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Marriage Counseling Questions

Your Free Marriage Counseling Consultation Session: What to Expect

What To Expect in Your Free Marriage Counseling Consultation Session

Its understandable to be nervous about meeting with a marriage counselor for the first time. Many people feel uncomfortable about discussing personal problems with a stranger. At the same time, many people feel hopeful that getting professional help for their relationship problems can make the difference between a happy, healthy marriage…. or heartbreak and divorce. Your hopes and fears give you the courage to take a chance, and reach out for help with your marriage.

At Growing Self Counseling and Life Coaching, we will help you have a good experience in your first free marriage counseling consultation session. Your first session with a professional marriage counselor can be the start of a new chapter in your marriage.

Here is what you can expect when you meet with one of our professional marriage counselors for your first free marriage counseling consultation session:

#1. Emotional Safety

One of the biggest reasons that people shy away from marriage counseling is that they really worry that a marriage counselor will take sides, and that they will be blamed for the problems in the relationship. (Or even worse, ganged up on by their partner and the therapist).

In good marriage counseling, you should expect emotional safety. Our approach works on the way that you are both interacting with each other, not you individually. We know that both of your responses are valid given your experiences in the relationship. We work hard to ensure that counseling with us is emotionally safe and validating for both of you.

We don’t make judgments about either of you. Instead, we listen to both sides impartially, and focus on helping the two of you understand each other and arrive at compromises that you both feel good about.

FYI, if you are thinking of starting marriage counseling somewhere else, here is a tip to take with you that will save you from a common mistake that many couples make: It is usually a bad idea to try marriage counseling with the therapist who has been working with one of you in individual therapy (which we don’t do around here). If a therapist and one partner have a strong relationship going in to therapy, and the therapist may have pre-existing ideas about the other partner from conversations they’ve had in individual therapy sessions. The partner stepping in to the existing therapeutic relationship is likely to feel that there is an alliance, and that they are being blamed or ganged up on. Marriage counseling is unlikely to be helpful.

#2. Professionalism

Anyone you see at Growing Self is an extremely competent, highly trained marriage counselor. We are required by law to follow a process during the first session that insures that we have the information we need to help you, and that you have the information about us that you need in order to make a decision about whether or not to move forward.

Ethical, competent marriage counselors need to follow a process during the first session. We need to give your information about ourselves (our “required disclosures” and also talk to you about confidentiality, the limits of confidentiality, your rights as our client and practice policies.

We will absolutely have time to talk about the concerns that led you to seek marriage counseling. However, expect to spend some time going over some basic information and legalities about the process of marriage counseling before starting to talk about problems and solutions.

denver marriage counselor dr lisa marie bobby

Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby is trained as a Psychologist, a Marriage and Family Therapist, and is a Board Certified Life Coach. She is the Founder of Growing Self Counseling and Life Coaching in Denver, Colorado.

Dr. Bobby is the host of the Love, Happiness and Success Podcast.

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Here is more nuts-and-bolts information about exactly what you can expect if you get in touch with us for a free marriage counseling consultation session:

Initial Follow Up

If you schedule a free consultation meeting, your marriage counselor will follow up with you to say hello and confirm the appointment. Additionally, our office will follow up with you and send you preliminary paperwork to fill out in advance of our meeting. This can be filled out electronically — no printing and faxing.


If you choose to meet with your therapist in-person at one of our area locations, you’ll first check in with the receptionist who will notify your therapist of your arrival. Then your therapist will come to the lobby to greet you.

If you want to meet online through video conferencing, you can give us your preferred platform (Skype, FaceTime for Mac, or Google Hangout) and your contact information ahead of time, and we will call you at the time of your appointment.


During your first consultation meeting, we will go over the rules and regulations of our counseling relationship (as all ethical therapists are required to, by law). You will learn about your confidentiality, the limits of confidentiality, the boundaries of the therapeutic relationship, and your rights as a client. We will provide you with detailed information about our training and experience and give you the opportunity to ask questions. We will go over our scheduling and financial policies with you.

Your Hopes & Our Recommendations

When our required disclosures are complete we will open the conversation to your present concerns. You can talk about your situation, and your hopes for therapy. We will likely ask you questions so as to ensure we have a good understanding of your situation.

By the end of your consultation meeting (about 45 minutes) we will either be able to accept you as a client and describe for you what therapy will look like given the particulars of your situation, or we will provide you with direction about how to find a more appropriate provider.

Ongoing Sessions

If you decide move forward with therapy you can schedule your next meeting directly with your therapist. You will most likely be meeting with your therapist weekly (at first) for 45 minute sessions. Your sessions will start with a brief “check in” period, followed by a collaborative discussion about what to focus on in the day’s meeting.

It’s very helpful for you to take notes during your session so that you have a reminder of the things we talked about and what you’re working on in between sessions. Towards the end of the session we may have recommendations about assignments or things to try in between sessions in order to further your work, depending on the phase of therapy that you are in.

At the end of the session we will check in with you about the most meaningful or helpful (of unhelpful) parts of that day’s conversation so that we can make sure that your sessions together are as valuable to you as possible.

Billing & Insurance

Our office will follow up with you regarding payment. Generally our clients provide us with a credit or debit card number that we charge after your scheduled sessions. We also accept payments from Flexible Healthcare Savings Account Cards. If you prefer to pay by cash or check, our office will assist you.

If you would like to use your insurance to cover marriage counseling we can help you submit claims to your insurance company for reimbursement for your sessions, provided that you are covered for out-of-network behavioral health care.

#3. A Plan

One thing that differentiates our practice from others is that we exclusively use empirically validated strategies to help you improve your relationship. Many couples that I’ve seen have tried marriage counseling before and been disappointed by it, because they simply talk with the therapist about their problems in marriage counseling and nothing changes.  (Click here to learn more about essential tips for finding a good marriage counselor). 

Endlessly talking about problems does not help you improve your relationship. Good, effective marriage counseling requires having a plan that is tailored to your unique experience. At the start of marriage counseling, you two will outline your goals with your marriage counselor. Every week, you will address one of your goals. The content of your session will likely include information about:

1) What is causing the problem in your marriage.

2) Practical, evidence-based strategies for how to improve your relationship.

3) Homework assignments that will help you learn the skills and have the new experiences with each other that you need to move forward.

How it Ends

The day will come when you find yourself talking extensively about the positive progress and successful changes that you have made in your life, your time with us will likely come to an end. (Although you can always contact us for follow up meetings in the future, if you arrive at another “growth moment” or would like support in maintaining your positive gains).

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You provided us such a safe place to be honest with ourselves and with each other our fear of being vulnerable and weak were transformed into a feeling of opportunity to be heard. My husband and I are better friends, parents, lovers and companions than we have ever been.

– Former Clients

We Are Relationship Experts

We have specialized training and years of experience in helping couples reconnect. We use only evidence based strategies that have been proven by research to help you restore your strong bond, and love your relationship again.

Teresa Thomas

Teresa Thomas


Teresa Thomas is a marriage counselor and couples therapist with years of experience in helping couples communicate more effectively, find new solutions to old problems, repair their strong bond, rebuild trust after affairs, successfully blend families, improve their sexual intimacy, and parent joyfully together. She is a couples therapist and parenting coach with a positive, solution focused style who specializes in helping you both make positive changes to your life, as well as to your relationship.

Meagan Terry

Meagan Terry


Meagan Terry is a relationship specialist. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with over nine years of experience in helping couples reconnect, and enjoy each other again. She uses effective, evidence based forms of marriage counseling including Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy and The Gottman Method. In addition to working one-on-one with couples, she teaches our Lifetime of Love premarital and relationship class.  


Seth Bender

Seth Bender


Seth Bender is a marriage and family therapist with specialized training and experience in helping couples heal their relationships, improve communication, release resentments, and achieve new levels of enjoyment and fulfillment with each other. He practices Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy to help you strengthen your bond, as well as positive, empowering and solution focused coaching strategies to help you both take positive action in your relationship.


Jessica Small

Jessica Small


Jessica is a dynamic marriage and family therapist with over 8 years of experience in helping individuals, families & couples create more fulfilling lives and relationships, and to function at an optimum level of health and happiness. She is a premarital counselor as well as a couples counselor, and knows how to help couples "get on the same page" in all aspects of life. 


Teena Evert

Teena Evert


Teena has a unique skill set in that she's a licensed marriage and family therapist, and licensed addictions counselor as well as a certified coach. She specializes in communication coaching as well as evidence-based forms of couples therapy, and her passion lies in helping people understand each other and themselves, in order to create authentic and satisfying relationships. Her direct style will help you uncover self-limiting patterns, and make immediate improvements to your communication and ways of relating to each other.

Dr. Georgiana Spradling

Dr. Georgiana Spradling


Dr. Georgiana has a warm, but honest approach to marriage counseling, couples therapy and relationship coaching. She specializes in Emotional Intelligence coaching that helps you gain self-awareness, and learn how to communicate with your partner in a way that strengthens your relationship. Dr. Georgiana brings over twenty years of experience, extensive knowledge of interpersonal dynamics, and a deep awareness of multicultural issues to her work with you. She is available to meet with you both in person (San Francisco) and online, and is fluent in English, Spanish and French.


Brenda Fahn

Brenda Fahn


Brenda Fahn specializes in helping couples create healthy,  happy relationships and families. She is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, with a positive, direct style and over fifteen years of experience in helping couples reconnect. She teaches our "Lifetime of Love" premarital / relationship class, and is a Prepare-Enrich Certified premarital counselor as well as a marriage counselor. 


Anastacia Sams

Anastacia Sams

M.A., N.C.C., LMFT-C

Anastacia's authentic, caring approach to marriage counseling and relationship coaching helps couples find each other's "noble intentions," and re-commit to showing each other love and respect. She can help you heal old hurts, improve your communication, restore trust, and work together as a team. 

Kathleen Stutts

Kathleen Stutts


Kathleen is a Marriage Counselor and Relationship Coach with a warm, gentle style that will help you both feel comfortable, respected, and understood. She has a gift for helping couples understand each other compassionately, feel emotionally safe, and start enjoying each other again. 

Polly Drew

Polly Drew


Polly is a marriage counselor with over 25 years of experience in helping couples "come back from the brink," heal their strong bond, and enter into a positive and satisfying new chapter of life together. Her warm, competent style will put you both at ease and help you find new solutions to old problems.



Just knowing that you were going to ask me about my homework made me do it. I did things with you that I couldn’t do on my own.

Former Client

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Love, Happiness & Success Advice

From Dr. Lisa Marie Bobby's Blog and Podcast

More From The Blog

<h2>Start Your Journey Today</h2>
If you have more <a title=”Questions About Therapy, Coaching, Marriage Counseling in Denver” href=”https://www.growingself.com/questions-about-therapy-coaching-marriage-counseling-in-denver/”>questions about Marriage Counseling</a>, we are happy to answer them in person. <a title=”Contact” href=”https://www.growingself.com/free-consultation-denver-cherry-creek-westminster-skype/”>Schedule a free consultation session</a> with one of our <a title=”About Us” href=”https://www.growingself.com/denver-marriage-counselors-life-coaches-therapists/”>expert marriage counselors</a> today. You can meet with them at our <a title=”Contact” href=”https://www.growingself.com/free-consultation-denver-cherry-creek-westminster-skype/”>Denver or Westminster office locations</a>, or through <a title=”Online Marriage Counseling Colorado” href=”https://www.growingself.com/online-marriage-counseling-colorado/”>online video conferencing</a>. Help yourself to the best day and time right now through our <a title=”Contact” href=”https://www.growingself.com/free-consultation-denver-cherry-creek-westminster-skype/”>online calendars</a>, or call <a href=”tel:+720-370-1800″>720-370-1800</a> for personal assistance in scheduling. (Our phones are answered 24/7). &nbsp;In a private, professional environment we can get to know each other, you can talk about your hopes for your relationship, and start moving forward together in mending your marriage.

<h3>Or, check out these links if you have more questions about marriage counseling.</h3>
<p><a title=”How Marriage Counseling Works” href=”https://www.growingself.com/how-marriage-counseling-works/”>How Does Marriage Counseling Work?</a></p>

<p><a title=”What To Expect In Your Free Marriage Counseling Consultation Session” href=”https://www.growingself.com/free-marriage-counseling-consultation/”>What To Expect in Your Free Marriage Counseling Consultation Session</a></p>

<p><a title=”Do We Need Marriage Counseling?” href=”https://www.growingself.com/do-we-need-marriage-counseling/”>Do We Need Marriage Counseling?</a></p>

<p> <a title=”How Long Does Marriage Counseling Take?” href=”https://www.growingself.com/how-long-does-marriage-counseling-take/”>How Long Should Marriage Counseling Take?</a></p>

<p> <a title=”How Much Does Marriage Counseling Cost” href=”https://www.growingself.com/how-much-does-marriage-counseling-cost/”>How Much Does Marriage Counseling Cost?</a></p>

<p> <a title=”Is Marriage Counseling Covered By Insurance?” href=”https://www.growingself.com/marriage-counseling-covered-by-insurance/”>Does Insurance Cover Marriage Counseling?</a></p>

<p> <a title=”How To Choose a Marriage Counselor” href=”https://www.growingself.com/how-to-choose-a-marriage-counselor/”>How To Choose a Marriage Counselor</a></p>

<p> <a title=”Does Marriage Counseling Work?” href=”https://www.growingself.com/does-marriage-counseling-work/”>Does Marriage Counseling Work?&nbsp;</a></p>

<p> <a title=”Online Marriage Counseling Colorado” href=”https://www.growingself.com/online-marriage-counseling-colorado/”>Can We Do Marriage Counseling Online?</a></p>

<p> <a title=”How Does Couples Therapy Work?” href=”https://www.growingself.com/does-couples-therapy-work/”>Successful Couples Therapy: A Case Study</a></p>

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