Couples / Marriage Counseling


Couples / Marriage counseling is a wonderful service for couples who find themselves feeling more disconnected from each other, and unable to feel heard and understood by their partner.  It is also extremely helpful for couples who are about to go through a major life transition together such as moving in together, getting married, having a baby, adopting a child, retiring, etc as these are times when couples are at risk for communication problems, and couples therapy can teach valuable skills for maintaining your connection.

I practice Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) which is an evidenced based model for improving safe, emotional connections between partners and is based on over 30 years of research on adult attachment.  (see links section for more information on this method)  I videotape all of my couples sessions for a couple of reasons:  it assists me to review my techniques and continually improve as a therapist, and as I pursue certification in EFT, my tapes are reviewed for quality assurance by my EFT consultant to make sure I am delivering the therapy effectively.  Before we begin our work, I will ask you to review and sign a consent to be videotaped.

Couples therapy begins with the three of us meeting for an assessment and evaluation session for approximately 60 minutes.  If you are using your insurance, this first meeting will be billed as an “evaluation”.  All meetings after that will be billed as “family psychotherapy” and will last approximately 60 minutes.  Even though I am only billing for one evaluation session, in practice the first 4 – 5 times we meet will be for the purposes of assessment and treatment planning.

In the first meeting, we will spend time discussing the reasons for seeking treatment, and I will also be asking about your relationship history.  Couples usually need a second meeting to completely tell me the story of their relationship history.  I will also give each of you a set of questionnaires at our first meeting about your relationship that you are to fill out individually.

After our initial meetings all together, I will schedule a meeting with each of you individually that will last for approximately 60 minutes.  In the individual meetings, I will be asking each of you questions about your own personal family histories.  I will also ask each of you to return your questionnaires to me at the time of our individual meeting.

I will then compile information gathered at our initial meetings and through the questionnaires, and we will meet all together again to discuss areas of strength and vulnerability in your relationship, and begin to set treatment goals.  We will then work collaboratively to address the areas of your relationship that need strengthening, and will check-in regularly about your progress.

If you have any questions or concerns about couples therapy, or would like to schedule an appointment, please contact me at nlively@family-institute.org.