How Long Does Therapy Last?
At Conscious Choices, we set specific goals together at the beginning of therapy. Clients are expected to do homework to establish healthy relationship patterns and practices in their daily lives. Because of this, therapy or counseling is usually time-limited and ends when your goals have been met.
Of course there are some more complex situations, which require a series of goals, and resolutions that take place sequentially over time. All of this can be discussed and clarified during the initial evaluation session. The goals document is ongoing and organic, so it can be re-evaluated at any time.
How Often Do I come to Therapy?
In my experience it works best when clients attend weekly or bi-weekly sessions. The process of therapy is about promoting change, and it takes a regular frequency to best encourage growth. By contrast, I find that little change happens if we only meet once a month.
How Long is a Session?
The 50-minute hour is the session most chosen by individual clients. Couple and families often choose 90 minutes, though good work can still be done in the 50-minute time slot.
How Do We choose a Therapist?
The unfortunate fact is that many counselors and psychotherapists perform Couples’ and Marriage Therapy who have not been trained to do so. We have found through experience and research that the most effective couples’ therapy combines skill building with feedback and insight on communication patterns and processes, along with regular homework assignments. Couples’ sessions where the therapists merely referee arguments tends to not produce any long-lasting changes in relationship patterns.
So when you’re choosing a couples’ therapist, be sure to ask them how active and directive they are in their sessions. You should also ask your therapist how many couples’ or marriage counseling sessions they do every week. If it’s less than 5-10, they are doing couples therapy as a minor sideline, not as a main thrust of their practice and they may not be as experienced in working with this modality.
Finally, find out how much training they have had in systems theory and if they are members of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists. (AAMFT) I have been a member of the AAMFT since 1999. I have gone through a graduate program that required 78 credit hours of school focused on working with Family Systems and Couples to graduate. That’s 3,510 hours of time spent in the classroom learning about family systems and what affects them.
Does Insurance Cover Couple’s Therapy?
Insurance is a two-edged sword. In order to get coverage I must give you a mental health diagnosis. This diagnosis will be recorded in the Medical Information Bureau computer systems that can be accessed by many people. The diagnosis will follow you for the rest of your life. It could impact your ability to get life, health, long-term care, and other types of insurance. On top of that, most plans don’t cover helping you with your relationship or marriage. Therefore I am not on any insurance panels.
However, if you are interested in seeking insurance reimbursement I will help you find out what your insurance will cover if I give you a mental health diagnosis. Most insurance companies provide some amount of “out-of-network” reimbursement for their members.