Frequently Asked Questions
Choosing to start therapy
Is therapy right for me?
All couples can learn how to build the kind of relationship where partners have each other’s back and treat each other as their highest priority. Because our primitive brains are triggered to fight, flee, or freeze, it can be hard for partners to talk and work through differences. I can help facilitate your communication and help you lean into each other and offer support.
Individual clients often seek help when they feel stuck or overwhelmed. Having a solid alliance with your counselor—feeling heard and accepted- is important. Feel free to schedule an initial consult to see if what I offer is a good fit for your situation.
Why see Dr. Beth O'Brien?
I have a Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology and I am a PACT Certified couple therapist. I have worked extensively with couples and individuals for over 25 years. In 2023, I was asked to join the PACT Institute faculty: I teach PACT Level 1 classes to therapists. I also assist in PACT couples retreats, coach counselors in PACT training, lead consultation groups for couples counselors, and publish extensively on relationships. In addition, I am a certified EMDR trauma therapist, and my yoga teaching background brings a mindfulness focus to our work. Truly, I have the best job ever, and I value taking this deeply personal journey with my clients.
How long are sessions? Will counseling take forever?
Individual counseling sessions are typically 50-60 minutes long. Couple sessions are a minimum of 90 minutes. Some couples prefer longer sessions, or half/full day intensives for full exploration and quicker resolution. Longer length couple sessions allow for in-depth work, and landing “right side up” at the end of each session.
Counseling isn’t expected to last forever, although couples often return for tune-ups after completing their work. One of my clients described PACT couple therapy as “fast-acting and long-lasting.” Addressing a specific relationship concern may take only three or four meetings. More complex, long term problems require time and energy investment. Investing in reading/exercises/skills practice between sessions results in faster progress.
What about fees / insurance / cancellations?
My fee is $240 per hour and $360 for 90- minute sessions. Most insurance companies allow you to use an out of network provider like myself for individual counseling. Reimbursement rates vary but are typically 50-90% of the therapy fee. I can provide you with a receipt for our sessions so that you can file a claim for reimbursement from your insurance. Most insurance companies do not cover couples counseling because it is not a diagnosable mental health condition. However, I will give you a receipt if requested.
Two full business days’ notice is required for cancellations. I do make exceptions for illness or family emergencies. When a client fails to show up for an appointment or gives short notice of cancellation, it is usually not possible for me to fill in with another client. It is necessary for me to charge $95 for late cancellations/missed appointments 50-60 minutes long and $150 for cancellations/missed appointments 90 minutes long.
“The best thing to hold onto in life is each other.”
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