COMMON QUESTIONS ABOUT MARRIAGE & FAMILY THERAPY…
I think that I need help, but I am concerned about the cost.
Marriage & Family Therapy is an investment in yourself and your relationships. By developing a healthy, lasting connection with your partner you can significantly reduce symptoms of stress and anxiety that can arise in times of conflict. It is a great return on investment. Research shows that psychotherapy can boost happiness more than making more money. Check out this article about how therapy can actually be 32x more effective than having more money here.
Does Marriage and Family Therapy work?
The benefits of therapy have been demonstrated in numerous studies. Marriage & Family Therapy can help you be more optimistic, gain more positive coping skills, have better health, and more fulfilling relationships. According to research done by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, over 90% families and couples who have attended family or couples therapy sessions indicate high levels of patient satisfaction and report that they had more effective tools for dealing with their problems.
How will I know if you are the right therapist for me?
The “fit” between the therapist and client is actually the biggest predictor of successful outcomes. Studies show that the therapeutic relationship is more important that any particular treatment method or model. Give me a call or reach out in an email. Look through my free tools here and blog to get a feel for who I am and how I work. I am happy to discuss any questions you may have or just have a introductory call to see if this would be a good fit.
How does relationship counseling work?
It is my job to create a safe and confidential place for you to express your concerns and support to work out solutions. When something is pretty stressful and we feel powerless to control our environment or our future, we create a psychological strategy to protect ourselves. These are called defenses. Defenses are not bad things; without them we literally couldn’t function. The bad news is that defenses can interfere with your quality of life… your ability to love and be loved. We will work together to create new coping and communication skills that will help you cultivate relationships you love.
Why does therapy cost so much?
It may seem like therapists charge a lot of money, but believe me, the vast majority do not become wealthy from their private practices. Most therapists charge between $75-$200 a session. Like anyone who works independently, therapist’s fees pay for office space, office supplies, advertising, websites, continuing education, outside consultations, medical and malpractice insurance, and vacation time. While companies commonly supply these accoutrements and provisions for employed professionals, those of us in private practice supply them for ourselves. For most full time therapists in private practices or agencies see about 20-25 clients each week. The rest of our time we are marketing and promoting our practice, doing essential administrative work, and keeping up with new information through study, professional/peer consultations with other professionals, seminars and conferences.
Do you take my insurance?
I do not sit on insurance panels, which means I am an out of network provider. Many insurance plans do not cover marriage counseling or parent-child relationship issues. If you choose to use your insurance benefits, that company will require a mental health diagnosis, which will become permanent on your medical records. This not only compromises your privacy and confidentiality, it may effect your future eligibility and cost if you wish to make a change in your insurance. If you want to use your insurance you will need to contact your insurance company before our first session and ask them how much they reimburse you if you choose to see an Out-of-Network licensed MFT (Marriage and Family Therapist). I will give you a bill for your sessions that will have all the required information an insurance company requires. You submit the statement/bill directly to your company. When the reimbursement check comes, it goes to you, not to me.
How long does counseling last?
Of course, it varies. Some clients get what they need in just a few visits. It generally takes 10-12 weeks to really build a therapeutic alliance and make some lasting changes. Sessions are usually 50 min. each. Some clients participate for 6 mo. to 1 year. Most couples and families make an initial investment in time and money to come weekly for 2 or 3 months, and then every other week, and then just as needed. I know that life is busy these days and offer online therapy and even messaging support packages to help you continue your therapeutic work in a way that you can commit to and see lasting change.
What if my partner or family member does not want to participate?
This is common. One person changing their perceptions and behaviors will often make a huge impact on the relationship. I do work with individuals on relationship issues by themselves. Sometimes, the parter will want to come later after they see all of the great changes happening. I also do individual sessions, at times, as a part of the couples or family work.
Why do I need a therapist? Why can’t I just talk to a friend or a family member?
A friend or family member is not professionally trained to help you grow, heal and change. It’s likely that your friends and family have been giving you their best advice for some time now. Here is why your friend’s advice is different from a therapist. Your friends’ main goal is to maintain your friendship. Also, they will give advice that is based on their life’s experience. A trained therapist is interested in helping you find your OWN answers by helping you connect with what is true and right for you.
Is my confidentiality completely protected?
Yes. By law I am bound to protect your confidentiality. The exceptions to this are related to child or elder abuse, a threat to harm another person or if you are in danger of self harm. If you want to use a third party payer to pay for therapy it will be necessary to provide the information required by your insurance company which will likely include a diagnosis. If this is the case I will discuss with you what is disclosed to an insurer.
What is a Marriage and Family Therapist?
Marriage and Family Therapists (MFTs) are relationship specialists who work with people on relationships. They are trained to assess, diagnose and treat individuals, couples, families and groups to achieve more adequate, satisfying and productive marriage, family and social adjustment. The practice also includes premarital counseling, child counseling, divorce or separation counseling and other relationship counseling issues. Requirements for licensure include a related doctoral or two-year master’s degree, passage of a comprehensive written and oral examination and at least 3,000 hours of supervised experience. I am licensed in Florida, Texas, and California.