Frequently Asked Questions
1. How is Couples on the Brink different from traditional couples or marriage counseling?
Traditional couples counseling by experienced clinicians can be quite effective. However it also has many limitations– like only hour long sessions once a week. In our experience, this is not enough to help couples in serious relationship distress. That is why we schedule 2-3 Day (12 hours) intensives. We find that we can more easily get to the core issues and begin resolution with the added time and intensity. After years of doing traditional couples counseling, we have found there is no comparison to the dramatic changes that can be made during our intensives. This results because putting in the extra time required in an intensive forces couples out of their comfort zone. Our approach is also multi-modal–utilizing male-female co-therapy teams, relationship coaching, and team consultations. In addition, our approach is different because treatment is tailored to your specific relationship needs. One way we do this is to match you with a therapist with extensive experience with your particular issues. For example, we have therapists that specialize in areas like communication, anger management, addiction, sexual issues and many others. Please visit our Getting Started for a complete description of our programs and pricing.
2. What experience do COB therapists have?
Our clinicians are Licensed Marriage & Family Therapists, and registered with the state of Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation. We only choose clinical staff with extensive educational and experiential training in doing intensive couples therapy. Many mental health practitioners practicing today say they work with couples. This is not illegal or unethical, however, unless their graduate and postgraduate training is specifically in couples work, they will be ineffective with high conflict couples and people in relationship crisis. Without proper training, they will lack the knowledge and necessary tools needed to work with couples in distress. They are also more apt to view severe relationship problems as unending and hopeless and therefore more likely to recommend splitting up.
3. What style of therapy do COB therapists practice?
Our clinicians are trained to work with couples from a strength-based perspective. What this means is that in even the most desperate of circumstances, there are strengths and resources that can be built upon to make important changes. Typically, our focus is in the here and now, helping people relate to one another differently from the start. This has an immediate positive impact. We also explore at length your current interactional patterns and suggest possibilities for differences to occur. Finally, we believe no two couples are exactly the same and we design our intervention plans based on each couples’ individual needs.
4. How do I know if you can help with our specific problems?
As many couples as we've seen over the years, there isn’t much we have'nt encountered. Tailored treatment means that we take the time to assess exactly what you relationship needs. For examples of some of our more common treatment programs, see our Tailored Programs page.
Although specific issues are important, we have found that couples in distress have certain identifying characteristics. For example, the people we see are frustrated, angry, depressed, are losing or have lost hope, and usually have different ideas from their partner about what if anything needs to happen in their relationship. In our experience, many couples break up just before a major changes are possible. The potential for positive change really does occur after hitting bottom. It is unfortunate that many couples choose to end their relationship just prior to witnessing a positive transformation.
5. How much do your services cost?
We offer traditional couples counseling services for as little as $150 per hour. Our relationship saving intensive programs range between $800-$6500. Also, to assist those in financial need, we reserve 1 intensive slot per month for reduced fee cases (-$500) as long as you meet the requirements. Ask for complete details in your FREE consultation. Please visit our Getting Started for a complete description of our programs.
6. Do you accept insurance?
No we do not. Generally insurance companies do not cover for marriage or couples counseling. In addition, one or both people typically need a mental health diagnosis in order for insurance to cover the services. If your problems are relatively minor, going through your insurance company’s provider list can be helpful. However, we do not recommend couples in crisis or with serious relationship issues to go through insurance.
7. Why do we recommend such an intensive approach?
We have found that for couples that are really struggling, the greatest chance of success exists when people are willing to make a commitment of time and resources to working on their relationship. Rarely is one or two hours of intervention helpful. Deciding to commit to a an intensive lets both partners know that they are willing to give a substantial effort to working things out. Also, keep in mind that in addition to meeting with your therapist or co-therapy team, you also get the benefit of an experiential relationship coach. This is a significant part of our success with couples. Our relationship coaches work with you through nonverbal exercises in order to remove barriers and connect with one another in very important ways. In addition, we also make use of team consultations. For part of your intensive, you will get the perspectives and observations of a team of relationship experts dedicated to helping you move forward in your relationship. We also provide unlimited e-mail support after your intensive as well as a therapeutic summary document to reinforce the gains made in your intensive.
8. Can we pay by the hour?
Yes, but we have found the greatest gains are made when couples make a commitment to each other and to the process of getting help. Hourly therapy is good for minor problems and issues. However, we find that couples in crisis or with years of conflict are generally not helped by hourly approaches to help. We can’t overstate the effectiveness of getting out your comfort zone and committing to the process of getting help.
9. Do you have experience with gay couples?
Yes. Our experienced staff of relationship therapists have been practicing in South Florida for many years. The diversity of our culture has afforded us experience with a wide range of people and cultures including the LGBTQ community.