FAQs

Learn more about Amy's approach
to couples counseling

Are you accepting new clients? How quickly can I get an appointment?

Yes, I’m accepting new clients for two-day (12 hour) intensive therapy.  

Following our intensive work together, you will be able to see me for 90-minute couples counseling sessions.

You can find more information about my approach to intensive couples therapy here.

Will our marriage counseling sessions be online or in person?

Intensive therapy sessions are held in my Chicago area office. However, if you live in Texas or Illinois, you also have the option to work with me online.

All 90-minute intensive follow-up appointments will be held on Zoom.

Are you accepting new clients? How quickly can I get an appointment?

Yes, I’m accepting new clients for two-day (12 hour) intensive therapy.  

Following our intensive work together, you will be able to see me for 90-minute couples counseling sessions.

You can find more information about my approach to intensive couples therapy here.

Will our sessions be online or in person?

Intensive therapy sessions are held in my Chicago area office. However, if you live in Texas or Illinois, you also have the option to work with me online.

All 90-minute intensive follow-up appointments will be held on Zoom.

Does online couples therapy work as well as in-person couples counseling?

Surprisingly, yes! Many of my clients actually prefer it. 

I’m still able to pick up on your body language and tone of voice, and there’s no commute to and from my office. 

For more info about the benefits of online marriage counseling, check out the bottom section of my Couples Counseling page. 

I am able to see couples who live anywhere in Texas or Illinois for online counseling sessions. Residents of other states are welcome to see me at my Chicago area office.

How much does marriage counseling cost?

As a certified Gottman and RLT counselor with over 20 years of experience, my rates are in line with the experience I bring to the table. 

Whether you choose intensive therapy or regular weekly sessions, couples therapy is an investment in your relationship.

While marriage counseling is expensive, it’s worth noting that the average cost of a divorce is around $15,000.

Intensive Couples Sessions are $5,000 for two full days. 

Intensive follow-up sessions are 90 minutes at $425 and only available to couples who have completed two-day intensives with me.

Does online therapy work as well as in-person counseling?

Surprisingly, yes! Many of my clients actually prefer it. 

I’m still able to pick up on your body language and tone of voice, and there’s no commute to and from my office. 

For more info about the benefits of online marriage counseling, check out the bottom section of my Couples Counseling page. 

I am able to see couples who live anywhere in Texas or Illinois for online counseling sessions. Residents of other states are welcome to see me at my Chicago area office.

How much does marriage counseling cost?

As a certified Gottman and RLT counselor with over 20 years of experience, my rates are in line with the experience I bring to the table. 

Whether you choose intensive therapy or regular weekly sessions, couples therapy is an investment in your relationship.

While marriage counseling is expensive, it’s worth noting that the average cost of a divorce is around $15,000.

Intensive Couples Sessions are $5,000 for two full days. 

Intensive follow-up sessions are 90 minutes at $425 and only available to couples who have completed two-day intensives with me.

Do you accept insurance?

The short answer is no. However, many of my clients are able to get significant reimbursements from their insurance. 

Once we start working together, you’ll be invited to create an account in my client portal. This lets you print all your invoices and file them with your insurance on an “out of network” basis. The reimbursement then goes directly to you. 

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find highly trained and specialized couples therapists who accept insurance. Insurance companies don’t pay any extra for you to see a counselor with additional training and expertise, which means most experienced therapists choose to not accept insurance. 

How long are your counseling sessions? And can I get in to see you in the evenings or on weekends?

My intensive sessions are offered for two days (12 hours total). 

Intensive follow-up sessions are 90-minutes and offered on Zoom.

I only see clients for weekend or evening appointments under exceptional circumstances.

 

Do you accept insurance?

The short answer is no. However, many of my clients are able to get significant reimbursements from their insurance. 

Once we start working together, you’ll be invited to create an account in my client portal. This lets you print all your invoices and file them with your insurance on an “out of network” basis. The reimbursement then goes directly to you. 

Unfortunately, it’s difficult to find highly trained and specialized couples therapists who accept insurance. Insurance companies don’t pay any extra for you to see a counselor with additional training and expertise, which means most experienced therapists choose to not accept insurance. 

How long are your counseling sessions? And can I see you in the evening or on the weekend?

My intensive sessions are two days (12 hours). 

Intensive follow-up sessions are 90-minutes and offered on Zoom.

I only see clients in the evening or on the weekends under exceptional circumstances.

How do we know if intensive marriage counseling is right for us?

Every situation is different. 

Research shows that an approach called “massing and fading” is most effective for couples counseling. This means doing more therapy upfront (massing) and then tapering off to more ongoing support and maintenance counseling (fading). 

Massing and fading is an effective strategy in any stage of your relationship. 

However, I especially recommend intensive therapy to couples struggling with:

  • Infidelity
  • Severe breaks in trust
  • Years of unresolved conflict and resentment 

Intensive therapy is also a great option if you’re wanting to jump-start the healing process in your marriage.  

We’re in a pretty bad place. Can you still help? Have you worked with difficult situations before?

Absolutely, yes.

I’m so sorry your relationship is in a difficult place. I’ve helped many, many couples—married or not–who were struggling with extremely painful situations, like:

  • An affair (either past or present)
  • Addiction
  • Family tensions
  • Financial indiscretion
  • Loss of sexual intimacy

The bravery, vulnerability, and ultimately the healing I’ve seen in couples who came to me as a last-ditch effort to save their marriage is truly inspiring. 

I’m honored to be part of each and every one of their journeys. 

The main issue where I will refer you to someone else is in the case of active physical abuse. If that is something you’re struggling with, please reach out for help through the National Domestic Abuse Hotline (800)-799-SAFE (7233).

Couples therapy is not recommended if you or your partner is struggling with addiction, if either of you has an untreated mental health issue, or if there is an ongoing active affair. In these cases, I recommend beginning with individual therapy.

How do we know if intensive marriage counseling is right for us?

Every situation is different. 

Research shows that an approach called “massing and fading” is most effective for couples counseling. This means doing more therapy upfront (massing) and then tapering off to more ongoing support and maintenance counseling (fading). 

Massing and fading is an effective strategy in any stage of your relationship. 

However, I especially recommend intensive therapy to couples struggling with:

  • Infidelity
  • Severe breaks in trust
  • Years of unresolved conflict and resentment 

 

Intensive therapy is also a great option if you’re wanting to jump-start the healing process in your marriage. 

We’re in a pretty bad place. Have you worked with difficult situations before?

Absolutely, yes.

I’m so sorry your relationship is in a difficult place. I’ve helped many, many couples who were struggling with extremely painful situations, like:

  • An affair (either past or present)
  • Addiction
  • Family tensions
  • Financial indiscretion
  • Loss of sexual intimacy

The bravery, vulnerability, and ultimately the healing I’ve seen in couples who came to me as a last-ditch effort to save their marriage is truly inspiring. 

I’m honored to be part of each and every one of their journeys. 

The main issue where I will refer you to someone else is in the case of active physical abuse. If that is something you’re struggling with, please reach out for help through the National Domestic Abuse Hotline (800)-799-SAFE (7233).

Couples therapy is not recommended if you or your partner is struggling with addiction, if either of you has an untreated mental health issue, or if there is an ongoing active affair. In these cases, I recommend beginning with individual therapy.

We’ve tried marriage counseling before and it hasn’t helped. How is therapy with you different?

Working with a marriage counselor and not seeing the results you want can be really discouraging. 

Many of my clients come to me after working with multiple therapists – even other marriage counselors with impressive credentials. 

I repeatedly have clients tell me that working with me is the best experience they’ve ever had with a couples counselor. 

You can feel confident that working with me will be different than what you’ve experienced before. 

This is largely due to my unique combination of certifications in:

Being able to combine evidence-based interventions with an intuitive and relational approach is what lets me provide you with such an impactful counseling experience. 

 

How long will we need to go to couples therapy?

Once you complete your intensive sessions, you have the option to participate in 90-minute follow-up sessions.

Regardless of the length of time we work together, I will give you the same evidence-based tools to help your relationship. I am dedicated to always bringing my A-game, and giving you the best that therapy has to offer. 

The biggest factor in how long you’ll be in couples counseling is your own dedication and willingness to take the skills you learn and practice implementing them in your life.

 

We’ve tried marriage counseling before and it hasn’t helped. How is therapy with you different?

Working with a counselor and not seeing the results you want can be really discouraging. 

Many of my clients come to me after working with multiple therapists – even other therapists with impressive credentials. 

I repeatedly have clients tell me that working with me is the best experience they’ve ever had with a counselor. 

You can feel confident that working with me will be different than what you’ve experienced before. 

This is largely due to my unique combination of certifications in:

  • The Gottman Method
  • Relational Life Therapy
  • Trauma therapy

 

Being able to combine evidence-based interventions with an intuitive and relational approach is what lets me provide you with such an impactful counseling experience. 

How long will we need to go to therapy?

Once you complete your intensive sessions, you have the option to participate in 90-minute follow-up sessions.

Regardless of the length of time we work together, I will give you the same evidence-based tools to help your relationship. I am dedicated to always bringing my A-game, and giving you the best that therapy has to offer. 

The biggest factor in how long you’ll be in couples counseling is your own dedication and willingness to take the skills you learn and practice implementing them in your life.

What if we need more follow-up after an intensive couples counseling session?

If you choose to do an intensive couples counseling session with me, you’ll then be able to book 90-minute follow-up appointments with me. 

Many couples find that while an intensive session gives them a major breakthrough, follow-up appointments are crucial to seeing lasting results. 

I know how much courage and vulnerability it takes to do an intensive counseling session. That’s why I make sure to offer follow-up appointments as well – I want you to be fully supported throughout your journey.

What if my spouse doesn’t want to come to therapy? Can you still help us?

This is a tricky one. For obvious reasons, couples therapy is far more effective when both people are involved. 

Even if one partner is reluctant to participate in counseling, I know you’ll see better results if both of you are there.  

If you’re struggling to get your spouse to agree to marriage counseling, try saying something along the lines of  “I love you and I want this marriage to work. I made an appointment for us on this day, and it would matter a lot to me if you were there.” 

If your partner ultimately refuses to attend marriage counseling even after asking firmly and lovingly, I recommend pursuing individual therapy with a qualified professional. 

What if we need more follow-up after an intensive session?

If you choose to do an intensive session with me, you’ll then be able to book 90-minute follow-up appointments with me. 

Many couples find that while an intensive session gives them a major breakthrough, follow-up appointments are crucial to seeing lasting results. 

I know how much courage and vulnerability it takes to do an intensive counseling session. That’s why I make sure to offer follow-up appointments as well – I want you to be fully supported throughout your journey.

What if my spouse doesn’t want to come to therapy? Can you still help us?

This is a tricky one. For obvious reasons, couples therapy is far more effective when both people are involved. 

Even if one partner is reluctant to participate in counseling, I know you’ll see better results if both of you are there.  

If you’re struggling to get your spouse to agree to marriage counseling, try saying something along the lines of  “I love you and I want this marriage to work. I made an appointment for us on this day, and it would matter a lot to me if you were there.” 

If your partner ultimately refuses to attend marriage counseling even after asking firmly and lovingly, I recommend pursuing individual therapy with a qualified professional. 

Should we be doing individual therapy at the same time as couples therapy with you?

Short answer: It’s not an easy question. 

In my experience, individual therapy can actually get in the way of the work you do as a couple. 

However, if you’re doing individual therapy to work on your own issues such as past trauma, anxiety or depression, then individual therapy can be a very helpful supplement to our couples work.

There may be times where I will recommend individual therapy, and we can discuss that in our sessions. 

Overall, the role of an individual therapist is so much different than that of a couples therapist. Without hearing both sides of the story, an individual therapist isn’t able to meaningfully speak to the whole relationship.

So if you do couples counseling with me, please ask your individual therapist to focus solely on you and your issues.

Well, what if we have individual issues?

Your relationship is made of two different individuals. With that in mind, my training in Relational Life Therapy lets me address deeply individual issues within the context of an intensive couples counseling session. 

Doing this work with both partners present not only helps you work through your own issues but lets you develop true empathy and understanding of your spouse’s individual struggles. 

Should we be doing individual therapy at the same time as couples therapy with you?

Short answer: It’s not an easy question. 

In my experience, individual therapy can actually get in the way of the work you do as a couple. 

However, if you’re doing individual therapy to work on your own issues such as past trauma, anxiety or depression, then individual therapy can be a very helpful supplement to our couples work.

The role of an individual therapist is so much different than that of a couples therapist. Without hearing both sides of the story, an individual therapist isn’t able to meaningfully speak to the whole situation.

So if you do couples counseling with me, please ask your individual therapist to focus solely on you and your issues.

Do you offer weekend or evening counseling appointments?

Only under exceptional circumstances.

What do you love about being a therapist?

I get the honor of helping courageous people do the hard work of transforming their lives for the better.

What does MEd and LPC stand for?

Great question. 

MEd stands for Masters of Education. I received my MEd in Counseling from the CACREP accredited program at the University of North Texas in 2001. 

LPC stands for Licenced Professional Counselor. This is reserved for Masters and Doctoral level mental health professionals who have met the state testing requirements, including 3,000 hours of post-degree supervision and continuing education in the field of therapy.

What does it mean to be RLT certified?

To become certified in Relational Life Therapy (RLT) there are several steps. These include:

  • Completing three levels of training with Terry Real (the founder of the RLT method). 
  • Attending two intensive workshops where Terry worked with a total of ten couples over two days and I was able to observe, ask questions, and learn about the RLT technique. about sessions 
  • Attending one of Terry’s weekend workshops as a participant. 
  • Working with a leading RLT therapist as a consultant for a year.
  • Meeting with Terry on group calls twice a month for a year. 
  • Staying current on the RLT method through continuing education each year.

What do all those letters mean after your name?

I love this question! 

LPC stands for Licenced Professional Counselor. This is reserved for master’s-degreed mental health professionals, such as couples counselors. 

MEd stands for Masters of Education. I received my MEd in Counseling from the CACREP accredited program at the University of North Texas in 2001. 

What does it mean to be RLT certified?

To become certified in Relational Life Therapy (RLT) there are several steps. These include:

  • Training with Terry Real (the founder of the RLT method) in New York, Toronto, Denver, and Boston. 
  • Attending two weekend retreats where I was able to observe and ask questions about sessions Terry did with a total of ten couples. 
  • Working with one of Terry’s leading therapists as a consultant for a year.
  • Meeting with Terry on group calls twice a month for a year. 

What does it mean to be Gottman certified?

Becoming a Certified Gottman Therapist is an extensive process. It involves:

  • Completing three levels of competency,  including a week in Seattle working with Drs. John and Julie Gottman in person. 
  • Completing 100 hours of Gottman therapy with clients while under the supervision of one of Gottman’s highest-level therapists.
  • Submitting video recordings of client sessions to a top-level Gottman therapist to prove competency in all areas of the Gottman Method.

Both RLT certification and Gottman certification take about two years to complete.

Do you have a structured approach? We’ve heard Gottman is structured…

As with most things, each situation is different as far as how much structure is beneficial. 

While the Gottman Method does offer a structured framework for couples counseling, how that framework is applied will look different for every couple I work with. 

If structure is something you love, I’m happy to provide you with copies of the tools you learn in our sessions for you to continue to use at home. 

What does it mean to be a Certified Gottman Therapist?

Becoming a Certified Gottman Therapist is an extensive process. It involves:
  • Attending three, week-long courses – including a week in Seattle working with Drs. John and Julie Gottman in person. 
  • Completing 100 hours of Gottman therapy with clients…all under the supervision of one of Gottman’s highest-level therapists.

Obtaining this certification takes about two years.

Do you have a structured approach? We’ve heard Gottman is structured…

As with most things, each situation is different as far as how much structure is beneficial. 

While the Gottman Method does offer a structured framework for couples counseling, how that framework is applied will look different for every relationship. 

If structure is something you love, I’m happy to provide you with copies of the tools you learn in our sessions for you to continue to use at home.

I heard you offer online courses. Do you?

Yes, I currently offer several online courses. 

These are great to jumpstart your healing if regular couples therapy isn’t in your budget. I promise that you can get a great deal out of these courses for a fraction of the price.

Each course requires 1-2 hours of time on your end and can be taken individually or with a partner. Ideally, your partner will join you but that’s not always possible. Even one person changing the way they navigate the relationship can create big positive changes. I see it all the time.

I also have a free mini-course to get you started.

What are your online courses?

I offer three courses:

10 Minutes to Improve Your Relationship for Life – In this quick free mini-course, I’ll give you some of the best tips proven to help improve your relationship. At the end of the course, you’ll get a discount code for my paid courses.

How To Get Unstuck – In this course, I show you how to identify and shift the negative patterns in your relationship.

How To Heal – In this course, I teach you a process for repairing past hurts that hold your relationship back.

Each course costs less than a typical couples therapy session with an expert. If you take both courses, you’ll learn skills that are scientifically-proven to heal relationships—skills that would take you months to acquire through regular couples therapy. .

 Learn more here.

I heard you offer online courses. Do you?​

Yes, I currently offer several online courses. 

These are great to jumpstart your healing if regular couples therapy isn’t in your budget. I promise that you can get a great deal out of these courses for a fraction of the price.

Each course requires 1-2 hours of time on your end and can be taken individually or with a partner. Ideally, your partner will join you but that’s not always possible. Even one person changing the way they navigate the relationship can create big positive changes. I see it all the time.

I also offer a free mini-course to get you started.

What are your online courses?​

I offer three courses:

10 Minutes to Improve Your Relationship for Life – In this quick free mini-course, I’ll give you some of the best tips proven to help improve your relationship. At the end of the course, you’ll get a discount code for my paid courses.

How To Get Unstuck – In this course, I show you how to identify and shift the negative patterns in your relationship.

How To Heal – In this course, I teach you a process for repairing past hurts that hold your relationship back.

Each course costs less than a typical couples therapy session with an expert. If you take both courses, you’ll learn skills that are scientifically-proven to heal relationships—skills that would take you months to acquire through regular couples therapy. .

 Learn more here.