Common Questions about AVL Couples Therapy

Hi there! I’m so glad you’re interested in learning more about enriching your relationship. I’ve taken the time to answer some of the most common questions I get about the services I provide here at AVL Couples Therapy. If you’re curious about something that isn’t answered here, please reach out and I’ll be glad to help. To your best relationship – Cindy

What is a boutique practice?

A boutique counseling practice offers many advantages to clients. AVL Couples Therapy is a boutique practice, which means that I keep my practice small on purpose.

I see an intentionally small number of clients per week, which means that you and your partner will:

  • have services tailored to your specific and unique needs
  • receive the time and attention that you deserve

Here are some ways that I create a thoughtful and relaxed feel to my boutique practice:

  • Sessions are not scheduled back-to-back so that you do not feel rushed. This also means that appointments always start on time.
  • Being private pay means that we will have the freedom to work with each other without the constraints of insurance companies. We get to determine how often we meet and for how long. And it prevents the need for a mental health diagnosis for you or your partner.
  • I only work with couples, and specific couples at that. So you can rest assured that you are working with a therapist that has training and education related to your specific needs.
  • I have ample time in my schedule to attend conferences and trainings in the field of couples therapy, so that I can stay up to date with the latest techniques and research. I want you and your partner to have the best that’s out there!
What are your fees?

My services are offered through the Happy Couples Relationship School, a comprehensive 2-day educational program (including a complimentary 6-week online program) which is $2,800.

I also offer a Premarital Counseling package, which is 4 sessions for $1,000.

Couples who complete the Happy Couples Relationship School program or the Premarital Counseling package may add additional coaching sessions (tune-up/refresher/check-in) at the rate of $250 for 45 minutes.

Can we just schedule a few sessions with you?

I only offer a-la-carte sessions to couples who have completed the Happy Couples Relationship School program or the Premarital Counseling package.

Once you and your partner have completed the program/package you may schedule additional coaching sessions (tune-up/refresher/check-in) at the rate of $250.

These sessions are not always available and will be based on current availability.

Do you accept insurance?

I do not accept insurance. AVL Couples Therapy is a private pay, boutique practice. You are responsible for full payment at the time of service.

How do I get started?

Book a 15 minute Phone Consultation here to determine if we are a good fit. Please note that it is necessary that I have a phone consultation with you (and/or your partner) prior to scheduling. Because my practice is so specialized, it is important to see if I am going to be the best fit for your needs. I want to ensure that you are getting exactly what you need for your relationship.

What are your hours?

Sessions are offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays between the hours of 10:00am and 2:00pm ET.

Where are you located?

I’m currently offering online sessions.

What should we look for in a relationship therapist?

Do your research. Review online directories, such as Mental Health Match, Therapy Den and Being Seen, to compare different therapists in your area and search by specialties. Check out the therapist’s website, paying special attention to see if their message resonates with you.

Many therapists offer services to couples; however, not all have completed their education and training in couples issues. Ask if they have had courses in couples therapy, or if they have received supervision from someone who was an experienced couples therapist.

Looking for the type of license that a potential therapist holds can be important. Having a license as a Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) indicates that the practitioner has completed coursework specific to couples and understands how to effectively work with the delicate nature of intimate partner relationships.

Look for additional trainings and certifications that the therapist has completed, paying close attention to those trainings and certifications that are specific to the couple relationship and are founded on research.

And last, but certainly not least, you should feel comfortable with the therapist. Research indicates that the most important factor contributing to the success of therapy is the relationship between the therapist and their clients. This means that the relationship you have with your therapist is more important than the therapists’ education and training, more important than the model of therapy the therapist uses, and even more important than the years of experience of the therapist.

Most therapists will offer an initial phone consultation. Take advantage of this opportunity to connect with potential therapists. You should be able to determine if you would feel comfortable working with the therapist within the first few minutes of the conversation.

Do you provide premarital counseling?

Yes! I offer a Premarital Counseling package.

I love helping newly engaged couples build a strong foundation for relationship success. I am a Certified Facilitator of PREPARE/ENRICH, the #1 premarital assessment.

The Happy Couples Relationship School program is also great for premarital couples who want a more comprehensive relationship deep-dive.

Check out the Asheville Wedding Collective for great resources for newly engaged couples.

Is it worth the cost?

Coaching and counseling services are an investment in your relationship. How important is it to you to have a healthy relationship with your partner? What is it worth to you?

Many couples decide against getting support for their relationship. There are many reasons for this. They may not feel as though they need it, or they may have trouble fitting it into their already busy schedule. Participating in relationship enrichment services can support you in building a strong foundation for your partnership and prevent the common pitfalls that long-term couples often face.

Think of it this way. You may save up a few thousand dollars to go on an awesome vacation with your partner. Sure, it’s a beautiful place, you have some delicious meals, and your hotel is quite nice. But if your relationship is suffering, your vacation may not be all that you dreamed it would be.

Another way of looking at your investment is asking yourself if the success and quality of your most significant relationship is as important as your sofa, or the upgraded package on your car – because the cost is about the same.

Additionally, a bad relationship can have negative impacts on both your health and your wallet. Toxic relationships have been shown to shorten your lifespan and are responsible for deteriorating your physical and mental health.

If you are seeking support for your relationship and you are unsure of the financial commitment, feel free to reach out to me anyway. I can provide referrals to other therapists in the area who accept insurance. And, depending upon your current need, we can discuss other resources such as workshops and books that may be helpful as you decide your readiness for realtionship support.

How long will it take?

The Happy Couples Relationships School program is 8 weeks in length.

Once the program is completed couples can stay connected with me and schedule occasional refresher sessions or check-ins to ensure that they are maintaining the positive growth they worked so hard to achieve.

We've sought out support for our relationship before. How are you different?

My approach to relationship enrichment is more organized than most and utilizes the Gottman Method – a structured, scientifically-based therapy rooted in over 40 years of research.

I also complete a very thorough assessment when we begin our work together, as part of the Gottman Method. This assessment phase allows me to understand the unique strengths and needs of your specific relationship from the start of our work together, eliminating any guesswork and wasted time on your part.

When you work with me you are investing in a therapist who has specific training and education in intimate partner relationships. I only see a limited number of clients in my practice so you can expect to receive the utmost care and consideration in regards to your relationship needs.

Seeing a carefully selected number of clients allows me to devote time to understanding your specific relationship outside of our sessions together. I will have ample time to review notes, tailor my approaches and interventions to your specific needs, and keep up to date on the latest developments in the field so that you are receiving state-of-the-art treatment.

I do not book clients back-to-back so you will receive the attention that you deserve and you will not experience the sense of being rushed.

What is the Gottman Method?

Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a researched-based model of therapy that combines the knowledge and wisdom of over 40 years of studies and clinical practice.

It is a structured, goal-oriented, and scientifically-based therapy. The interventions utilized during therapy are based upon the empirical data garnered from the studies of over 3,000 couples.

Dr. John Gottman’s research provides therapists with the knowledge of what actually works to aid couples in achieving healthy, long-term relationships.

If you’re curious about the research and findings that inform this approach to therapy, set aside 45 minutes and check out this video of Dr. John Gottman…




Do you see same-sex couples? Are you an affirmative therapist?

Absolutely! Affirmative therapy is an approach that encourages clients to accept their sexual orientation and does not attempt to change who they are. An affirmative therapist will embrace a positive view of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and asexual (LGBTQIA) identities and relationships and will address the negative influences that homophobia, transphobia, and heterosexism have on the lives of clients. As an affirmative therapist, I strive to provide a welcoming and safe space for all sexual orientations and genders where there is not only acceptance, but also appreciation.

How do I access the Client Portal (for current clients)?

You can access the Client Portal here.

Current clients can sign in to update information, access shared documents, and change preferences for appointment reminders.

What are your qualifications?

I have a Master of Science in Marriage and Family Therapy and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT). I am a Certified Facilitator of PREPARE/ENRICH. Additionally, I have received clinical training and completed Levels 1, 2, & 3 in Gottman Method Couples Therapy. I am also a member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and the North Carolina Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (NCAMFT).

Where can I find relationship resources?

If you are looking for books and games to strengthen your relationship, head on over to the AVL Couples Therapy Resources page. Here you can find books on several different topics, as well as fun games for couples. There’s also links to blogs, podcasts, and much more.

Check out my Relationship Blog. Here I write about common relationship issues, share tips on overcoming difficulties, and post fun weekend activities to participate in with your partner.

You can subscribe to The Happy Couples Playbook here. By joining you will receive a FREE Relationship Guide: 5 Evenings to a Better Relationship delivered directly to your inbox. You will receive an email no more than monthly with valuable information, including tools and activities that lead to healthy, thriving relationships. During select months the playbook will feature drawings and giveaways with the opportunity for you to win some very hip swag.

Additionally, valuable information, articles, and videos are shared on the AVL Couples Therapy social media pages. Give them a follow to have meaningful relationship inspiration in your newsfeed. FacebookInstagram

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AVL Couples Therapy | Services in Asheville, North Carolina & Worldwide

cindy@avlcouplestherapy.com | Client Portal

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