Phoenix Couples Therapy

Cultivating fulfilling relationships is an integral part of our work at Biltmore Psychology and Counseling. Couples Counseling includes any form of relationship counseling, including marriage counseling, premarital counseling, and counseling for partners who are dating or living together.

Our psychologists and counselors often apply Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) techniques in working with couples.

EFT method has been found to be effective in helping over 75% of couples in distress, recover and grow even after counseling has ended.

 Every counselor at Biltmore Psychology and Counseling brings a holistic understanding of gender identity and sexual orientation to his or her practice, and all of our counseling services are applicable for LGBT relationships and communities.

Topics for Couples Counseling include:

Additional Topics We Help With Include:



Negative Relationship Patterns


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Fill out the form below or call us at (480) 999-7070 for a free 10 minute consultation.

Couples Counseling FAQ

What Can I Expect From Couples Counseling?

For the first session, the couple usually meets with their therapist together to discuss the history of their distress, unsuccessful attempts to heal, and the goals for therapy. The therapist will provide feedback on the strengths that he or she sees in the couple and will propose a treatment plan.

In the following sessions, the therapist will likely meet with each person individually to gather a more in-depth personal history. Couples counselors will usually state there are no secrets in couples counseling. Any information shared in an individual session cannot be kept secret from the other partner.

At the end of counseling, couples hope to have healed emotional injuries to the relationship, clarified their desire to be together, or have decided to enter a separation process with the highest level of care and compassion.

Most importantly, the counselor’s role is not to decide if the couple should stay together but is to help the couple achieve the highest level of healing possible. So, they can determine if they would like to stay together or separate.

Read More: What to Expect at Your First Couples Counseling Session

What Happens During a Couples Counseling Session?

Depending on the couple’s goals, most couples counseling sessions will focus on the history of distress and attempt to help the couple find a greater resolution. As specific incidences of distress are discussed, a couples counselor may be watching for themes of disconnection and assist the couple in overcoming the barriers that have been getting in the way.

A counselor may also attempt to help the couple intellectually understand their partner as well as emotionally connecting to the places of distress. Couples may focus on improving communication and restoring levels of connection that were once present in the past.

Other couples may focus on healing attachment injuries that have occurred due to an affair. Some may focus on specific difficulties such as step-parenting or frustrations with in-laws. Another couple may present for pre-marital counseling as a preemptive attempt to avoid common relationship pitfalls.

How Long Does Couples Counseling Last?

By definition, short-term counseling is considered to be 12 sessions so most couple counseling lasts between 12-24 sessions. However, many couples wait until they are on the brink of divorce or separation before they start therapy.

Factors that predict success and length of session:

  1. Timing – How recently was the affair, lie, or injury to the relationship. Since time does not heal all wounds but instead causes them to fester, the greater the length of time between the incident and counseling, the greater the recovery. Researcher, John Gottman, Ph.D., found that couples are usually unhappy for six years before they receive help.
  2. Motivation – Highly motivated couples are usually able to overcome even the most difficult of circumstances and may be able to do so in substantially fewer sessions.
  3. Fit – Finding a therapist that the couple connects with and feels understood by is key to a more brief and efficient therapy.

Is Couples Counseling Only for Married Couples?

No. Couples of any marital status (dating, courting, engaged, married) can participate in couples counseling. The couple does not have to be dating or married for a prescribed length of time to benefit from counseling. In fact, the sooner the couple addresses any underlying distress, the greater the chances of positive outcomes.

Can I Come for Couple’s Counseling Without My Partner(s)?

Yes. For various reasons, an individual may choose to come in by themselves for concerns related to their relationship. When appropriate, someone may start counseling by themselves, then later bring their partner in for couples counseling, if desired. Others may choose to have two counselors, one for individual therapy and another for couples counseling.

Will You Always See Us as a Couple, or Will You Ever See Us Individually?

Most therapists will see each person individually for one session to gather a more in-depth personal history. Beyond this initial individual session, the future individual session will depend on the goals outlined. It is important to note that there are no secrets in couples counseling, meaning that information shared individually cannot remain confidential from the other partner.

Can We Bring Our Child Into Our Couples’ Sessions?

We prefer that couples arrange for childcare and avoid bringing their child in for couples counseling. Due to the sensitive and emotional nature of this work, couples that bring their children often are not able to engage in conversations in the most honest, undistracted way.

What Is the Success Rate of Couples Counseling?

The research on couples counseling is very exciting for counselors using Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT). The most recent studies have shown that 70-75% of couples fully recover from their distress and that 90% show significant improvements. The best news, is that these improvements don’t just last while in therapy, but the effect lasts after the treatment has ended.

Does Insurance Cover Couples Counseling?

Our office is out-of-network, so we do not accept insurance directly. However, if your insurance plan offers out-of-network benefits, we can provide you with a receipt so that you can bill your insurance directly.

Depending on the individual insurance plan, many will be reimbursed for a percentage of their payment. To determine if you have out-of-network mental health coverage, contact your insurance and ask about whether your plan includes out-of-network mental health coverage. Feel free to contact our office with any questions.

How Much Does Couples Counseling Cost?

Each couple has their own specific reason for coming to couple’s therapy. So, the price for couples counseling sessions vary, depending on the couple’s needs. If you have questions about pricing, please contact our offices for pricing: 480-999-7070

Meet our Team

Dr. Melissa Estavillo, PsyD


Doctorate and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Arizona School of Professional Psychology
Practice Areas: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), relationship / marriage counseling, Depression, Anxiety, PTSD / Trauma, Grief, Spiritual Integration, Medical Counseling, Immigration Evaluation Services

Bradley Boivin


Psy.D. Clinical Psychology – Illinois School of Professional Psychology
M.A. Clinical Psychology – Illinois School of Professional Psychology
B.S. Psychology – Andrew University
Practice Areas: Anxiety, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), Depression, Grief, Trauma, Medical Counseling, Men’s Focused Issues,  LGBTQ+, Couples Counseling, Life Transitions, Career Counseling, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT).

Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist Susan Self


M.S. Counseling and Human Services, University of Toledo
B.S. Psychology, Bowling Green State University
Practice Areas: relationship / marriage counseling, pre-marital counseling, parenting, general counseling, anxiety and depression, individual therapy, career decisions, caring for aging relatives, life changes, work/life stressors


M.C. Counseling, Arizona State University
B.A. English (Literature), Arizona State University
Practice Areas: Adjustment Disorders, anxiety, cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT), depression, disability counseling, existential therapy, faith-based counseling, general mental health counseling, gerontological counseling, grief counseling, individual counseling, mindful self-compassion (MSC).

Allison Johnson LPC - Phoenix, AZ


M.S. Community Counseling – University of Phoenix,
B.A. Forensic Psychology – Saint Ambrose University

Practice Areas: Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, EMDR, LGBTQ+, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), Couples Counseling, Mindfulness, Chronic Illness.


M.A. Human Resources and Substance Abuse, Ottawa University
M.A. Professional Counseling, Ottawa University
B.A. Psychology, Ottawa University

Practice Areas: Trauma, Anxiety, PTSD, Grief, Life Transitions, Women’s Focused Issues, LGBTQ+, Parenting, Depression, Couples Counseling, Family Counseling, Faith-based Counseling, General Mental Health Counseling

Our Location in Phoenix, AZ

We’re here for you.

Our couples counselors apply professional expertise and understanding to provide the best holistic counseling services in Phoenix, AZ.

A 10-min consultation can help you determine whether our services would be the right fit for you. Call us today for a free phone consultation.

(480) 999-7070