Frequently Asked Questions

It takes courage to reach out for help. I know it’s not easy to seek the help of a therapist that’s why I want to make this process less stressful. I’ve worked with lots of couples over the years who have felt that exact same way and after the first session say “that wasn’t so bad”.

I will meet with you and your partner/spouse for a first session to talk about the challenges in your relationship and what you hope to accomplish in counseling. I have a 4 session assessment process. So if we are a good fit and decide to work together past the initial session, I will schedule 2 subsequent individual sessions: One with each of you to get a more detailed history of your relationship and the difficulties you’re facing.

A 4th session is scheduled with you as a couple again. During this session I will offer feedback about your relationship dynamics, and share with you areas I think each of you need to work on. 

Couples relationships are complex and there are many stories and personal experiences that got you to where you are today. There is a lot for me to know about the two of you, how you got to where you are as well as your own family experiences that have influenced how you are in relationship with each other. Slowing down and getting to know you, and each of you getting to know yourself and your partner better is key to me being able to help you.

It’s understandable that you want to improve your relationship as quickly as possible, no one wants to feel the pain of a troubled relationship. However, the process of building a better relationship is one that requires time and patience.

Marriage counseling is an investment in the most important relationship in your life. An investment in creating a better future for yourself and your partner.  

The short answer is that every relationship is different and therefore the amount of time will vary. It depends on how long you’ve been together or how long you’ve been stuck and how motivated you are. Creating new relationship behaviors/patterns takes time.  It took you awhile to get to this point so it’s  important to have realistic expectations and know that there is no quick fix. 

To get the most benefit I like to work with couples a minimum of 90 days.  Meeting weekly at a consistent day and time is the quickest way to gain momentum and experience progress.  This will give you the best chance of making progress quickly. We can reevaluate after that to make a plan. Some couples may find that is enough, others may want to continue on.

Sessions focus on helping you identify the ineffective patterns and behaviors in the relationship and work together to develop skills to change those patterns.  Sessions do not focus on the fight of the week but rather practicing new skills to manage your conflicts differently. 

The foundation of our work together comes from you identifying the kind of relationship you want to create.  With a focus on the kind of marriage you want to be in, I will help you identify what it will take from each of you to get there. 

I am an active participant in each session and I will interrupt unhelpful patterns and critical or blaming dialogue in the session. 

Conflict is a natural part of any relationship.  We will not be working on making conflict go away but rather, Marriage Counseling will help you find a better way to manage these conflicts and differences.  The process is not just about solving problems but about teaching you new skills to manage your differences in a productive way.  

Couples therapy is an active process.  Creating a better relationship is about doing little things everyday to develop new habits that help you create a stronger more satisfying relationship.  

Making changes will require you to actively work outside of the session in your day to day life,  not just in the 50 minutes we have together weekly.  It will take time, commitment and patience

This is an understandable concern. But rest assured couples counseling is about building a better relationship between you. It take 2 people to create the cycle you’re in and it take 2 to create a new cycle of positivity.

So although I don’t take sides, it may at times feel like I am. That’s because I will at times be working with each of you during the couples session to coach you on the areas I notice you needing to work on. I like to think of it as challenging you in the areas you need to grow in to help improve the relationship. But I also encourage you to speak up if you feel like my approach is not working for you.

Choosing a therapist is an important decision. You are looking for someone to help you with your most important relationship. You want to know you are working with someone well qualified.

Something you may not know is that most individual therapists are not trained to provide couples counseling. Make sure if you are seeking couples counseling from a therapist that you inquire about their training with couples.

At Relationship Counseling of Walpole my practice focuses exclusively on helping couples heal and save their relationship. 

I’ve trained in the top models of couples therapy. I participate in ongoing training through the couples institute of CA, and seek bi monthly individual consultation to support my work with couples. 

Ongoing weekly sessions are 50 minutes.

Longer sessions can be scheduled by request.
For couples that find weekly sessions do not fit your schedule I offer a 2.5 -3 hour intensive Jump Start session. 

Jump Start Session
Many couples find that they have so much to cover in the first session and want to start the ball rolling. For couples      new to counseling, this will give you an opportunity to have the first 3 sessions, Couples Session and 2 Individual  Sessions, at one time.

This is also a great option for those who just can’t make weekly sessions work with their schedule. Or for couples I currently work with who find that 50 minutes is just not enough to get through all they want to cover. 

This is an excellent adjunct to your regular therapy if you’d like more time to work through a particularly difficult topic, push through a roadblock, practice new skills/tools and exercises.

Jump Start session is One 2.5 hour session
For couples new to counseling, you will complete a detailed assessment before we meet. This will save time when we    do meet and allow us to get right to work.

  • First 30 minutes is with you and your spouse
  • Individual sessions, 30 minutes with each of you
  • Last hour is with you both.

Insurance Information:

I do not contract with insurance companies in my practice.  

Insurance companies require that the service provided is medically necessary.  What that means is you must have symptoms that meet criteria for a psychiatric diagnosis.  And the purpose of the counseling must be to treat the symptoms of the mental disorder diagnosis.

When I am working with you and your relationship the focus of treatment is on the relationship, improving communication and learning new skills.  This does not meet criteria for a mental illness diagnosis.

This also ensures privacy and the insurance company does not dictate how often and for how long I can see you.

What is your Marriage worth? It may seems expensive but it’s less expensive than the price you pay to stay unhappy or the price you pay to get divorced.
It is an investment in you and your most important relationship.

You can either call me at 617-694-7015 or

email info@denisefitzpatrick.com or

schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation 

I look forward to speaking with you.