Mary Sims Gerdes, MA, LPC, NCC

Counseling for adults, couples, and parents in Phoenix

Questions About Couples Counseling

Do you accept insurance?

I do not accept insurance. This is a fee for service practice. I will, upon your request, provide you with a Super Bill, an itemized form of the services provided to you. You may submit this form to your insurance carrier for out of network benefits, reimbursement, or to be counted towards your deductible, according to what your plan approves. It would be a good idea for you to verify your benefits before your first appointment, so you know what to expect from your insurance carrier. I have no knowledge regarding your specific insurance or if they will pay all, a portion, or none of the services I provide to you. Those details are a contract between you and your insurance carrier.

For payment, I do accept Check, Cash, Mastercard, Visa, American Express, Discover, and your Health Savings Card if it is set up as a major credit card. Payment is due at the time of your appointment.

Do you have experience working with couples that have our issue?

I have been working with couples for nearly 20 years. Although many aspects of couples counseling are similar from couple to couple, my approach is to identify the unique relationship that is yours. We will work together to develop treatment goals that will meet your needs and benefit your relationship. Generally speaking, I work with most issues that affect couples. However, if domestic violence or substance abuse are regularly occurring within your relationship, I will refer you to another therapist who specializes in those specific concerns.

How does couples counseling work?

During couples counseling you and your spouse or partner will meet with me to talk about the strengths of your relationship, as well as the concerns that you would like to change or improve. The counseling process will be a series of conversations, guided by me, about how you tend to relate to one another, how communication works between the two of you and what skills could be improved, what conflict management skills you bring to the relationship and how to tune those up, how to make your intimate physical relationship more satisfying, and how to improve emotional bonding over your life together.

Even though, at times, emotions can run high, we will work within a framework of respect and courtesy, where each of you will have the opportunity to be heard, where we seek solutions that will benefit both of you and the relationship. Couples counseling is a wonderful opportunity to learn new skills that will enhance your relationship and quality of life.

How long does couples counseling take?

It has been my experience that the average number of sessions for couples counseling is from 10 to 12. Many things will affect how many times you meet with me, including: how openly and honestly you are willing to participate in discussions in session, if you follow through with out of session “homework”, and how quickly you adopt new skills and learning into your life at home. You can estimate the financial investment of a full series of couples counseling sessions. The benefits, which can be dramatic, could affect you over your lifetime and touch many other lives including those of your children, extended family, friends and community.