Questions About Couples Counseling
Couples Counseling FAQs
Answers to the most frequently asked questions we hear from prospective clients.
What are the benefits of couples counseling?
Couples counseling can help you and your partner:
- Learn communication skills present in successful relationships
- Decide on the best next steps for your relationship
- Better manage and resolve conflicts
- More smoothly merge families and/or co-parent
- Stay connected during a transition or major life change
- Much more! Read more about couples counseling
What makes Couples Counseling Associates in Chicago different from other offices?
Every associate on our staff specializes in couples and relationships. 80% of therapists in private practice work with couples, but only a handful have the appropriate training and experience for helping distressed couples. When it comes to professional help, be sure to choose a well-trained expert for your couples counseling experience.
Watch this 30-second video message from Couples Counseling Associates founder Sara Schwarzbaum to learn why choosing a relationship expert is so important.
About our founder: Sara has over thirty years of experience in family, marriage, and couples therapy. She has a doctoral degree from Northern Illinois University and, for more than 15 years, taught the next generation of couple and family counselors in the Couple & Family Counseling Master’s program at Northeastern Illinois University.
She has written two books and published articles in Psychotherapy Networking, Counseling Today, and the Journal of Multicultural Counseling, among other publications.
Although she retired from her teaching position at Northeastern in 2016, Sara continues her work at Couples Counseling Associates, speaks at couples counseling workshops for social service agencies and professional organizations, and runs supervision groups for therapists working with couples. You may have also heard Sara on the radio in the Chicago area!
You can read about each of our associates here.
What services does Couple Counseling Associates provide?
- Couples Counseling
- Marriage Counseling
- Sex Therapy
- Premarital Counseling
- Same-Sex Couples Specialized Counseling
- Individual Counseling
- Stepfamilies and Co-Parenting
- Marriage Problems
- Discernment Counseling
- Relationship Counseling
- Divorce Counseling
- Divorce Coaching
- Help for Anger
Feel free to contact us if you have more questions about couples counseling. We can also help answer questions about your specific situation and whether we may be a good fit.
Who benefits from this type of counseling?
Regardless of your relationship “status,” couples counseling is also beneficial for individuals in relationships who feel distant and less connected to their partner than they used to be, have had or are thinking about an affair, or deal with anger.
If you’ve thought about couples counseling—whether on your own or with your partner—we recommend considering its benefits. The longer you wait to get help, the harder it is to repair a relationship.
How do I choose the right therapist for me?
This is a really important question! Here are a few questions to ask when choosing a couples counselor:
- What credentials do they have?
- Are they associated with professional marriage, couples, or family therapy organizations?
- Have they attended specific training or continuing education sessions on marriage and relationship counseling?
- Have they conducted research themselves? Or, do they use evidence-based approaches to therapy?
- Do they have expertise in couples, relationships, and marriage?
- What is the therapist’s opinion on marriage? At what point do they consider divorce the right option?
- What are the therapist’s values?
- What is the therapist’s personality? Do you think they will mesh well with you and your partner?
It’s important to get the answers to these questions—and feel good about them—but also to trust yourself when evaluating therapists. It’s not uncommon to go to a few sessions and determine that someone is or isn’t the right fit. There’s nothing wrong with moving on to find the best possible therapist for you. The productivity of your sessions for your relationship is the most important outcome.
Who should attend sessions?
Couples can attend sessions together or individually. Couples counseling works best when both partners have a desire to improve the relationship.
However, even if your partner or spouse is not interested in working on the relationship at this time, you can still benefit from attending sessions by yourself. Having a caring and knowledgeable person to talk to can often result in improvements at home.
Sometimes couples start out together and also benefit from individual sessions. In fact, we often recommend some one-on-one sessions as part of the couples counseling.
How long do sessions last?
Sessions typically last either 50 or 75 minutes. Longer sessions are available for couples who need a more flexible schedule. Sessions shorter than 50 minutes are not recommended.
How many sessions does it take to see results?
It really depends! Most couples we work with come until they feel like they can continue moving forward on their own. This can take between four and 12 sessions. A lot can be accomplished in a few sessions of couples counseling.
Some couples come for a longer period of time, depending on how useful they find the sessions, how much they can or want to invest in their relationship, and how much time or money they have available.
Most couples start by coming once a week for four to six weeks and then space out the sessions. More rarely, couples come in twice a week.
We do not have a one-size-fits-all approach. Our job is to help you find the solutions that help you move forward. Our goal as couples counselors is to eventually remove ourselves from the job of helping you with your relationship.
Discernment counseling, which helps couples decide if they even want to work on their relationship, usually takes just three to five sessions.
What about rates, payments, and insurance?
Payments can be made by cash, check or credit card. Full payment is due at the time of each session.
Fees: Varies according to the length of session and range from $140 to $250 per therapy session, depending on the associate. A limited number of low-cost sessions are available.
Insurance: We only bill Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance. Sara Schwarzbaum does not bill insurance. Keep in mind that all insurance plans are different and you are responsible for meeting the requirements for your plan.
You can find detailed information on our finance pages about all your cost and insurance questions. We’re happy to answer all your questions about our fee structure and insurance coverage. Please call 312-416-6191 to inquire.
- Visit our finance pages on cost and insurance
- Sign up for our newsletter to receive ongoing relationship tips from our staff
- Hear Couples Counseling founder Sara Schwarzbaum talk about relationships on the radio
- Read how this one habit can improve your relationship
- Take this relationship quiz to help you evaluate your relationship
More Resources for You and Your Partner
In our efforts to bring value to your life, or if you are not in the Chicago area, Couples Counseling Associates has developed a series of lessons that could have a major impact on effectively improving your relationship. We encourage you to dive into the series and discover how these resources can benefit you and your partner.
Remember, it’s the positive habits we develop that guarantee us success in all areas of our lives. Discover the seven healthy habits that improve relationships or get in touch with us to learn more about Couples Counseling Associates.
Click here to send us an email message or to make an appointment.