Frequently Asked Questions About Couples Therapy

Seeking Individual Counseling or Couples Counseling FOR THE FIRST TIME? Here are some commonly asked questions:

  • How long does counseling take?

It’s our opinion that counseling should be goal-directed and target only the issues you want help with. You won’t feel judged for things you want help with and we will be mindful with you about whether counseling is working.

  • Will I have to do assignments or “homework?”

Every psychotherapist at Bethesda Counselors has their own style and philosophy about homework in between sessions. You may find that the issue you seek help for easily lends itself to specific “assignments” to be done before the next session and your counselor will help you make the time between appointments productive. There is no universal empirical evidence to show that doing homework between sessions creates a better outcome, but some people report feeling greater connection to the treatment or counselor when they are dedicating conscious time to work on something discussed in a session. There is ample research evidence that shows a correlation between a person’s sense of connection to their therapist and a positive treatment outcome–this is what our Bethesda counselors aim to do.

  • Will you give me a mental health diagnosis for my counseling?

Unless you reach some other agreement, the only time we will deal with diagnosis from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) is for the purpose of insurance to reimburse you for fees. Otherwise, the focus of our counselors and our philosophy is to focus on positive steps forward using the strengths and capacities you already have (or don’t yet know you have).

  • When to expect Results?

People often see a difference in the very first session but it varies based on the couple and the special needs you come in with.

  • Marriage Counseling Effectiveness

If you are willing to do the work necessary then counseling will work for you.  Be honest with yourself and the counselor and therapy will work

  • Will the therapist choose sides between myself and my partner?

Good counselors don’t pick sides, understanding that each partner has their own perceptions of a situation. However, counselors will identify strengths in each partner’s perspective, which may feel to you as if the therapist is choosing sides.

  • How will my insurance be affected by going to couples counseling?

While it depends on each insurance company, your current policy should not be affected. In most cases, mental health services or even a mental health diagnosis (e.g. Depression) do not affect the ability to get insurance in the future either.