Frequently Asked Questions

The purpose of couples counseling is to work through issues that create relationship conflict or disconnection—with the goal of restoring emotional intimacy. The majority of couples reach a point in their relationship in which they’re unable to work through issues on their own. It’s then that relationships typically deteriorate without professional intervention.

Couples counseling is designed to disrupt the unsatisfying status quo. Couples learn to work through issues without escalating or disconnecting. They read Dr. Rein’s manual to learn the restorative skills that successful couples use and the corrosive tendencies they avoid. In counseling sessions, they learn how to implement those healthy skills.

Eighty percent of therapists engage in couples counseling but very few are trained in it. The majority never take a course in couples counseling during graduate school, nor do they attend a couples counseling training program after graduate school. Rather, they apply treatment approaches typically designed for individuals when they work with couples. But treating a couple is very different from treating an individual.

Dr. Rein has been a practicing psychologist for more than 30 years. He trained with Dr. John Gottman at the Gottman Institute in Seattle, considered the top marriage counselor and researcher in the country. Dr. Rein is certified as a Gottman Method Couples Counselor—one of only four in Massachusetts. Since he is one of the few therapists in Greater Boston who works exclusively with couples, your issues and themes will be quite familiar to him.

In order to be effective, Dr. Rein needs to have a good understanding of your issues. In the first session he’ll begin by getting an overview of your relationship, learning some relationship history, and discussing the couples counseling goals.

In traditional Gottman Method Couples Counseling, the intake process is four and one-half hours. This could be three to six sessions even before starting the treatment. Dr. Rein finds that couples want to move from assessment/evaluation to treatment as quickly as possible. Usually he can get the essential information he needs in the first session, then start to address the couple’s issues in the second session.

After the first session, Dr. Rein emails a 40-page manual that reviews the research on how successful couples communicate with one other. Couples find the information extremely beneficial and often begin to make changes even before their first treatment session. Dr. Rein also sends a form that reviews the couples counseling process—how to prepare for the sessions and guidelines for practicing in between sessions.

In order to work through issues, it’s best for couples to talk directly to each other in the couples counseling. Since Dr. Rein is giving feedback about how to communicate most effectively, these discussions go very differently than they would at home.

Instead of escalating or disconnecting, couples begin to make progress on issues that previously divided them. Eventually the skills couples use in the couples counseling sessions become the skills they use at home.

One barrier they try to clear together is negativity, an emotion that is five times more powerful in a relationship than positivity. Working with Dr. Rein, couples decrease the negativity that prevents communication. In doing so they eventually enhance their friendship and focus on their emotional intimacy.

Gottman Method Couples Counseling has a 70 percent success rate. Because Dr. Rein has improved the techniques of the Gottman Method, his success rate is likely higher.

The research on length of treatment for Gottman Method Couples Counseling is as follows:

  • Relationship Enhancement:  5-10 sessions
  • Severe Distress: 15-20 sessions
  • Infidelity: 25+ sessions

Keep in mind these are only guidelines and include Dr. Gottman’s longer assessment period. The length of treatment for your relationship is impacted by your responsiveness to Dr. Rein’s feedback and the complexity of your issues.

Absolutely. Dr. Rein works with couples who are committed to each other. This is reflected by being exclusive with one another, living together, sharing financial commitments, or having children together. Dr. Rein also works with pre-marital couples.

Definitely. Twenty five percent of couples in couples therapy present with infidelity, whether physical, emotional, or romantic. Dr. Rein helps these couples work through the crisis of infidelity, understand the underlying causes of the infidelity, and strengthen the relationship to significantly reduce the likelihood of infidelity reoccurring.

Yes. If a couple is interested, the Gottman Relationship Checkup is a thorough online assessment of a couple’s strengths and challenges, in which Dr. Rein reviews the results with you. The testing is optional.

Every two weeks. Eventually couples meet monthly or even less frequently. Couples in crisis may choose to meet weekly until the crisis subsides.

Forty-five minutes. Gottman Method Couples Counseling are typically 75-to-90 minute sessions. But Dr. Rein found that the length of the sessions financially prevented some couples from working with him. Because the sessions concentrate on couples improving their interactions with their most difficult issues while receiving immediate feedback, the majority of couples find 45 minute sessions sufficient.

$200 per session. The optional testing—the Gottman Relationship Checkup—is $130. Credit cards are accepted.

No. Insurance companies pay to treat mental health disorders. When Dr. Rein is seeing a couple, he is not treating a mental health disorder. Instead, he is working to save or restore a relationship. Couples can use their medical flexible spending or health savings accounts.

One of life’s greatest gifts is a happy, healthy, and loving relationship. Dr. Rein’s passion is to transform the lives of couples. He has a skill set very few therapists have. He is driven to impact as many couples as possible, in the shortest amount of time.

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