Clarity Counseling Seattle

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): Couples Therapy

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.

Couples Therapy

Absolutely!  At Clarity Counseling Seattle we're pleased to offer online therapy (teletherapy) counseling services during the COVID-19 outbreak. We know that we each must do our part to slow the spread of Coronavirus by practicing social distancing, yet we’re also aware that our counseling clients still need professional help and guidance during this difficult time. 

To ensure the safety of our clients and treatment staff, and to provide excellent counseling services to the Seattle area, we are still offering a full schedule of online therapy (telehealth) each business day. 

Individual and couples counseling needs don’t go away during a worldwide health crisis, and if anything the high levels of stress and anxiety surrounding Coronavirus are bringing more people into therapy than ever before.

Online Therapy in Seattle, WAWoman sitting on her phone | Online Therapy Seattle WA

If you’re feeling overwhelmed by COVID-19 stressors or simply by the challenges of daily life, we’re here for you. Your mental and relational health matter, especially during something like what we are all experiencing right now. Our Seattle office offers online counseling (teletherapy) sessions to discuss issues such as:

  • Depression or loneliness related to self-isolation or community quarantines;
  • Difficulty adjusting to a new work-from-home schedule or having your young children out of school;
  • Financial worries or fears about living on a reduced income;
  • Concern for vulnerable loved ones;
  • Household stress with a spouse or partner

Whether you are an existing client who is attending individual/couples counseling or are brand new to our practice, our caring and compassionate counselors are happy to meet with you remotely. Our teletherapy in Seattle is available to anyone who would like to schedule a session, and we offer convenient evening hours to fit your schedule. 

To speak with a Seattle-area counselor about online teletherapy during the COVID-19 outbreak, please call Clarity Counseling Seattle today at (206) 910-1218. 

Woman holding head in hands | Seattle WA TherapistTherapy for Couples at Clarity Counseling Seattle

Clients in individual counseling will sometimes bring their partner in for one or two sessions to discuss issues as a couple, and we strongly encourage this when appropriate. Sometimes an individual counseling arrangement with someone leads to couples work and the individual counseling with the original partner either continues with us or is discontinued while the couples therapy is happening. 

However, if you are working with one of us individually and your partner also desires individual counseling, please recognize that one therapist cannot see both members of a couple individually at the same time. We are often referred clients by other therapists who currently work with one member of the couple yet need a counselor for the other member. If you are working with one of the therapists at Clarity Counseling Seattle and you find that your partner would like their own counseling, you can either work with another Clarity therapist or we have a number of other trusted colleagues in the area to whom your partner can be referred.

 

woman smiling | Seattle Therapist Absolutely! The four of us - Justin, Mary-lynn, Dan and John - all have a great deal of experience helping women in counseling and have always enjoyed working with female-identifying clients. Though one of our specialties is working with adults identifying as male (men's issues), our experience, training, and interests also include many of the issues women seek counseling for. At any given time a large percentage of our clients are female. 

Mary-lynn Ballew

And for adults who prefer to work with a female-identified therapist, we're thrilled to have Mary-lynn Ballew onboard. Mary-lynn works with individuals and couples and has been a wonderful addition to our team. She goes in and out of being full (because she's good!) but please check out her profile page to see if she is currently available to help you.

Sex & Intimacy Therapy in Seattle

Not at all, and in fact many sex-related and intimacy-related issues such as low sex drive, problems bonding with sexual partners outside the bedroom, and so much more, have little to do with being in a partnered relationship. And if you are in a relationship but your partner is unable or unwilling to attend therapy with you, we can still work effectively on sex/intimacy challenges as an individual in therapy.

Woman smiling | Seattle WA CounselingIf your partner won't go to counseling it might be helpful to go without them.

Couples Counseling for One

One situation we've seen is that one partner may put off going to counseling because they want some proof from their partner that counseling is really on the table. In other words, they want to see you make some changes on your own before they'll commit to counseling. 

If counseling has come up but your partner won't go right now, you have an opportunity to change this by taking the time to focus on your own challenges and begin making your own changes first. 

Couple holding hands | Therapist Seattle WAResearch shows that couples often enter into marriage counseling about six years later than they needed help. While we cannot guarantee that working with a counselor, either individually or as a couple, can save your relationship (nor should anyone make that promise), we can say that a couple has not done everything they can for an ailing relationship if they have not yet sought professional help. We go to doctors when our bodies are ailing, to lawyers for legal help, and accountants for tax expertise. Couples counseling is where we turn if we find that we need expertise in creating and maintaining healthy relationships. 

Couples Counseling in Seattle

Having said this, if our work together, either in individual counseling or with your partner, cannot save your relationship, we can work together to help you so that you can create a different type of relationship the next time around. Anyways that you learn and grow in therapy will benefit the relationship you are in for the rest of your life, whoever that relationship is with.

Couple smiling at one another | seattle wa counselingCouples counseling is conducted very similarly to individual therapy, so if you have ever done individual therapy then couples work will be familiar. In the sessions, we explore and work through the factors that are causing or contributing to the couple's distress:  communication skills, emotional closeness, creating an emotionally safe environment, feelings validation, stating underlying needs, personal family-of-origin contributors, etc. Some focus is on each individual to understand how they are contributing to the challenges, but much of the aim of couples therapy is on the dynamics that occur between the two partners.

What To Expect During Couples Therapy in Seattle, WA

We have a discussion, we maybe read something brief that helps explain what the couple is experiencing, we do practical skill-building, and often add communication exercises that the couple does in session. Couples therapy is a safe, supportive, and non-judgmental place to learn and explore the places a couple gets stuck, typically leaving the office with practical tools to implement at home to immediately enact positive change.

Man sitting at desk writing in notebook | Therapy Seattle WAHere are some steps to ensure that you are getting the most of or your therapy sessions in Seattle, WA:

  1. Take some time after each session to review what was said and to really think about how to incorporate your therapy experience into your day-to-day life outside the therapy office.
  2. The most important work of therapy takes place in between sessions when the therapeutic hour is utilized outside of the therapist's office, so be sure to follow up on any tasks that were established in session.
  3. Be as honest with your therapist as you are willing, as he or she can't help you if you withhold important information.
  4. Trust that when moments in therapy are difficult, or the therapeutic work you do outside of the therapy session is difficult, that this is growth and positive change.

Book your next therapy session at Clarity Counseling Seattle

If you are looking for a new therapist, contact Clarity Counseling Seattle and we can discuss options for you. 

Woman sitting on yoga mat | Seattle WA CounselingThere are a couple of common reasons why the process of therapy can be ineffective or, at a minimum, disappointing. For some, they may not have been truly ready to perform the necessary work of facing up to and working on the real issues at play in their situation, and this resistance stunted the process of creating lasting change.

It is not uncommon for people, though well-intentioned, to seek therapy in hopes of changing those around them rather than working on themselves. Thankfully, it is usually the case that when we change ourselves, those around us change as well. 

Importance of Relationship Between Therapist and Client

For others, the pairing of client and therapist may simply not have been the right match. Though many therapists differ in their specific therapeutic approach, research shows that the single best determinant of success in therapy is the quality of the working relationship between therapist and client. *This applies to both individual and couples therapy.

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ONLINE THERAPY (TELEHEALTH): We are open for business (online therapy) and accepting new clients (206-910-1218) for individual and couples therapy at this time.