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
Couples Counseling FAQ
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.
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.
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:
- 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.
- 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.
- Fit – Finding a therapist that the couple connects with and feels understood by is key to a more brief and efficient therapy.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Meet our Team
Doctorate and Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology, Arizona School of Professional Psychology
Practice Areas: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), Relationship Counseling, Depression, Anxiety, Trauma, Grief, Spiritual Integration, Medical Counseling, Immigration Evaluation Services
Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy, Arizona State University
Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
Practice Areas: Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), marriage/relationship therapy, individual therapy, trauma, faith-based counseling, grief and loss, parenting/coparenting issues, depression, anxiety, adjustment disorders, work/life stressors
M.S. Marriage and Family Therapy,
Arizona State University
B.S. Family and Human Development,
Arizona State University
Practice Areas: Marriage/relationship therapy, pre-marital counseling, grief and loss, general counseling, anxiety and depression, individual therapy, life changes, work/life stressors
M.S. Counseling and Human Services,
University of Toledo
Bowling Green State University
Practice Areas: Marriage/relationship therapy, pre-marital counseling, parenting, general counseling, anxiety and depression, individual therapy, career decisions, caring for aging relatives, life changes, work/life stressors
We’re here for you.
Our couples counselors apply professional expertise and understanding to provide the best holistic counseling services in the 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.