Elizabeth Sloan - Marriage & Family Therapist
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Frequently Asked Questions

General Q&A

General Q&A

It is natural to have questions before beginning the process of counseling. We hope these Frequently Asked Questions give you basic information about our practice.

Q: What services do you provide?

A: We offer a wide variety of services for couples and individuals in an atmosphere of support, emotional safety, and respect for differences.

  • Couples Services

    We provide marriage counseling, couples therapy, and relationship therapy, as well as premarital counseling and classes. We work with couples who are trying to resolve problems with:

    • Communication and conflict
    • Infidelity and affairs
    • Sexual disorders
    • Sex addiction
    • Family issues, e.g., parenting, stepfamilies, in-laws, and past partners

    We also provide marriage education, addressing topics such as communication skills, housework, finances, decision-making, and work-life balance. For couples who want an independent assessment of their relationship, we offer online and paper relationship assessments that are well-researched and provide concrete information on strengths and challenges.

  • Premarital Services

    We offer premarital counseling in two formats: a four-session, private premarital class and open-ended premarital counseling to address whatever is blocking the decision to marry. For couples who must meet the requirements of a pastor, rabbi, or other celebrant, we can customize the program to include religious or spiritual elements, e.g., Bible or other sacred literature.

  • Individual Services

    For individuals, we provide counseling, coaching, and therapy for a wide variety of concerns. We welcome and work with individuals who are trying to deal with:

    • Depression
    • Anxiety
    • Anger
    • Sexual disorders
    • Alcohol problems
    • Sex addiction
    • PTSD and trauma
    • Addictive behavior with food, substances, work, or money

    Because these problems also affect relationships, we can combine individual and couples therapy if appropriate. We also offer individual relationship counseling for those who want to:

    • Work on their relationship alone if their partner won't attend
    • Decide whether to leave the relationship or stay and fix it
    • Solve dating problems and find a partner who is a good fit

Please look through our web site to find out more about us and the services we provide.

Q: What do you specialize in?

A: We specialize in relationships. Each of us has advanced education and training in couples and marriage therapy. We offer couples counseling and marriage therapy, as well as coaching and education for dating, committed, and engaged couples. We also welcome and work with individuals who are struggling with relationship or personal issues, or who want a more fulfilling life. As qualified mental health clinicians, we can diagnose and treat a range of mental health and/or substance abuse problems. We address a range of problems in our couples counseling and marriage therapy, including

  • Communication problems
    • Emotional distancing
    • Chronic arguments
    • Difficulty understanding each other
  • Affairs
    • Emotional affairs
    • Sexual affairs
    • Friendships and flirtations
  • Sexual problems
    • Difficulty with desire, arousal, or orgasm
    • Unsatisfying, boring, or painful sex
    • Unhealthy use of porn
    • Internet sex
  • Emotional problems
    • Depression and anxiety
    • Anger
    • PTSD
    • Addictive behavior with food, substances, sex, work, or money

You can find out more about our specialties throughout our web site.

Q: Where are your offices?

A: We have 2 offices that serve the Maryland, Virginia, and Washington DC region:

      Location A.   Glenn Dale, MD
      Location B.   McLean, VA

Q: Which counselors are available at each office location?

A: Counselors work in each office location as noted in the table below:

Glenn Dale, MD Counselors
McLean, VA Counselors

Kier Maxwell

Marika Martin

Click for bio
Elizabeth Sloan
Click for bio
Elizabeth Sloan

Q: What are your hours?

A: Our hours vary depending on location and counselor. In general, we schedule appointments

  • Monday through Friday: 8:00 a.m. - 8:00 p.m.
  • Saturday: 8:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.

Q: How long are sessions?

A: We schedule sessions for

  • 45 minutes
  • 75 minutes
  • 90 minutes

We also offer half-day and full-day intensives for couples with difficult schedules.

Q: How long does counseling last?

A: The length of counseling depends on the problems you want to work on, as well as on how hard you work at making changes.

  • In general, counseling lasts no longer than necessary for you to achieve your goals.
  • We use a careful assessment process so we understand your situation early and can focus counseling on your needs.
  • We assign homework so you can continue making progress between sessions.

Q: How does couples counseling work?

A: In general, both partners attend the first session, so your counselor can learn about your problems from both partners' points of view. Early on, the counselor meets with each partner alone for one or two sessions as part of the assessment process. During the course of counseling, both partners attend sessions together, with some individual sessions mixed in as needed.

Q: What if my partner refuses to attend counseling?

A: Often, one person in a couple can make substantial changes in the relationship by learning about relationship dynamics, how they may be contributing to the difficulties, and what they can do differently to put the relationship on a solid footing. While there are no guarantees, with time, patience, and effort, one person can turn a relationship around.

Q: Do you work with individuals as well as couples?

A: Yes, we work with individuals on a regular basis. Some of the goals of individual counseling include:

  • Clearing whatever is getting in the way of having a full and happy life, including relationships, career, family and parenting, and personal growth.
  • Building skills and know-how to improve relationships with partners, children, extended family members, or colleagues.
  • Resolving issues from childhood, past destructive relationships, or adverse life experiences.

The process of counseling with individuals is the same as for couples, in that we try to get to know you well in the first few sessions, and then can give you an idea of how we might work together to meet your goals.

Q: Is the fee the same whether one or two people attend?

A: The fee is based on the length of time, and not on the number of people present.

Q: Do you take insurance?

A: It is important for you to know that

  • Insurance companies generally do not pay for counseling designed to improve or heal your relationship.
  • If one of you has a diagnosable mental health or substance use disorder, and if the counseling focuses on treatment for that disorder, insurance companies may be willing to reimburse a portion of the fees. This is also true for individual counseling.
  • Since we are not participating providers, any reimbursements are at the out of network rate.

    We recommend that you call your insurance company and ask how much they would pay for the following services

    • 90791, Individual diagnostic interview
    • 90834, Individual therapy session
    • 90837, Individual therapy session, extended
    • 90847, Family or Marital therapy session
    • 90846, Individual therapy session for another family member

    We ask for full payment at each session, and provide you with a receipt to submit to your insurer. For your convenience we accept cash, personal checks, Visa, Master Card, and Discover.

Q: How do I make an appointment?

A: The first step is to contact us using our contact form for a free phone consultation so you can discuss your concerns and determine if our services are a good fit for you. If you have a preference for which counselor you would like to speak with, make a note of that in the Message field of the contact form.

After submitting the contact form, you will probably be contacted initially by our Administrative Coordinator. She will provide you with any additional information you need; then schedule your free consultation with one of our counselors.

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