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   Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida    CPANCF.COM      Gainesville - Ocala        352-336-2888



Marital Therapy Frequently Asked Questions FAQs

What does a marital therapist or relationship counselor do? (click) .  

What are the differences between a psychologist and other mental health professionals? (click).


Shauna H. Springer was with our practice and contributed articles on relationships and marriage to our archives. Check our some of her articles by clicking on the links in the text at left or visit our archives.  


Does insurance normally cover marital therapy? 

Insurance may often cover individual therapy services for a patient diagnosed with an adjustment disorder, depression or other mental health condition which may impact relationships, physical or occupational functioning.

Insurance will often cover the majority of the cost of a diagnostic assessment, which involves arriving at a diagnosis and formulating a treatment plan. Co-pays and deductibles vary by insurance company and can be verified by calling your insurance provider.

On the other hand, marital therapy is not often covered by health insurance plans, though a limited number of sessions are sometimes allocated by employee assistance programs ( EAPs).

Issues related to fees or billing should be discussed openly at the start of counseling.

As of Dec 1, 2011, we will no longer be in-network for any insurance plans.  You will be responsible for the fee at the time of treatment.  We will give you information with which to bill your insurance company for out of network benefits. 

City of Gainesville employees and their dependents are eligible three free EAP visits and if they have City health insurance are eligible for continued visits under the EAP with a $25.00 co-payment. 

How do I make an appointment?

Referrals are not necessary.  To schedule an appointment, you may call (352) 336-2888 directly.  If there is legal or court involvement, we will only schedule by arrangement with your attorney.


Does your office perform Custody Evaluations?  

No, CPANCF does not have any psychologists who perform these services.  

 Note that Florida Licensed Psychologists cannot offer recommendations about visitation or custody if they have acted, or are acting, as therapists for either parent(s) or children involved in a divorce or custody case.  Psychologists must complete a formal custody evaluation to make such recommendations. 

 CPANCF may become involved in family law matters performing expert evaluations in terms of parenting issues, psychological evaluations of children, pf the husband or wife, abilities or disabilities, or diagnoses, or needs for treatment.

Do you offer sex therapy? 

No.  While marital therapy can resolve conflicts and increase communication and intimacy, special training and certification is needed for a psychologist to offer services as a sex therapist.  Suggestions as well as referrals regarding sexual intimacy concerns are often dealt with as part of marital or individual therapy. 

Do you take credit cards?  Yes



lemon blossum all rights reserved Ernest J. Bordini, Ph.D.Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida offers family and marital therapy, as well as relationship counseling services. A happy marriage is often associated with good physical and mental health and allows both partners to grow individually, as well as to grow closer in their relationship. In today's modern society, economic pressures, increased work hours, fewer vacations, and rising prices for housing and college education, are but some factors that probably contribute to high divorce rates and difficulties getting married in the first place. Other societal factors involve an increasingly mobile society, as well as career and job disruptions.

The presence of mental illness and alcohol or drug abuse  may also have an impact on relationship functioning and parenting.  Individuals from dysfunctional family systems may have poor role models for establishing their own marriages and families.  A spouse or partner may be challenged by depression, anxiety, PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder), substance abuse, or low-self-esteem.  

These problems can interfere with personal growth, as well as the functioning of our close relationships.  Some couples may be faced with unrealistic parental expectations, and conflicts related to establishing and maintaining boundaries with parents, in-laws or an extended family.  Challenges abound at each stage of the family life cycle.  A couples’ focus may shift from child-rearing problems, issues related to launching college-aged children, difficulties associated with transitioning to the retirement phase, and later to the strain of care-giving needs of aging parents.

The complexity of our society has fostered many alternatives to the traditional Ozzie and Harriet type of family (no, not Ozzy Osbourne).  Sometimes this works well, and at other times, just like traditional families, these new configurations of families can have their own difficulties.  Single parenting is often difficult, as is the relationship of a divorced spouse with a child they can only see for a limited time each week.  Additional challenges may also be due to a lack of acceptance by extended family or society as a whole.

 Since a difficult, conflicted, or problematic marriage greatly decreases life satisfaction, it should not be surprising that individuals in such marriages may develop or experience exacerbations in depression, anxiety, worries, and higher rates of alcohol or substance abuse.  In the way of vicious cycles, these difficulties can then contribute to somatic symptoms such as sleeplessness, psychological problems such as poor self-esteem, and vocational problems such as difficulties in concentrating at work. Children's schedules and needs can complicate things even further.

Marital and couples counseling is the treatment of choice for individuals experiencing difficulties in their marriage or relationship.  Working with both members in the relationship is preferable to dealing with only one member of the relationship, though sometimes individual sessions may be required to stabilize one or both individuals or to deal with issues and traumas which are likely to hinder the productivity of couple's therapy. Others may seek individual relationship counseling in efforts to better understand their feelings and reactions in a relationship, sometimes as an end in itself, and sometimes in preparation for marital or couple's therapy.  

While much of marital therapy is problem or conflict-focused, a common misconception is that Psychologists or others providing marital therapy services only deal with couples or marriages that are in trouble or characterized by unhappiness.  Many healthy couples understand that increased happiness often means working to further improve a good marriage and marital therapy offer such an opportunity for relationship growth.  In other cases, marital or family therapy becomes an important component of dealing with a difficult child, coping with medical illness within the family, dealing with family losses, planning for the future, and negotiating finances. Marital therapy can also be an important focus of treatment in families impacted by alcohol or drug problems, co-dependency issues, or for adult children of alcoholics.   

Given that the issues of marital therapy are complex, the marital or relationship therapist faces a daunting task.  Effective relationship counseling requires training, skill and experience in the diagnosis of social, relationship, and communication issues.  Psychologists also benefit from bringing broad training in the understanding and diagnosis of individual difficulties and psychiatric issues which may impact the marriage.  Therapists must be skilled in identifying obstacles and must possess the ability to set appropriate boundaries so that conflicts can be resolved, and new strategies can be implemented.  Marital therapy also requires the establishment of a trusting therapeutic relationship which allows for reasonable risks associated with trying new approaches and interventions.  Individuals seeking marital or relationship therapy should use care in choosing a licensed psychologist or other licensed practitioner with focused experience and training in such skills.

Our archives have a range of articles such as that dealing with the impact of divorce on children, single parenting, and challenges of establishing blended families.  Check out Dr. Springer's article on the complexity of jealousy, or the article on sharing chores.

All Rights Reserved - Clinical Psychology Associates of North Central Florida.  CPANCF.COM

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