take and how often will I come to sessions?
Most couples I work with often end up coming around something like 20 times.  After the first three sessions, I can give you a closer estimate as to whether it would likely be more or less for you.  Some factors like an undisclosed or not fully disclosed infidelity or other types of still hidden betrayals (like financial), issues of partner abuse, or an unaddressed addictions or mental health issues will likely push out the length of time longer.  A lot of couples start out coming on a regular weekly basis.  A positive in this is that there is sufficient continuity to the process and the couple can get an assured time slot for their sessions.  Some come less often because of their schedules or perhaps financial situation.  Couples initially should come on at least an every other week basis. The potential drawback of this is that the help comes at a slower pace.  At some point in the marital counseling process, it is common and it makes sense for couples to begin spacing out their sessions as they come to the end of the counseling process.

What if I can’t get my spouse/partner to come to couple counseling?
This is actually a very common scenario.  Often times it is because the spouse is not using the best approach get them to join them.  In other cases it is also because of the misconceptions and then the resulting anxieties they have about couple counseling.  Horror stories and the media unfortunately feed these misconceptions about what couple counseling is.  I encourage you to call me so that I can coach you in some approaches that are more likely to get your spouse to come in with you.  I am quite successful in helping spouses who are interested in counseling help get their reluctant enticed to join their partner in counseling.

How do I know if I will be comfortable with you?
Comfort with your therapist is very important, particularly, because you will be dealing with subject matter that can be uncomfortable.   You will want to know that when the therapist challenges you that it is for your good.  Hopefully what I address in my web site provides you with a measure of comfort.  A phone call and a discussion with me can give you another level of comfort. I encourage both spouses to call me before the first session.   If you want further assurances, you can schedule a free consultation with me to come in and meet me and ask questions to get a general feel for how I would handle your type of issues.  Consultations typically take around a half an hour.  I will not do a hard sell, but will instead encourage the couple to go home and decide and then get back with me with a couple of days.

Are you licensed, and what do your credentials mean?
I am licensed by the state of Michigan as a professional counselor.  The schooling for this credential has given me a general knowledge of all aspects of counseling and people helping issues.  I also have two additional years of training and which qualifies me as a certified marriage and family counselor.  This additional two years of schooling for this credential was focused upon dealing with couple and family issues.  After finishing this course work, I engaged in another two years of supervision in couple and family counseling.   I have also had the opportunity to do some teaching about couple, marital and family counseling at two local universities.  All of this means that I am highly trained and uniquely specialized in marriage, couple, and family counseling.