a boutique counseling experience

Marriage & Couples Counseling

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. We often feel distressed when our romantic relationships aren’t going well. 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 repeatedly. You might even feel hopeless that your partner will 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 feel like you can't connect with your partner anymore, couples therapy can assist. Couples therapy, including the renowned Gottman method couples therapy, offers an environment where both partners can express their anxieties, needs, desires, and expectations without judgment. There might be moments when your efforts to resolve conflicts at home culminate in a heated argument or complete silence. In such situations, couples therapy near me can be a useful resource.

Couples therapy, especially emotionally focused couples therapy, can foster a setting where each partner feels genuinely listened to. The setting is secure to share your deepest concerns and thoughts. A pertinent question that may arise is, “Does couples therapy work?” The answer is often yes, as your therapist will introduce alternative communication strategies to bridge the understanding gap between you and your partner, highlighting your experiences in the relationship.

During couples therapy, meaningful conversations may involve identifying recurring patterns that lead to unresolved issues, where the same problem resurfaces repeatedly. This exploration allows couples to gain insights and work towards overcoming these challenges. Your therapist will help identify and address such patterns, underlining the effectiveness of couples therapy near me. Thus, couples therapy, including the Gottman method couples therapy and emotionally focused couples therapy, can significantly improve your relationship.

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 couples 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.

happy couple embracing

Does Marriage Counseling Work?

Of course, most couples' question 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.

Our Couples Therapists aim to go beyond the surface of communication strategies in sessions. Of course, effective communication and active listening are essential in couples therapy. I also help couples identify core schemas, or ways of thinking, that lead to difficulties in their relationships. I allow each partner to take accountability for their role in their relationship. Examine challenges through examining their early attachment relationships, family systems, and cognitive distortions.

Couples' counseling can assist you in:

  • Identifying your communication patterns
  • Enhancing communication through expressing feelings, honing listening skills, understanding each other, and validating emotions
  • Boosting positive communication
  • Resolving conflicts
  • Building emotional intimacy
  • parenting together
  • relationship wellness

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 sessions maximum) couples therapy designed for uncertain couples 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.

Often, couples who are considering ending their relationship or getting a divorce 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 effective communication strategies and improve 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. All of this increases overall relationship satisfaction.

happy same sex couple

1st Session 90 Minutes

Discuss the history of your relationship, frequenting couples therapy, for example, how you met. What about couples therapy drew you to each other? Next, consider the transitions such as moving in together, children, pets, moves, traumas, and losses that you navigated through couples therapy. Finally, what are your goals as a couple in relation to continuing or ending couples therapy?

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. Typically these sessions are confidential between the individual and therapist. They are used to:

  • Discuss personal family history
  • Discuss relationship history
  • Individual goals for therapy

Gottman On-line assessment ($29 fee)

It is highly recommended as it greatly assists the counseling process. This must be completed before the third session.

3rd Session 90 Minutes

  • Come back together
  • Discuss goals and plan
  • Discuss Online Assessment

Things to Remember:

A typical marriage and family counseling session is 90 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 they are 90 minutes long.

Will Insurance Pay for Couples Counseling?

We urge you to reach out to us. We are happy to look into your insurance benefits as a complimentary service. As some out-of-network benefits are similar to in-network. Of course, sometimes there is a big difference. Email our couples therapists at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

What do I do when we arrive?

When you arrive, at your couples therapy, kick back, and let the music and refreshments in the waiting room wash away your stress. Your dedicated couples therapist will promptly come out to get you.

Do remember our 24-hour cancellation policy. This policy is available for viewing and is to be “signed” within the client portal, but don't hesitate to text or call your couples therapy near me 24 hours in advance. This is necessary if you need to cancel or reschedule your couples therapy session, or else you'll be responsible for ½ fee for the first time and full fee at any following times for your couples therapy near me.

Please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with any additional questions.

Contact Ali

Ali Devine, MS, LPC, SAC-IT

Ready to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation?

Ali Devine, MS, LPC

More Questions? Call, text or email

(414) 235-7443

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1429 N. Prospect Ave
Milwaukee WI, 53202

Contact Kathleen

Kathleen Mack, MSW, LCSW

Ready to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation?

Kathleen Mack, MSW, LCSW

More Questions? Call, text or email 

(414) 507-4730

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1429 N. Prospect Ave
Milwaukee WI, 53202

Contact Garrett

Garrett Wilk New

Ready to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation?

Garrett Wilk, LPC, SAC

More Questions? Call, text or email

(715) 309-3386

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4530 N Oakland Ave
Whitefish Bay, WI 53211

Contact Kristen

Kristen Holmes, MS, LPC

Ready to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation?

Kristen Holmes, MS, LPC

More Questions? Call, text or email

(414) 391-5076

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4530 N Oakland Ave
Whitefish Bay, WI 53211

Contact Laurie

Laurie Groh

Ready to schedule your complimentary 15-minute consultation?

Laurie Groh, MS, LPC, SAS

More Questions? Call, text or email

(262) 289-1519

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1429 N. Prospect Ave
Milwaukee WI, 53202