SARAH CRANE O'NEILL, PLLC
Compassionate, Clear Couples Counseling
Located in the heart of Madrona, Seattle
COUPLES COUNSELING TO HEAL & CONNECT
We can all get stuck in negative partners with our partner, whether we feel lonely and unappreciated, like we can't resolve problems or conflicts very well, or we just don't "click" the way we used to. Maybe you've gradually become more distant, perhaps there was a major breach of trust, or maybe a stressful life event rocked the boat. It can feel discouraging to try to work it out together, but hard to know whether or when to ask for help, and maybe even embarrassing or scary to consider couples counseling.
I believe no couple should have to be alone in trying to make their relationship work and thrive, AND couples counseling doesn't have to be scary. In my personal and professional life I have experienced and witnessed how powerful and positive couples counseling can be. Both partners gain a supportive ally who can help make the relationship dynamics more visible and understandable. The existing strengths of the relationship develop further. Partners can free themselves of recurring fears and knee jerk reactions. And maybe best of all, each person can more safely reveal their true self to the other -- in a way that brings connection.
Many couples complete their work with me feeling more secure, peaceful, and close in their relationship. They tell me it was hard work, but worth it. Many only wish they had begun couples counseling sooner.
If any of this resonates for you, I encourage you to read on and contact me today.
SERVICES I OFFER
GOTTMAN METHOD COUPLES COUNSELING
For couples at any life stage
I am primarily informed by Gottman Method, created out of the research of Drs John and Julie Gottman. This research has followed over three thousand couples 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,"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 husband and I have been together for thirteen years and we have two young children. We know the struggle of managing change and challenge. Life is always interesting!
I hope you will reach out, I look forward to hearing from you.
You Ask - I Answer
ARE YOU THE RIGHT THERAPIST FOR US?
I tend to be the best fit for couples of all cultural backgrounds and sexual identities and expressions who both want to be in couples counseling, and want to stay together.
I am NOT a great fit for:
- Couples in which one or both is considering separating or divorce. Discernment Counseling is often a more effective option. You can find a Discernment Counselor here. Additionally, I am not a good fit for couples who are in the process of breaking up or have already broken up.
- Couples where there is a pattern of degradation, humiliation, sexual coercion, or violence. You might be in a domestic violence situation. Often individual therapy, rather than couples therapy, is the best place to begin until these behaviors decline or cease. If you are unsafe right now, please call 911. To seek support and resources, please consider calling the WA State Domestic Violence Hotline, at 1-800-562-6025.
- Couples practicing or considering polyamory or an open relationship. My training falls short in supporting people through the more specialized issues that can occur. Find a more appropriate couples counselor here.
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 mitigate the cost of counseling, it can also bring 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 receipt) 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.
Ideally, 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.
LET'S GET STARTED:
Have you and your partner both read my website and feel I am a good fit for you? Wonderful, I look forward to hearing from you. The best way to inquire about my availability is e-mail (below). If you'd like to talk by phone first, usually the best way to reach me is via e-mail and we can schedule a 10 minute phone call.
I find an in-person session is a better way to assess "fit" than a phone call. If at the end of the first session I don't feel I can meet your needs, I will explain this to you and find you referrals. Or if you and your partner don't feel I'm the right for you and want to find another counselor, no offense taken! This is fairly rare in my experience and my in-depth website helps ensure good fits.
I am only available for sessions Tuesdays and Thursdays. I make every effort to respond to emails and phone calls within 24-48 hours Monday - Friday.
HOW TO REACH ME:
Phone: (206) 339-3641
MY OFFICE IS LOCATED AT:
Madrona Refuge Building, Suite 301
1126 34th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
The Madrona neighborhood is conveniently located in central Seattle east of downtown, between the 520 and 1-90 bridges. There is plenty of free street parking near the building. The building has an elevator and is ADA accessible.