top of page

Couples Counseling


Becoming Better Together

Each person comes to the partnership with a set of unique unconscious expectations and often these are met, at least initially. Yet, we are all constantly changing and growing, and we do not always change in the same way or at the same time. 


We fall into patterns established early in our life and then over the course of our relationship.  In many ways, these behavioral patterns help to strengthen a relationship, but they can also present potential challenges where a couple will become stuck.  Think of that "thing" that has come up again and again.

If left unaddressed, these patterns can lead to communication difficulties, a lack of connection, and mistrust.  Illness, parenting strategies, and major life transitions can also impact a couples connections and behaviors. 

Through a process oriented approach, learn to identify your unconscious rules, values discrepancies, and automatic responses that lead to many of these issues so that you are aware of them and can find better ways to connect, align, and work through them.  

About Our Approach

At AQAL Therapies, we use Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (pronounced "act") as our main approach.  

ACT is a type of therapy that focuses on helping people develop psychological flexibility and increase their ability to live in the present moment. 

ACT focuses on 3 main areas:

1. Accepting our emotional reactions while staying present

2. Using values to guide our actions

3. Committing to taking action and creating growth



ACT is primarily a mindfulness based therapy that helps couples accept and validate all of their emotional experiences by removing shame and avoidance. This process is guided by the idea that there is validity not only in the emotional experience we have, but the one that our partner has as well. Often when we have an emotional reaction that leaves us feeling stuck, it's because it's rooted in something that's happened in our past.

Image by Sebastian Herrmann

With ACT, partners learn how to acknowledge their past with compassion and let go of unhelpful thoughts that keep us from being in the current moment together. Partners learn to identify their inner voice - the one that judges themselves and their partners - and create space in their awareness to be able to move through difficult moments together.




Everyone has their own set of values, and every couple has a set of shared values that help guide them towards goals. Through identifying core values and exploring our conscious and subconscious beliefs about how to behave within those values, couples are able to build upon strengths and step out of common myths about how to be. When we think about how we "should" be in the context of a relationship, we become rigid in our thinking. By refocusing on our value, instead of the rules we have about it, partners can create workable strategies for compromise and validation.




ACT prompts couples to take the lessons they learn about mindfulness and values to determine a course of action that moves them closer to their goals. By committing to action couples are able to take tangible steps towards living in congruence with their personal and shared values. Couples work together to set goals, agree on boundaries, and maintain a mindset of openness to more workable ways of being in a relationship.

Couples Counseling Options


Option 1:   Fee for Service with an LMHC

  1. Click link below and select a time with Todd Schmenk, LMHC

  2. Service offered either in person or via telehealth.  Fees are $135/45 minutes or $150 for 1 hour. 

  3. Fill out and complete paperwork that will be sent to you via the e-mail provided.  This must be completed before the first session takes place in order to guarantee the appointment.


Option 2:   Fee for Service with an Intern Counselor.

Insurance plans typically do not cover couples counseling/marriage counseling.  However, being able to fully pay out of pocket is not always an option when help is needed and one of the main goals of AQAL Therapies is to provide a low budget option in working with a therapist in training. 


An intern counselor is one who has completed the required coursework, is required to provide services to meet their hourly requirement to sit for licensing, and has been brought on to help decrease waitlist time and to increase access to services.  They have all the skills needed to do the work and all of their work is reviewed by a licensed clinician.  In effect, you get two therapists at once working for you. 

  1. Click link below and select a time with Savannah Finan. 

  2. Service offered either in person or via telehealth.  Fee for sessions are $45/session 

  3. Fill out and complete paperwork that will be sent to you via the e-mail provided.  This must be completed before the first session takes place in order to guarantee the appointment.

Please feel free to contact AQAL Therapies here should you have any questions about this.

What to expect in your first session with an ACT Therapist


Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) is a flexible and individualized approach, so the specific steps of a therapy session may vary based on the needs and goals of each couple. However, here is a general outline of the steps that might be used in an ACT-based couples counseling session:

  1. Establishing a rapport: The therapist will begin by establishing a connection with both partners and creating a safe and supportive environment for them to express their concerns and feelings.

  2. Identifying the issues: The therapist will ask the couple to describe the issues that they are experiencing in their relationship. The therapist will work with the couple to clarify the specific problems they want to address in therapy.

  3. Values exploration: The therapist will explore the values of each partner and help them identify what is most important to them in life and in their relationship. This step is important in helping couples identify shared goals and values.

  4. Mindfulness practice: The therapist may introduce mindfulness practices to help the couple become more aware of their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. This may involve simple mindfulness exercises such as mindful breathing or body scans.

  5. Acceptance and defusion techniques: The therapist may introduce exercises that help the couple to identify and accept their difficult emotions and thoughts without being overwhelmed by them. These exercises can help couples learn to "make room" for their feelings and thoughts without letting them control their actions.

  6. Committed action: The therapist will help the couple identify specific actions that they can take to support their values and goals in their relationship. This may involve setting up a plan to engage in activities that they both enjoy or working to develop new shared experiences.

  7. Homework and follow-up: At the end of the session, the therapist may give the couple "homework" to practice the skills and strategies they learned in therapy. The therapist will also schedule follow-up sessions to check in on the couple's progress and make any necessary adjustments to the treatment plan.

Throughout the session, the therapist will be attuned to the couple's emotions and may use interventions such as empathic listening, validation, and normalization to create a safe and supportive space for the couple to work through their challenges. The therapist will also be flexible and adjust the treatment plan as needed based on the couple's progress and feedback.

bottom of page