How can we help you?
Choosing who to work with in therapy is a big decision and of course you have questions! This is a good thing – questions mean that you are invested in the process. We've collected some commonly asked questions here for you to look through. If you find that you have other questions or you need more information, just give our counseling office a call and we'll talk through any of your questions or concerns.
Online Therapy (Telehealth)
Yes, the software we use for online therapy, SimplePractice, is built for therapists and has client privacy as its core. We take all of the recommended precautions in ensuring that your online sessions are just as HIPAA-compliant as any discussion you would have in our offices.
Certainly! At any given time at least half of the people we help are couples, and that has not changed at all since moving to the online therapy format. Couples are perhaps enjoying the online approach more than individuals, as they can participate in exercises around communication and connection from the comfort of their couch, bed, or favorite chairs.
Many couples are reporting that they feel more at ease, more themselves, and that the therapist feels less like a 3rd person in the room. This is allowing them to connect more deeply and effectively with each other during sessions, which increases the effectiveness of couples counseling.
One surprise benefit of couples therapy from home is that, when the therapy session ends, the therapist can sign off but the couple can continue to sit where they are and further their growth & progress. We've heard couples come back the next week and tell us that they remained in conversation and connection well beyond the ending of last week's session and really benefited from blending their therapy session with us into doing helpful things on their own. And of course a goal for therapists is always to help clients, as quickly as possible, feel empowered to improve on their own so that they no longer feel they need our help.
And lastly, you don't need to be in the same room as your partner when doing your couples therapy sessions, as the SimplePractice software we use allows for the 3 of us to all sign in from different locations. It's preferable if you two can be together during therapy but not at all required.
We use HIPPA-complaint software, SimplePractice, that works much like Zoom. You are sent an email reminder 72-hours prior to your appointment, and then once again 10-minutes before your meeting time, and you just click the link within either of those reminder emails.
You can use your computer, laptop, smart phone, or tablet for your sessions.
All you need is a decent internet connection and some privacy, though we know the latter can be a challenge these days. It's no problem if you want or need to be petting your cat or dog, sitting in your car, even attending to your child. If it works for you on your end, you can assume it works for us too. :)
Absolutely. As of the creation of this FAQ, our practice is almost 6 weeks into doing all online therapy, which now includes hundreds of sessions. And what we are finding, admittedly to our surprise, is that we are indeed able to do nearly all of the therapeutic techniques, activities, and approaches that we would have incorporated into in-person sessions, including:
- Couples therapy exercises for communication, connection, emotional intimacy;
- Sharing handouts about topics to learn skills or enhance discussions;
- Mindfulness, body awareness, guided imagery/visualization
- Discussions that deepen insight, problem-solving, and practical skill-building
For couples, we can utilize all aspects of the Gottman Method and Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) in the online format. For individuals, the discussions and activities are just as accessible and engaging as they were when we were seeing people in our offices.
In truth, when the virus struck and all therapists had to move to teletherapy, most therapists were very concerned about how this format might impact how effective our treatments are. But to everyone's relief we have all discovered that therapy can be just as effective when online.
Our answer to that is an enthusiastic 'yes'! First we should say, if your wedding plans were delayed or cancelled we're so sorry to hear that. In the past many weeks we've spoken with so many couples who have had their wedding plans thwarted by the pandemic, and we can imagine how disappointing that must be.
With an uncertain timeline of when engaged couples can have their ceremony, yes, we absolutely recommend that you engage in premarital relationship therapy as soon as possible. The research on couples suggests this as well, that on average couples attend relationship therapy about 6 years later than they needed to.
What is so valuable about premarital counseling is less about the type of therapy it is and more about the time period of a relationship within which it occurs. The challenges we will all face in our marriages are inevitable and unavoidable, but what we can do is to get ahead of those difficulties by learning skills and practices that can greatly reduce the common pitfalls of long-term relationships.
So it's never too early to start improving your relationship with help from a trained relationship therapist. It can only help.