Marriage Counseling in Seattle
Small things add up and can create big changes over time – both good and bad. Anchor Light Therapy helps both soon-to-be married and already married partners in Seattle take little steps to maintain and improve their relationship, communication, and connection with one another. Our marriage counselors use the Gottman Method to help you in ongoing conflict resolution, improve intimacy, deepen your emotional connection, and turn toward one another in times of stress. Our marriage therapists, Laura Richer and Michelle Mooney, offer private sessions in-person at our Queen Anne office. Your initial consultation is free. Schedule it today to learn more.
Who is Marriage Counseling For?
Marriage counseling is for couples both married and soon-to-be married.
Currently Married Couples
Couples who are already married can benefit from marriage counseling in the following ways.
- Gain clarity about your feelings about the marriage
- Address and resolve ongoing conflict effectively
- Deepen emotional connection and intimacy
- Improve physical intimacy and address challenges in connecting with your partner
- Learn how to turn toward your spouse in times of stress instead of against them
- Discover strategies for effective communication and how to best express your needs
Why would couples not yet married get marriage counseling? Marriage is a big and life changing commitment. The sooner you can know how to be the best partner, the better your marriage will be.
- Cultivate a deeper respect and understanding between you and your partner
- Improve communication skills and teach healthy coping skills
- Learn healthy ways to manage conflict
- Reduce stress and anxiety about the future
- Facilitate effective discussions about finances, family planning, sex, and other sensitive topics
- Address and resolve pre-wedding jitters or fear so that you can enjoy this stage in your relationships to the fullest.
When Should Couples Start Marriage Counseling?
The right time to engage in marriage counseling and therapy is often much sooner than couples think. According to the research of Dr. John Gottman couples grapple with the same issues for six years until they decide to seek help. There is so much that can be gained from addressing issues prior to them creating a crisis level situation or reaching the point where the problem beyond repair. The success or marriage or couples therapy depends on timing as well as the motivation and commitment of each spouse.
Seattle Marriage Therapists
My therapeutic method is designed to help you let go of what’s holding you back and create a more authentic version of who you are. My approach is about building confidence; it’s about supporting people as they learn how to trust themselves, their own instincts and intuition. My clients often tell me that I’m very grounded and down-to-earth but ultimately, I’m inspired by them.
I’ve spent the last four years inside community mental health settings with many different kinds of people from all walks of life, and what I know is that we can find an integrated and holistic approach that is just right for you. No matter what brings you to my practice, I meet you exactly where you are and adapt our time together to include art therapy, meditation instruction, EMDR, and any number of other modalities.
Who is a Good Candidate for Marriage Counseling or Therapy?
Clients who truly desire to do the work to improve their marriage can achieve impressive results, even in the most trying of circumstances. If one or both spouses is not committed to the counseling process it is likely that the sessions will be used to help the clients talk about separating, divorcing, or co-parenting. Staying together is not always the goal of the client. We partner with you to help you reach your relationship goals whether that is to stay together or part way amicably.
What to Expect During and After Marriage Counseling?
The first session will be dedicated to learning all about you and your marriage. Your therapist will take a detailed history of both your individual and relationship history as well as partner with you to establish concrete attainable goals for your session.
Your therapist may also suggest that you meet individually in subsequent sessions to get a full picture of who you are as both individuals as well as a married couple.
Then we will develop a strategy to partner with you to support you in reaching your goals. This may include focusing on communication skills, coping skills, learning to turn toward your spouse, getting to know each other in the present, conflict resolution strategies, and more.
Number of Sessions
The number of sessions will depend on your specific goals and what you would like to learn or gain from this process. We customize your treatment plan to your needs and goals.
Marriage Counseling vs Marriage Therapy
The terms counseling and therapy are often used interchangeably. Although there is overlap, they are different.
Marriage Counseling is focused on the here now. It is a counseling intervention that couples can use to address issues related to getting or being married. Many couples choose to start Marriage counseling before they get married. Premarital counseling creates a safe environment for couples to discuss sometimes hard to broach topics to work through what is currently happening in the relationships as well as discuss their goals and dreams for the future. The stress that naturally precedes making a deeper commitment or planning a wedding can trigger fears or anxieties about the decision the couple is making to take the next step in their relationship. Marriage counseling can help married couples learn ways to effectively communicate with their partners and learn how to manage conflict in a healthy and productive way, no matter what stage the couple is in, in their marriage. Your marriage does not need to be unhappy or in crisis to benefit from marriage counseling. Often, goals for marriage counseling are addressed in 5-15 sessions.
Marriage Therapy focuses on the now as well as any past traumas that are having a negative impact on the marriage. These past traumas may be things that happened between the married couple as well as trauma that has carried over from past relationships. Marriage therapy may focus on issues such as affair recovery, past financial betrayal, domestic violence, emotional or physical abuse, issues in parenting and blending families, issues in dealing with ex-partners, ex- spouses, or co-parenting relationships, and well as any other event or circumstance that is having a negative or harmful impact on the couple’s marriage. Marriage therapy seeks to address ongoing long-term issues going back to the root cause of the issue. Marriage therapy is often a longer-term counseling intervention that depends on the specific issues of the couple.
Sex & Marriage Counseling
Each couple has its own unique needs when it comes to sex. It is important to have open and honest conversations with your partner or spouse about sex since it is an important part of marriage. At the same time this is a tough subject for some couples to talk about due to beliefs (family, societal, religious etc.) that regard sexuality as taboo.
Past trauma with previous sexual partners can also create challenges even when your current relationship is healthy and safe. Avoiding addressing issues related to sex in your marriage can create long lasting and sometimes irreparable damage to the relationship.
Sex and sexual satisfaction are addressed in marriage counseling to help clients feel more connected both physically and emotionally to their partners. The goal of sex therapy is to help people move past physical and emotional challenges to have a more satisfying relationship with their partner, experience more pleasure in their sex lives, and learn how to take care of their sexual relationship.
Reasons couples choose sex therapy
- Resolve past traumas related to negative sexual experiences in the relationship
- One or both partners is avoiding sex or feels that their self-esteem is being impacted by sex
- One or both partners feels they are unable to communicate their needs to their partner
- There is a lack of interest or mismatched sex drives
- Physical issues such as painful intercourse or inability to orgasm
- Pornography and Other Sexual Addictions
- Issue related to childbirth and children
- One or both partners has an interest in exploring Kink, BDSM, Open Relationship, or Polyamory
Recovering from an affair or infidelity can be a long and painful process but it is possible if both partners are committed to the relationship and moving forward. When treating affairs in couples we help address the infidelity as well as give the couple tools so that they can move forward.
- Facilitate a space where the couple can express their emotions about the infidelity open and honestly
- Teaching the couple to become better listeners
- Find ways to effectively express their needs to their partner
- Learn skills that create connection with their partner every day and rebuild trust in the marriage
- Works with the couple to learn how to express gratitude for their partner and his or her contribution to the relationship.
- Build strategies for creating a safe calm space where conflict can be addressed and resolved instead of avoided or escalated.
Marriage Couseling Pricing
Therapy creates a space for you to experience healing and progress in a way that can change your life. But of course, it’s also an investment of both time and finances. When you’re ready to commit to healing and transformation, here is what you can expect.
Initial intake appointment
(85 minutes) $175
Standard individual session
(85 minutes) $175
(per every 30 minutes) $50
We do not participate with any insurance panels. Anchor Light Therapy Collective is considered an out-of-network provider. We have chosen to not panel with any insurance companies and instead focus on providing the best care to our clients. Bypassing insurance allows us to create treatment plans that are not influenced by criteria dictated by insurance companies and offer the utmost privacy to our clients.
As a courtesy to any individual clients who wish to utilize their insurance benefits, I am happy to verify your out-of-network plan benefits to tell you what portion, if any, may be covered by your health insurance provider.
The client will pay for their session at the time of service. We will then file an electronic claim on your behalf, as well as submit any additional documentation required by your insurance company.
If your plan offers out of network coverage, they will reimburse you directly by mailing you a check.
Out of network insurance coverage varies. Most insurance plans offer out of network coverage that reimburses at 40-70% once you have met the out of network deductible.