Find out all the details about our upcoming 7 Principles Workshop for Couples here:
Coming Soon: Bringing Baby Home Workshop
Even the strongest relationships are strained during the transition to parenthood. Lack of sleep, never-ending housework and new fiscal concerns can lead to profound stress and a decline in marital satisfaction — all of which affect baby’s care. Not surprisingly, 69% of new parents experience conflict, disappointment, and hurt feelings.
Our research-based Bringing Baby Home workshops prepare couples for life with baby and helps them be the best parenting team possible. In a relaxed and supportive environment, parents learn to strengthen their relationship and foster baby’s development during this challenging time. They build on what Dr. Gottman and colleagues found is the best predictor of marital adjustment after baby arrives: the quality of friendship in the marriage.
This workshop combines scientific research and education to improve the quality of life for babies and children by strengthening their families. It teaches new parents how to gain relationship satisfaction and create healthy social, emotional, and intellectual development for their children
Join our email list and we will let you know the next workshop dates.
Beverly Clark: “We need a witness to our lives. There’s a billion people on the planet…I mean, what does any one life really mean? But, in a marriage, you’re promising to care about everything. The good things, the bad things, the terrible things, the mundane things…all of it, all of the time, every day. You’re saying ‘Your life will not go unnoticed because I will notice it. Your life will not go un-witnessed because I will be your witness’.” (Quote on marriage from the film, Shall We Dance)
Do you feel distant and disconnected from your spouse or partner, sometimes wondering if you really know each other anymore?
Do the two of you struggle to get along, resolve conflicts and communicate in a healthy, productive and positive way?
Do you wonder if you even still like each other?
Do you worry that even though you aren’t fighting, you aren’t really spending any meaningful time together either, and it increasingly feels like the love, passion and intimacy that was once the glue holding you together as a team has faded away.
Do you try to share your experiences or express your deepest thoughts and feelings, but worry that you partner doesn’t understand you or doesn’t care enough to really listen.
Do you feel as though you’re just going through the motions or walking on eggshells when you’re around each other?
Do you long to be able to rebuild the love and connection you once had that helped you both feel safe, understood and valued in the relationship?
Balancing the stresses and responsibilities of daily life, navigating marriage or relationship problems and nurturing a deep, loving connection, all at the same time, can be difficult. Between jobs, children, caring for aging parents, household responsibilities and trying to navigate a social life, it may seem that one or both of you doesn’t have time for the other anymore, or that you just, somewhere along the road, quit making each other a priority. Maybe you no longer look forward to or enjoy the time you do spend together. You might end up bickering about mundane things or about your lack of connection or, worse, end up in dead silence with nothing to say to each other. Perhaps you are asking yourself, “Am I in love anymore?” or questioning whether your partner still loves you. You may see glimpses of the care, fun and fullness you once enjoyed together and wonder if it’s possible to mend the rift pulling you apart.
According to the research of John Gottman and his colleagues, 69 percent of the things couples initially argue about they will still be arguing about for the next five, ten, twenty or forty years! Often, these arguments come down to a difference in personality, temperament and/or where and how we grew up. Couples argue about finances, values, parenting, in-laws and more… or sometimes, they say they argue about “nothing… nothing at all” (e.g., tone of voice, a look, etc.). Thirty-one percent of the issues couples argue about are easily solvable through compromise, but often couples struggle to communicate well or attempt to avoid issues all together.
As children across the nation enter the school system, transition from one grade to another, move to a different city, experience bullying or simply begin to experience the stress of the modern world, they may display signs that worry their parents. As a parent you may find yourself unaware of the daily experiences that children take on. Over time, symptoms like anxiety, depression, isolation, lack of motivation, and hyperactivity, among other things, may surface. More severe symptoms like PTSD or odd behaviors may also be present due to overwhelming stress, witnessing or experiencing a traumatic event, violence, or bullying. However, depending on the age of the child, they may or may not have the language capabilities to express their emotions, and many times symptoms go unnoticed and can develop into behaviors that concern parents and teachers. Our goal is to help you create a personalized plan to help you and your child increase communication and learn coping skills to deal with these symptoms.
According to the CDC (2019), among children aged 3-17 years, 3.2% have been diagnosed with depression and 7.1% have been diagnosed with anxiety, and these symptoms may be carried over to adulthood. Furthermore, in an analysis of treatments to address these conditions, therapy done outside the school was found to be more effective than school-based programs in dealing with depression. There may be questions about the best time to take a child out of class, issues with confidentiality, challenges finding an appropriate room to provide therapy and inconsistency due to conflicts with school activities. Finding a therapist your child can connect with is still the most import part of treatment.
What is therapy for children and how does it work?
Therapy for children varies depending on the age of your child, and some therapy practices have demonstrated greater effectiveness than others for kids. For example, cognitive treatments have been shown to be effective modes of therapy to help children overcome various symptoms, like anxiety, depression, social phobias, difficulty concentrating or even trauma. Play therapy has been shown to help children develop an understanding of their experiences, create a safe space to talk about events, and learn skills to cope with symptoms.
At Renewing-Relationships, we offer the of the treatment that will allow your child to freely express their feelings and emotions, as well as their gifts and strengths. We use a variety of interactive methods with children because they help children process and heal through play, which has shown to be the most effective way to work with children.
However, therapy itself may not be enough, and various studies have shown that finding a therapist your child feels comfortable with is also important. The right therapist is critical to the success of any psychological treatment and not “just any therapist” will do. Therapists that work well with children and teens are specialized and have particular skills in connecting with and relating to them. In addition, it is important for you to understand your child’s experience, therefore having a good relationship with your child’s therapist may enhance the gains made during therapy.
Consistency in and out of the therapy room is important when addressing behavioral problems and parents should have an active role as part of the treatment team. At Renewing-Relationships, our therapists will work closely with you and your family to ensure that information flow is consistent between you, your child and therapist. They say that it takes a village to raise a child, and the therapist is just one member of that village. Working with children is more effective when there is a trusting relationship between you and your child’s therapist.
Renewing-Relationships is a safe place, in which staff and clinicians who care for your child and your family work hard on the challenges that children face. We are proud to be a caring and compassionate group with a focus on wellness, connection, safety, and well-being. Even when kids are not presenting obvious symptoms, you may notice things like a change in their mood, dropping grades, difficulty getting up in the morning, difficulty sleeping, changes in appetite and lack of interest in things they used to enjoy. At Renewing-Relationships, we treat you with respect, and aim to reduce feelings of shame and embarrassment because we understand the stigma associated with mental health.
From mood swings to school issues, all teens have problems. But sometimes these problems can become too complicated, too distressing for the teen to handle on their own. That’s when it might be time to seek professional help.
Parents often agonize over their adolescent’s sudden change in behavior, wondering how things changed so quickly or got so bad.“ He was such a happy kid.” ”She’s never done anything like this before.” ” I don’t know what went wrong!” But often it’s not any one thing that could have been anticipated or avoided. As it is with most teenager-related questions, the answer is always complicated. Teens are often struggling with stress, grief, bullying, sadness, anxiety, shame, feeling overwhelmed about their future, dating and friend drama, gender identity issues, etc. Sometimes, a lot of those things at once. It can be difficult to know when your teen is going through these things in a healthy way or when they need help. According to the World Health Organization, close to 20% of adolescents, ages 11-19, experience mental health issues or distress. Depression, Anxiety, and other emotional disorders rank high as the leading cause of illness and disability for this age group. Symptoms can overlap across multiple emotional disorders and include anything from rapid mood swings to stomach aches.
For adolescents, this period in development is underscored by an innate conflict between who they were and who they will become. They push against or away from parents and authority in an effort to define themselves and their own identity. But as grown up as they feel, they are still developing and growing. Their brains haven’t yet caught up with the rest of their body and so they often struggle with executive functioning tasks, risk management, forethought and emotional regulation. As a result, they can get swept up in bad situations, thoughts, and patterns that they are ill-equipped to handle yet on their own.
Some common things to look out for are:
Changes in mood or behavior (including depression, irritability, aggression, isolating or withdrawing)
Heightened anxiety or stress reactions
School or social problems
Substance use or abuse
Self-harm (such as cutting, hitting, scratching, etc
Suicidal ideation or attempts
Traumatic events or grief
Therapy doesn’t have to be reserved for serious mental health issues or life-altering events. Meeting with a therapist can prevent minor issues from becoming major problems and can help give the teen tools to help themselves in the future. Some benefits of therapy may include improved self-esteem and confidence, reduced anxiety or depression, improved coping and communication skills, reduced or eliminated self-destructive behaviors, improved relationships with parents and peers, and overall feeling happier and healthier. If you’re questioning whether your teen or pre-teen might need treatment, err on the side of caution and reach out to a professional. We can help you figure out what support would be best and to help determine the best match in a potential therapist.
If your teen doesn’t want to or is hesitant to talk to someone, that’s ok, many teens are. It’s common for teens to be embarrassed by their problems or minimize them to avoid feeling shamed. In this case, it’s important how the subject of therapy is brought up. The first conversation often sets the tone for the teen’s attitude toward therapy. You can also encourage your teen to try therapy for a few sessions and then make the decision from there. There’s nothing wrong with brief check-ins or establishing a relationship for a future time.
If your teen just refuses to attend sessions, don’t force them to go. Instead, consider coming in yourself. You might be able to get some new ideas, strategies, perspectives, and skills that can help you, your teen, and your family cope through difficult times.
At Renewing-Relationships, we strive to build a trusting and helpful relationship with you and your teen. Whether it is social skills building, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), guided change, stress and anger management, emotional art expression, or just a place to talk. We work with the teen to create a space that works for them and that will help them better understand themselves and their world. No one method is the best for everyone, so we integrate professional and personalized care to each individual situation and client.
Life can be challenging at any age, but having support navigating the inescapable uncertainties of adolescence can make an untold difference. The teen years don’t have to be as challenging as they appear and you definitely don’t have to go through them alone. If you or your teen is struggling, please reach out to start the process.
If you or your spouse is considering divorce, but you are not completely sure that is the best path, then we can help you. We can help you gain clarity and confidence about a direction for your relationship.
By resolving the indecision and looming threat of divorce, we can help you and your spouse move forward with your lives – regardless of your ultimate decision. We do not advocate for any particular outcome and our therapists do not take sides or have an agenda. No matter how you are feeling about your marriage or the decision to divorce, our therapists will treat each of you with compassion and respect as we help you gain clarity and confidence about a direction for your relationship.
Couples where one or both spouses are considering divorce.
Couples where one spouse wants to give their marriage another chance.
Couples who have already tried traditional marriage counseling.
“Leaning Out” generally describes a spouse who is considering divorce or not willing to work on the marriage in traditional couples therapy, while “Leaning In” describes a spouse who wants to save the relationship and is willing to work on it.
If you make the decision to part ways, we can help you to do so peacefully. We offer mediations services, co-parenting and custody evaluations.
Our therapy fees are $150 for a 50-minute hour. We will slide in special situations, according to what you can pay. We don’t take insurance, but we will give you a superbill for you to submit to your insurance company. We accept all major credit cards (including American Express), cash, check, Venmo, and PayPal Zelle. We have a 24-hour cancellation policy, so you will be billed the full amount if you cancel less than 24 hours in advance.
If possible, We will try to reschedule you to a later time during the week so you don’t have to pay the fee, but we cannot guarantee this. Phone conversations or e-mail correspondence under 15 minutes is free; after that, we charge in 15-minute increments.
Parent-coordination, parent/child reunification therapy, Custody Evaluations and Supervised visitation are charged on a case by case basis. Please call for a consultation and fees.
Deciding to start therapy is a huge milestone in life. What could be more important than committing to work on yourself and become the best version of you? Who you are and who you become influences every part of your life.
That’s why choosing the right therapist is SO important. It’s essential you and your therapist are a good fit and that the person you choose has the experience and expertise to get you to the next level in life, whether you’re working on career goals, relationships, self-exploration or all of the above.
One of the considerations you might take into account when looking for a therapist is whether that therapist accepts your insurance. For many people, this is a deciding factor when choosing someone.
After all, you’re paying a premium every month for your insurance so why wouldn’t you want to use it? It can save you money on your session costs and it can help you narrow down your search by ruling out therapists who don’t accept your plan. You use your insurance for all other doctors so why not do the same for therapy, right?
New therapy seekers with this belief are often confused and frustrated by the number of therapists they find that do not accept insurance. It can be really difficult to find someone that specializes in your area of need, is close to home, fits your personality, and accepts your insurance.
But why is it so hard? Why are there so many therapists out there that don’t accept insurance?
Many consumers don’t realize that there are several downsides for both therapists and clients when using insurance to pay for therapy.
So what do private pay clients who are shelling out big bucks for therapy know that you don’t?
1. Less Confidentiality
Everyone knows that what happens in therapy stays in therapy. Your therapist is required to keep everything you say confidential no matter what, right? Wrong! When you use insurance to pay for therapy, your therapist is required to provide your diagnosis and treatment notes to your insurance company in order to get paid. This undermines the basic premise of therapy and also gives a lot more people access to private health information about you. If this is news to you, you’re not alone. It’s all written into the HIPAA document you get when you start therapy (or go to any doctor’s office) but most people don’t read all the fine print.
2. Higher Insurance Premiums
Even if you’re okay with your information being shared with your insurance company from a confidentiality standpoint, you probably didn’t realize that sharing this information can have unintended consequences in the future.
As mentioned above, your therapist has to provide your insurance company with your diagnosis to get paid. But what if you don’t have a mental illness? After all, many people seek therapy for personal growth and exploration, not because they are depressed or anxious or have a serious mental illness.
In the eyes of your insurance company, these are not valid reasons for seeking therapy on their dime. If you don’t have an actual diagnosis, they aren’t interested in paying for your sessions and will not continue to authorize future sessions.
This puts your therapist in an awkward and ethically challenging position if you don’t meet criteria for a mental illness. He or she is left with choosing between 3 options.
Assign a diagnosis you don’t meet criteria for so that your insurance company will continue authorizing sessions.
Continue to work with you without assigning a diagnosis but risk having claims denied and not getting paid for the work.
At this point, you are probably starting to understand why so many therapists don’t accept insurance.
Ok, so you might be wondering how this all relates to increased premiums for you.
Let’s say your therapist opts for option 1 and assigns you a diagnosis so that your insurance company will authorize future sessions. Maybe you meet criteria for a diagnosis, maybe you don’t. Either way, you now have a diagnosis on record with your insurance company.
When it comes time to renew your insurance or switch plans, your premiums could rise as a result of your “pre-existing condition.”
3. Insurance-Driven Treatment Plan
When therapists take insurance, they are required to use treatment methods that are covered by your plan. This means they have less say in how to treat you based on your specific and individual needs. Ironically, the people who work in your insurance company and decide which methods of therapy can be used, are usually not even therapists! And they certainly haven’t met and assessed you personally like your therapist has.
This leads me to my next point…
4. Questionable Quality
Let me preface this by saying that there are some fantastic therapists who take insurance. Sometimes highly skilled therapists accept insurance clients as a way to “give back” to society and offer high-quality services to those that wouldn’t be able to afford it any other way. If you don’t know anything about insurance payouts (and why would you if you’re not a therapist or a doctor?), this last statement probably doesn’t make sense. Bear with me while I help clear that up and give you some rarely discussed insider info from the therapist’s perspective.
The going rate for a great therapist in most parts of the Untied States is between $150-$350 per session. Most insurance companies pay therapists between $40-$90 per session. This is a fraction of what therapists receive from private pay clients and it requires a lot more paperwork and time to get paid by insurance companies. Submitting insurance claims is time-consuming and confusing as is getting approved to be on insurance panels in the first place. Many therapists have to hire a billing professional to help them manage insurance claims and make sure they actually get paid.
So why would any therapist ever take insurance if they get paid less and have to jump through paperwork hoops to get paid?
The answer is because they have to.
Again, something that is rarely discussed with consumers is the fact that insurance companies provide a steady flow of referrals to therapists. Let’s take a moment to think about who might need a steady flow of referrals to their practice and would be willing to take a major pay cut for said referrals.
New therapists just starting a private practice. Therapists who just graduated usually have some serious student loans to pay off and they need to start making money fast. It can take time to build up a positive reputation in a community so getting referrals from insurance panels (even if it means making significantly less per client) is a great way to get started. Often, therapists who opt for this route will start phasing out insurance clients as their reputation grows and they start getting more organic referrals from satisfied customers.
Therapists who don’t want to market themselves: Sometimes therapists get and stay on insurance panels for the bulk of their career because they prefer the safety of knowing they will always have referrals. Working with insurance long-term is more likely to lead a therapist to burnout because they are doing double the work for half the pay. There is a higher chance that this therapist will be overworked and less passionate about their work as a result.
Therapists in low-income areas. If there are very few clients that can pay full price for sessions in the area, therapists in private practice may opt to accept insurance or move to a community where there are more affluent people. For this reason, lower income communities do not have a lot of therapists in private practice but they do have more government subsidized community treatment centers where people can get help. This is a sad truth about the systemic issues and barriers that limit low- to moderate-income folks when seeking mental health care. If insurance companies paid therapists rates commensurate with the amount they have to spend on their education, many more therapists would opt to be in-network and many more people would have easily affordable therapy.
Therapists who do not have a lot of satisfied customers. As a therapist myself, this is a delicate situation for me to discuss. Many therapists who accept insurance do so because they are not good enough at what they do to facilitate referrals and command a higher fee.
Yep, I said it.
Satisfied customers talk. They tell their friends and family how happy they are with their therapist and they refer the people they love. They build their therapist’s practice for them by becoming walking billboards. Their friends and family start to notice positive changes in their personality and ask them what they are doing…and they tell them about their therapist.
Not only do satisfied customers refer to skilled therapists, other professionals do too. Medical doctors hear from their patients that they got great results working with a therapist and they send more patients. Other therapists who get asked by friends and family for referrals, send them to other skilled therapists in the community.
Therapists who don’t take insurance have to be really good in order to create and maintain a thriving practice. With therapy, you usually get what you pay for and if someone is charging a high fee, it’s usually because they are worth it.
I know it can feel scary to drop a couple hundred dollars on a therapy session every week, especially if you don’t have a ton of disposable income. What I have seen in my practice is that those who pay the full fee get better results because they have an investment in the process.
They make the most of every session, they do their homework, and they get great results. In my opinion, there is nothing worth more than your personal growth. If you take the work seriously, you will see your investment pay off in every area of your life. I have spent a lot of money on my personal growth and I think it was worth every penny.
Ok, but what if you literally CANNOT afford to pay the full fee but you also want to make sure you get a great therapist? Fortunately, there is sometimes an in-between option.
Depending on your insurance, you may be able to get reimbursed for out of network benefits, which can mean a savings of up to 20-60%. This is typically available with PPO plans. To find out, call the number on the back of your insurance card and ask how much your plan pays for out of network therapists.
Then, if you do have out of network benefits, ask your therapist if they can provide a superbill for you to submit to your insurance for reimbursement. You will pay your therapist for the sessions up front but your insurance company will reimburse you for some of the session fees. Your therapist will still have to provide a diagnosis on your superbill in order for you to get reimbursed. Not every insurance plan has this benefit but it’s definitely worth a phone call to ask!
The other option is that you can use your health savings account (HSA) or flexible spending account (FSA) to pay for therapy. This allows you to save money because you are paying with pre-tax dollars.