It’s no secret that every relationship is different. Couples go through experiences, good and bad, with their own way of adapting. Some experiences, however, are harder to overcome, and it might seem difficult to connect or communicate with your partner in an effective way that works for both of you. At this point, you may be wondering if marriage or couples counseling could help you gain more clarity.

You’re not alone. We have helped couples from around the area navigate their relationship and build a better understanding of their partners. Whether you’re coming to Cornerstone looking for help or simply want to build a stronger bond, our staff will provide you with respect and professional expertise.

We know the decision to start counseling can be difficult. To help make the process easier, we’ve compiled a list of our most frequently asked questions about Marriage Counseling.

1. Is there someone at Cornerstone that specializes in Marriage or Couples Counseling?

Nakita Hughes, MA, LCPC, LMFT, is a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.

2. Do we have to attend the sessions together, or can I also attend my own sessions without my partner?

Typically people attend sessions together. In the beginning of treatment, each of you may be asked to attend one session without your partner.

3. What are some of the reasons that people choose to attend marriage counseling?

Difficulties communicating; not talking; addictions; trouble with the kids; want to know ways to improve; big changes on the way; no longer feel that “spark” of a loving connection; trauma; loss of a child; withholding love, attention, or sex as punishment; incompatible sex drives; depression/anxiety; ready for divorce, but there may still be a chance

4. Do my partner and I need to be experiencing problems within our relationship to benefit from counseling?

No, people can benefit from counseling without there being significant problems. Counseling can help people grow and avoid problems.

5. What can we expect from couples counseling?

Most of us did not take a couples communication class in high school. Couples therapy is where you go to learn how to be better partners. It’s not about blaming, finding fault, or laying down criticism.

Couples therapy is about helping you to learn and practice the tools that help you achieve a better relationship. Couples therapists also work to remove the idea that being in conflict is bad or that you are doing something wrong because you disagree. Your therapist can figure out where you experience stumbling blocks in your approach to conflict and how you deal with your physiological responses. They can also evaluate your repair attempts after conflict.

6. How often do we need to attend sessions?

Frequency and length of counseling varies. Generally speaking, you will be seen more frequently at the beginning of therapy. Then as progress is made, sessions become more spread out.

7. How do I find out if my insurance will cover part of the cost? Do you have payment options?

Our billing specialist can help you determine what your benefits are through your insurance. You can also reach out to your agent directly. We do ask people to pay for services at the time they receive them. We can offer a sliding scale fee based on income for people with no insurance or very high deductible plans.

8. What sets Cornerstone apart?

We are a small business which allows us to give focused, detailed attention to each of our clients. Unlike some therapists, we don’t think you have to be in therapy for a long time in order for it to be effective. We believe you will see positive change in the first few sessions.

We understand this time can be stressful, especially when the answer is to either give up on the relationship or seek help. For those that do seek therapy, couples counseling has proven to offer a high percentage of successful, positive outcomes. Couples counseling provides the tools you need to strengthen, repair, or better understand your relationship.

If you are interested in scheduling an appointment or want to learn more about our process, give us a call at (217) 222-8254. We are here to help.