Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling in Milwaukee
Our romantic relationships can be our most significant source of joy and fulfillment. But unfortunately, they can also be incredibly distressing. When things aren’t going well in our romantic relationships, we often feel distressed. You may feel desperate to get your partner to understand something about your experience in the relationship. It can feel like you have the same fight or disagreement over and over again. You might even feel hopeless that your partner will ever see things from your perspective. You wonder, “If things don’t change, can I stay in this relationship?”
Should I Do Couples Therapy
When you no longer feel like you can reach your partner, couples counseling can help. Couples counseling provides a space for both partners to communicate their frustrations, needs, worries, and hopes in a nonjudgmental space. If you find that your attempts to solve the issue at home result in a blow-out fight or silence, couples counseling can help. Couples counseling will foster an environment where both parties feel heard. It provides a safe to share. Your therapist will introduce alternative methods of communicating to your partner, so they can finally understand your experience in the relationship. Your therapist can also help identify patterns that lead to gridlock issues (the same issue arising repeatedly).
Why is my Relationship so Difficult?
The truth is, many couples find themselves in this place. All couples experience hardships and struggles at different points. It is easy to imagine that no one else has these challenges with their partner when you are going through it. Rest assured, it is not at all uncommon to seek couples therapy. Many couples come to therapy to restore health and happiness to their relationship. In fact, having the insight to know when you need professional help to move through challenges can save your relationship. It can improve your general well-being. Studies show that a healthy relationship will improve physical health as well. Two willing partners can overcome the most difficult situations with an effective therapist.
Does Marriage Counseling Work?
Of course, the question that most couples have is: “Does couples therapy really work?” The American Psychological Association reports that modern methods in couples therapy are roughly 75% effective. If you have tried couples counseling in the past and have not had success, it is essential to consider what didn’t go well. And what you are looking for in your next therapeutic experience.
I aim to go beyond the surface of communication strategies in my practice. I also help couples identify core schemas, or ways of thinking, that lead to difficulties in their relationships. I allow each partner take accountability for their role in their relationship. Examine challenges through examining their early attachment relationships, family systems, and cognitive distortions.
What if I'm not sure if I want to do couples counseling? Or my partner is not sure?
This is not uncommon. In fact, it is so common that there is a specific type of counseling for this predicament. You will not have good results if you enter couples work with one or both partners leaning out. This is where Discernment counseling comes in. Discernment counseling is a type of brief (5 session maximum) couples therapy designed for couples who are uncertain whether they want to continue their relationship. Discernment counseling is used in cases where one partner wants to terminate the relationship while the other hopes to maintain it. This type of therapy aims to help partners consider all options before they decide to work on or end a relationship.
Couples considering ending their relationship or getting a divorce but not knowing if ending the relationship is the right decision for them may find it helpful to consider their options and the potential outcomes of these options with a therapist who practices discernment counseling.
In my practice, I aim to go beyond the surface of communication strategies and improving quality time. I also help couples identify core schemas, or ways of thinking, that lead to difficulties in their relationships. I help each partner take accountability for their role in their relationship. Examine challenges through examining their early attachment relationships, family systems, and cognitive distortions.
1st Session 90 Minutes
Discuss History of relationship (e.g. How you met? What drew you to each other?)
Transitions (e.g. Moving in, children, pets, moves, traumas, losses)
What your goals are as a couple
2nd Sessions 2 individual sessions 45 minutes each
Meet with both individually. This is a separate 45-minute session with each partner. Each partner will set up an appointment. This is confidential between the individual and therapist unless the couple wants communication to be completely open. We discuss this in the first session.
Discuss personal family history
Discuss relationship history
Individual goals for therapy
Gottman On-line assessment ($29 fee)
Highly recommend, as it assists tremendously with the counseling process
To be completed before the 3rd session
3rd Session 90 Minutes
Come back together
Discuss goals and plan
Discuss Online Assessment
Things to Remember:
A typical session is 45 minutes long. If you plan to use insurance, please note that Shoreside Therapies is out of network for all insurances. If insurance reimburses it will only reimburse for 45 minutes (possibly 60 minutes). Sessions tend to work better for couples if it is 90 minutes.
Will Insurance Pay for Couples Counseling?
What do I do when we arrive?
When you arrive relax and enjoy music and refreshments in the waiting room. Your couples therapist will come out to get you.
24-hour cancelation policy. This will “signed” in the client portal, but as a reminder to text or call 24 hours in advance if you need to cancel or reschedule or you are responsible for ½ fee for the first time full fee for any time after.
Ready to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation?
Ali Devine, MS, LPC, SAC-IT
More Questions? Call, text or email