Our approach is more organized than most couples therapy approaches — and it’s more responsive to scientific evidence about how the brain and human relationships work. Your therapist will do more than just facilitate discussions. She or he will help you identify specific habits that need to change and then help you engage in specific practice methods that enable these changes. Changes typically include internal habits (the way you interpret things and react inside when upsetting things happen) and interpersonal habits (the way you interact with your partner). You can expect your therapist to:
understand and care about the things that are most important to you.
expertly guide you (and/or your partner) through the stages needed for healing and change to occur.
provide clear leadership and direction during therapy sessions and give step-by-step guidance about how to do things differently.
operate on the basis of established scientific evidence about relationships, rather than personal opinion.
challenge you and/or your partner when needed in a direct, yet non-threatening, supportive way.
Our methods are based on scientific evidence about how relationships work and about how our brains can acquire new habits. While we believe that the habits that build healthy relationships are compatible with most faiths that encourage love, empathy and principled living, we leave it up to you to decide how compatible they are with your particular faith. The best way to investigate might be to read about the experiences of people who we have assisted.
Probably. We are contracted PPO providers with most of the major insurance companies. Policies vary in their coverage, but most people find that their insurance companies pay all costs except for deductibles, and coinsurance/co-payments. If you have questions about how to investigate what your insurance will cover, call our office manager Lori at 630-232-7457, extension 115.
Absolutely. This was one of the reasons why we named our clinic “The Couples Clinic” rather than “The Marriage Clinic.” Our therapists are sensitive to the unique challenges that gay and lesbian couples face and have a well-established track record of helping with their relationships.
No. We find that the best way to help partners improve their relationships is through a combination of individual and couple sessions. Individually, the therapist will help you and your partner focus on the changes that you each need to make. In couple sessions, the therapist will assist you in putting these changes into practice.
Yes. People come alone to therapy for a variety of reasons. You may want help making sense of your current life situation; There may be decisions that you need to make and you want to get an objective outside opinion; You may need help overcoming feelings of anxiety or depression; or you may want to improve your relationship but your partner can’t or won’t come — or you don’t want him or her to come. You can work on navigating your relationship more skillfully regardless of whether your partner comes with you to therapy or not. Our therapists are expert relationship coaches and often, the process of relationship improvement begins with just one person.
Call 630-232-7457, extension 115 and talk to Lori, our office manager. She will give you information about available appointment times, costs, how to use health insurance to cover part of the fees, and what you can expect in the counseling process. She’ll also answer any more specific questions you may have.
No. Your therapist will not reveal to your partner information that you ask him or her not to disclose. While we don’t encourage secrets between partners we understand that the decision to reveal information can sometimes be complicated. If you’re like most people, you’ll find it immensely helpful to sort through information that you have been keeping to yourself with a therapist. For the counseling process to work, you will need to be fully honest with your therapist. It’s possible that you could reveal a secret that may lead your therapist to conclude that couples counseling cannot be helpful unless you are willing to reveal it to your partner. If you are unwilling or not ready, your therapist may recommend discontinuing couples counseling while you and/or your partner work individually.
Your therapist will want to meet with you and your partner together for the first hour of counseling. Then, most often your therapist will want to have separate individual meetings of 45 minutes to one hour. During these initial meetings your therapist will be focusing mostly on gathering information and coming to understand your situation — not giving out advice or suggestions. We’ve been helping couples long enough to know that it’s unwise to run off “half-cocked” before we really understand your relationship and each of your beliefs and feelings. But after these initial sessions, you can expect your therapist to discuss candidly his or her observations in a straight-forward way, and he or she will suggest a concrete plan for how to make things better. The therapist will welcome your input and together you will decide how to proceed.
The process will vary depending upon the needs or your situation. Couples typically engage in regular counseling sessions for 3-6 months, but some come for just a few sessions while others feel that they continue to benefit from more than than 6 months. If you’re not seeing hopeful signs within three months, the process probably isn’t working and you should consider other options. The decision on whether to continue or not at any point is entirely yours and your therapist will encourage you to stop whenever you feel ready.
If there is ongoing physical aggression in your relationship, couples counseling is usually not the best choice until internal changes take place in a person that enable the aggressive acts to be controlled. However, sometimes going through the initial assessment sessions will help motivate an aggressive partner to get individual treatment. Couples therapy may also be of limited or no value if one or the other partner is engaged in an ongoing secret affair or is making covert significant financial decisions without the other partner’s knowledge).
Scientific evidence suggests that people function best when they sustain satisfying, committed relationships over time. Correspondingly, we encourage people to make every reasonable effort to repair their relationships before moving on. However, not all relationships can be repaired and sometimes separating is the best choice. While your therapist may encourage you to carefully consider all of the angles, ultimately we believe that each person must make decisions that he or she believes to be best.