Bellevue Family Counseling, LLC

425-417-4700

1601 116th Ave NE, Ste. 102

Bellevue, WA  98004

frequently asked questions

Will my insurance cover your services?

Insurance only pays for certain services to treat issues they deem "medically necessary".  Often there is coverage for an individual.  Couples/marriage therapy is rarely covered.  I am an in-network provider for most insurance companies.  Here is an article I wrote about using insurance.

I only want to come in as an individual.  Can you you still help me?

Absolutely.  There are many reasons why you might be seeking counseling that are individual issues. The tools, models and methods I use are effective at helping you find support and relief.  I work with many individual clients on their relationship issues, but also on things such as anxiety, despression, guilt, anger, low self-esteem, stress, divorce, fears & phobias, goals and life transitions and more. If you are in a relationship and seeking support, we can also work together and lay the foundation for your work on finding happiness in a relationship.

I am not sure if the issue is mine or my partner's. What can I do?

Counseling is a great place to be able to sit down and talk with someone in an open and non-judgmental way.  We can work together to get clear about the issue and uncover your underlying values and emotions.  Then we can determine what you want and how you can go about seeking that change.  In this way we can figure out what issues are yours and which ones are not.

My partner will not attend counseling, but I still need help. Can I come in alone?

Yes I can be supportive and helpful here, including ways of talking with your partner about the process in order to begin creating a safe and balanced place to work on the relationship.  If you do choose to come in alone, we can work together on getting to your deeper thoughts, feelings and wants as well as create change in your relationship system through individual work.

My partner and I don’t communicate; I don’t feel understood.  How can therapy help us?

Communicating is more than merely understanding what the other person is saying. This is why many couples who go through couples counseling, receive tools and talk out an issue or two do not find lasting change in their relationship.  The real goal is to get to the place of believing as though your partner understands what you are feeling and what you value; of knowing that you matter to them and that they will be there for you in a heart-felt supportive way.

We’ve been fighting for so long, I’m not sure I want to stay with my partner.  How can therapy help me?

We all become victims of a negative cycle of interaction and communication.  It doesn’t matter who starts a fight or what the topic is, the pattern will take over.  One partner blames the other; the other turns defensive and often withdraws, which causes the other to poke and prod. The real question is this: are you really tired of your partner, or are you tired of the negative cycle that occurs whenever you try to talk about important subjects?  Therapy can help you determine this as well as break the negative cycle and replace it with a positive one.

My partner and I can’t talk about something important for more than five minutes before a fight breaks out. Can you still help us?

The first stage in EFT is de-escalation, or helping to lower the volatility in order to work at the deeper level necessary to create lasting change. Lowering the tension level in the relationship will certainly make it feel better, however research says most couples will relapse into their negative cycle if therapy ends here.  Stage two in EFT begins to work with underlying emotions, needs and wants around the emotional bond in the relationship, including healing old hurts if necessary.  It is in stage two where lasting change is built.

It is certainly hard to think and talk about and feel the emotions that flow beneath problems we have. Often times we feel ashamed of past events and choices and do not want to face them. This is even harder for a partner who worries about being blamed or having to defend their viewpoint.  Finding a therapist that you are comfortable with and trust is an important part of finding relief.  A good therapist creates a space that is not and does not feel blaming or judgmental and is balanced among the partners. Therapy offers a safe place for each to feel supported as issues are unpacked and relationships improved. Most people who can come in open the idea of therapy or counseling, find the process a much different experience than they imagined.

Going to a therapist is really hard for me already. I can’t imagine my partner opening up!

 

While there are no guarantees, EFT as a couple’s therapy model is proven to work. It is research based and empirically sound; one of two models validated as such by the American Psychological Association.  The research says that of couples who go through EFT, 70-75% will move from a distressed relationship to a point of recovery.  Over 90% of couples who participate in Emotionally Focused Therapy make significant improvements and continue to have strong and growing relationships even two years later. (Johnson, S., Hunsley, J., Greenberg, L. & Schindler, D. (1999). Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (A meta-analysis). Journal of Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 6,67-79.)

 

Is there a guarantee that we’ll be happier if you work with us?

Do you give free consultations?

While I do not offer free consultations, I am happy to talk with you and answer any questions you might have about the process of therapy with me, my background and experience or anything else important to your decision about therapy. Since the relationship between therapist and client is critical to the outcome, it is important to make sure we’re a good fit.

What kinds of clients do you see?.

I see clients from a diverse background, including age, race, gender, career choices, and lifestyle.  I welcome my clients to talk openly* and gain more self awareness and insight through feedback and reflection.  The clients who make the more satisfying changes are those who have a desire to make changes and seek fulfillment in their personal and/or professional lives.

Is therapy confidential?

*What you say in counseling is completely confidential except in certain situations pertaining to harm, abuse, etc. These exceptions are outlined in detail in my “Disclosure of Information, Policies and Client Agreement” form which you can download from the forms page on this site.