SARAH CRANE O'NEILL, PLLC
Compassionate, Clear Couples Counseling
Located in the heart of Madrona, Seattle
COUPLES COUNSELING TO HEAL & CONNECT
Maybe you and your partner keep having the same conversations or fights and get nowhere. Maybe you feel lonely in your relationship. Maybe it's hard to say what you really want or need. Or perhaps things are feeling pretty good but you are facing a new milestone such as marriage or becoming parents, and you want to do some fine-tuning.
Being in an intimate partnership is easily one of the most fulfilling and also most challenging aspects of being human. I believe no couple should be alone in their process of trying to make their relationship work and thrive. That's where I come in.
I create a safe space for you and your partner to talk, often in a deeper or more open way than you might have been able to at home. I help you see your relationship's strengths and challenges. Together we will decide the top areas to focus on together, such as your trust in one another, your sense of friendship or appreciation for each other, your sexual intimacy, or your communication and problem solving patterns. I offer both concrete tools and more open-ended time for exploring feelings, thoughts, and behaviors. Couples counseling is hard work, but it can be immensely rewarding -- serving to nourish, harmonize and secure your bond.
SERVICES I OFFER
GOTTMAN METHOD COUPLES COUNSELING
For couples at any life stage
I utilize the Gottman Method, created out of the research of Drs John and Julie Gottman. This research has followed thousands of newlyweds and new parents over four decades and uncovered what the most successful partnerships have in common.
The Gottman Method begins with a four session assessment phase in which I get to know you better as a couple and as individuals, and give you an optional assessment to understand each of your reports of your relationship across many areas. After I gather all this information we will discuss it together and arrive at top areas to focus on in our forthcoming work together.
The Gottman Method is collaborative and flexible. It has many concrete tools we can utilize as appropriate, such as visuals, short readings, and conversation starters in session. I often suggest one of the tools as "homework" to try between sessions. Couples tend to find the approach understandable and helpful, and at times, fun!
I am a trained facilitator for the Gottman educational program for couples, "Bringing Baby Home," (I teach periodically at Thresholds in North Seattle), and I am particularly passionate about working with couples welcoming a new child into their family.
PREPARE/ENRICH PREMARITAL COUNSELING
For Couples Entering Marriage or Commitment
It's common that when entering marriage or commitment, couples are well aware of their strengths as a couple and dimly aware of their challenges, but hopeful these challenges will improve or go away on their own. Prepare/Enrich is an assessment tool customized to your unique circumstances (married before, have children, etc) created out of the leading couples therapy modalities, including Gottman Method. Prepare/Enrich helps couples see their relationship's strengths and challenges across many areas such as communication, finances, and intimacy. It acts as a springboard for discussion in couples counseling sessions, and offers many concrete tools to help couples think and talk in new ways. Prepare/Enrich tends to be an eye-opening, confidence building experience. Best of all, Prepare/Enrich has been found to reduce the rate of divorce by 30%.
AN OPEN LETTER FROM SARAH
Welcome to my website and practice!
I'm a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker (Smith College School for Social Work, 2008) with over ten years of experience as a counselor, case manager, and Gottman workshop facilitator. I've worked in various outpatient counseling settings with couples, adults, and children and families facing discord, trauma, and loss. I've also worked at a child welfare agency where I assessed and supported foster/adoptive parents.
My passion is getting to know couples and their unique relationship. I love learning about YOU and how you and your relationship is different than any I've worked with before. My favorite part of couples therapy is how experiential and immediate it is -- unlike individual therapy, everything we are talking about is right there in the room, ready to be explored and developed.
My husband and I have been together for thirteen years and we have two young children. We know firsthand the power of good couples counseling. We are always a work in progress, but we try not to take ourselves too seriously! In my free time I love yoga and exercise, the outdoors, and creativity in most any form.
I hope you will reach out, I look forward to hearing from you.
With many wishes for a fulfilling relationship,
You Ask - I Answer
ARE YOU THE RIGHT THERAPIST FOR US?
I tend to be the best fit for couples of all sexual identities and expressions who both want to be in couples counseling, and want to stay together. I am not an expert on polyamory, couples deciding whether to break up or divorce, or couples who have already broken up and are navigating co-parenting. But, if your needs don't fit my specialty, I can hopefully point you to a therapist who does have your desired specialty. Fortunately Seattle is home to a wide range of amazing therapists.
WHAT IS YOUR RATE?
50 minute couples counseling sessions are $150, and 80 minute couples counseling sessions are $225.
WHAT FORMS OF PAYMENT DO YOU ACCEPT?
I accept cash, check, Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Health Savings Account (HSA) Cards, and Flexible Spending Account (FSA) Cards.
DO YOU OFFER SLIDING SCALE RATES?
At this time I am not able to offer sliding scale.
DO YOU TAKE INSURANCE?
I find that although insurance can offset the cost of counseling, it can also cause major limitations around kind or duration of your care as well as your confidentiality. For these reasons I have chosen to not be listed as a preferred provider with any insurance carriers. However, I am considered an Out of Network provider, and some insurance plans offer considerable or full reimbursement for counseling with Out of Network providers, depending on your benefits. I can provide you with a monthly "superbill" (a kind of invoice) for you to submit to your insurance carrier or employer for reimbursement and/or flex spending purposes.
HOW DO I FIND OUT IF I HAVE OUT OF NETWORK COVERAGE FOR COUPLES COUNSELING?
I suggest calling the customer service # on the back of your insurance card and asking:
- What are my mental health benefits, if any?
- Do I have coverage for marriage and family therapy services?
- Do I have out-of-network coverage?
- What is the coverage amount per session?
- How many therapy sessions does my plan cover?
- Do you only reimburse for certain diagnoses, procedure codes, and/or session lengths?
- How do I obtain insurance reimbursement?
- Is approval required from my primary care physician prior to receiving therapy services?
HOW LONG ARE SESSIONS, AND HOW LONG WILL WE BE IN COUNSELING?
Sessions can be 50 or 80 minutes. If you are doing Gottman Method couples counseling with me, I suggest our first and fourth sessions, at least, are 80 minutes, and for other sessions you can choose 50 or 80 minutes. For Prepare/Enrich couples counseling, all sessions can be either 50 or 80 minutes.
Once we agree to work together, we will find a standing weekly time for our meetings. The length of couples counseling can vary. I want to give you meaningful benefit to therapy, but I also don't want you to have to be in couples counseling forever (unless you want to be of course!). Usually Gottman Method counseling has a four session assessment and goal setting period followed by about 3-4 months of weekly sessions. Prepare/Enrich counseling is usually 6-10 sessions depending on your interest.
CAN WE BRING OUR BABY TO SESSIONS?
Yes! Pre-crawling babies are always welcome.
Does all this sound good so far? Let's talk! So I can hear a little more about what you're looking for help with, please schedule a 10 minute phone conversation with me. I can be reached at the email or phone number below.
If I don't have experience with the issues you are looking for help with, I will be transparent about that and we can decide the course to take. If I feel you would be better served by someone else, I will give you referrals. If we both feel we are a good "fit," we'll schedule an 80 minute initial appointment with you and your partner. I will send you both some intake paperwork to fill out electronically before the appointment.
I look forward to talking with you!
Madrona Refuge Building, Suite 301
1126 34th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122