Couples Counseling & Coaching
As Relationship and Intimacy Counselors, we help couples discover more connection and passion in their relationships. The couples we work with want to enhance their relationship by improving their communication, intimacy, sexual function, and/or sexual expression. We co-counsel couples together which offers a unique and balanced male/female perspective and a combined therapy/coaching approach to helping our clients with a variety of relationship and sexual issues/concerns. Due to our last name and the work we do, we have become known as “The Love Birds”.
As a happily married couple, in addition to our advanced education and training in relationship and sexuality issues, our knowledge of relationships also comes from true, real-life experience. We have over 20 + years of personal experience in a healthy, loving and successful relationship. We know how to solve problems and work through difficulties that couples may face on a daily basis. We know ways to keep relationships strong and healthy. We offer you tools and strategies that can make positive changes in your relationship.
Our approach is called Attachment-Based, Cognitive-Behavioral Couples Counseling and Coaching™. We created this approach by blending three evidenced-based couples counseling approaches (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (Rational Living Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, and Cognitive Interpersonal Therapy), Emotionally Focused Therapy and the Gottman Method Couples Therapy) with Relationship Coaching and Sex Therapy.
Below are just some of the areas we can address within couple’s counseling/coaching:
|*** Couples counseling and coaching is NOT for mixed-agenda couples (where one partner is leaning out of the relationship and is reluctant to work on it, and other wants to save the relationship). We do offer Discernment counseling to help these couples. For more information on this service, click here.|
Why choose Drs. Chuck and Jo-Ann Bird for couples counseling and coaching?
Couples counseling and coaching is a combined approach that we use with couples. By working together, not only do we offer a male/female perspective, we also provide an integrated approach using our two disciplines: counseling and coaching.
Our approach is a professional relationship-focused service where a couple is assumed to be healthy, powerful, and able to achieve their relationship goals with effective support, information, and guidance. We tailor services to the specific needs of our clients using such treatment methods as Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (Rational Living Therapy, Rational Emotive Behavior Therapy, and Cognitive Interpersonal Therapy), Emotionally Focused Therapy, Gottman Method Couples Therapy, Sex Therapy, Relationship and Sex Coaching, or an integrative approach.
1. Husband and wife team (with over 20+ years of personal relationship experience!)
2. Male and female perspective
3. Combines counseling and coaching skills
4. Combines three evidenced-based therapy approaches (Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy, Emotionally Focused Therapy and Gottman Method Couples Therapy)
5. Drs. Bird are certifed through the same board, American Board of Sexology, as sexology pioneers Dr. Ruth Westheimer (Dr. Ruth), Dr. William Masters (of Masters and Johnson), Dr. William Granzig, Dr. John Money, Dr. Helen Singer Kaplan, Dr. Albert Ellis, Dr. Wardell Pomeroy and Dr. Erwin Haeberle.
What can we expect from the couples counseling / coaching sessions?
To begin the process, we use a four-session assessment model:
Session 1 – Couples Meeting (The first session is considered the initial couple session.)
Session 2 – Individual Session with Partner A (To gather individual histories and perceptions of the current concerns/issues.)
Session 3 – Individual Session with Partner B (To gather individual histories and perceptions of the current concerns/issues.)
At Home – Couples Complete the Gottman Relationship Checkup Online Assessment– (Based on Dr. John Gottman’s 40 + years of research on couple relationships. Consists of 480 questions about your relationship and is fully confidential and HIPAA compliant. Drs. Bird only see your scores and responses.)
Session 4 – Couples Meeting (Couple-feedback session to discuss specific strengths and challenges in your relationship as well as actionable, research-based recommendations for therapy.)
After the assessment phase, it is common to schedule a series of weekly sessions (or every two weeks), where each session lasts 50-60 minutes.
How long does the couples counseling / coaching process last?
The process usually lasts between 3-20 sessions. The length of time varies and depends on your needs and what you want to accomplish. We encourage you to commit to the process for as long as you continue to receive value. You are free to cancel the counseling/coaching relationship at any time that it stops meeting your needs.
You will get the most dramatic results from counseling / coaching if you show up on time, take the process seriously, apply the suggestions/requests that are offered and do the home assignments that are requested.
How much do sessions cost?
Our fee for couples counseling/coaching is $200.00 per 50-60 minute co-therapy session (since we provide this service as a husband/wife team). We do not provide a sliding scale for this service. We do not accept insurance.
Longer sessions are pro-rated. We accept cash, checks, Visa and MasterCard, Discover Card, and American Express.
What about confidentiality in couples counseling?
For couples counseling and coaching sessions, we have a “No Secrets” policy. We practice by the standards set forth by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy. When a couple enters into counseling, it is considered to be one unit. This means that our allegiance is to the couple “unit” and not to either partner as individuals. We find this is particularly important in creating a space where both partners can feel safe. Therefore, we adhere to a strict “No Secrets” policy. This means that we will not hold secrets for either partner. This policy is intended to allow us to continue to treat the couple or family by preventing, to the extent possible, a conflict of interest to arise where an individual’s interests may not be consistent with the interests of the unit being treated.
On occasion during the counseling process, individual partners may be seen for an individual counseling session. In this case, the individual session is still considered as part of the couple’s counseling relationship. Information disclosed during individual sessions may be relevant or even essential to the proper treatment of the couple or the family. If an individual chooses to share such information with us during an individual session, we will offer the individual every opportunity to disclose the relevant information and will provide guidance in this process. If the individual refuses to disclose this information within the couple’s session, we will not disclose the information due to legal confidentiality, but we will determine that it is necessary to discontinue the counseling relationship with the couple. If there is information that an individual desires to address within a context of individual confidentiality, we will be happy to provide referrals to therapists who can provide concurrent individual therapy. This policy is intended to maintain the integrity of the couples/marital counseling relationship.
In general, the law protects the confidentiality of all communications between a client and a psychotherapist. Information is not disclosed without written permission. However, there are a number of exceptions to this rule.
1. Suspected child abuse or dependent adult or elder abuse. The therapist is required by law to report this to the appropriate authorities immediately.
2. If a client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person/s. The therapist must notify the police and inform the intended victim.
3. If a client intends to harm himself or herself. The therapist will make every effort to enlist their cooperation in insuring their safety. If they do not cooperate, further measures may be taken without their permission in order to ensure their safety.
Release of records
Both partners must provide their consent to release marital/couples counseling records. If one partner does not provide consent, records will not be released.