Couple/Family Therapy

Counseling/therapy sessions are  conducted using a convenient, encrypted telehealth platform. Please familiarize yourself with my services and we can discuss by telephone and/or email how this works. Rest assured for couples counseling, the two of you can be in the same location or in separate ones. The same applies with family therapy.

If you live outside of Maryland, do not require mental health therapy or diagnosis, and may be better suited for coaching services, please click on that page on this website. This practice participates in-network with CIGNA and Blue Cross/Blue Shield plans as well as the Johns Hopkins Employer Health Plan (EHP). This helps employees at Sibley Memorial Hospital, Suburban Hospital, Howard County General Hospital and Johns Hopkins Healthcare to obtain a variety of mental health/counseling services.

All couples and families can benefit from counseling whereby they examine and acquire relationship skills such as positive communication, effective boundaries, and realistic expectations. When one is affected, all may be affected, for better or worse.

circular-causalityMs. Oberlin helps you to understand the couple or family as a system and how change begins with self.  Family members cutoff from one another when their stress rises above ability and coping. Premarital couples benefit from sessions as do those discerning if they should part ways. Therapy is for those who wish to work on self and the relationship; NOT when one person has already decided to leave or in coercive or violent situations.

Ms. Oberlin has completed two levels of Gottman Method Couples Counseling, an incredibly powerful and research-based method for helping relationships. She may administer questionnaires to assess your skill sets, needs, individual disparities and whether the four horsemen are a part of your conflict. This takes time.

Rebellious Teen_48020380Frequently in both couples and family work, Loriann recommends specific strategies, sometimes media to educate about well-researched predictors of relationship demise. If there is hesitancy on the part of one person, I encourage you to discuss this. Counseling is NOT about “nailing” or blaming; it’s about listening and learning to understand. It aims to disrupt the dysfunctional dance that people do, and most importantly, it can get you out of gridlock.

Yes, sometimes it feels uncomfortable at first, but whatever you can mention, we can typically manage. As hidden problems and feelings emerge, you will hopefully apply new skills. Soon, any discomfort fades away as does loneliness. People explode or implode less frequently. Criticism, we hope, turns into gentle complaints or helpful feedback that’s spoken, not harshly but with a thoughtful, soft startup.

Four Horsemen Couples and family appointments (with some exceptions) require the presence of all involved; to avoid missed sessions, one individual can attend.  We can set up some separate meetings if this is necessary to assess your case.

Couples work begins with both partners in a session of 90-minute recommended length. If using your insurance is a priority, please address this as you set up all appointments . To properly assess how we will proceed, we will meet the first time together. Then I will schedule one  individual appointment with each of you to learn about each person’s family of origin, perceptions and specific problems as they relate to the relationship concerns.  Remember: it’s a common thinking error that the other person needs counseling while you may not, but as author Dan Wile stated in After the Honeymoon, “Choosing a partner is choosing a set of problems.”

You’re each responsible. Scheduling help is step one!

“Sometimes I put off booking a session, but every time I come in, we leave feeling better. We always take away something we can use.” — man balancing work and relationships in his forties

CANCELLATION POLICY is 48 hours in advance of your appointment OR FRIDAY in advance of a Monday appointment. Reminders for appointments are not guaranteed; in fact, they are rare. Should you miss or cancel scheduled appointments within this 48-hour window, it cannot be billed to your insurance company and you will be responsible for the charges at my usual and customary fees.

Out of session time necessary for proper case coordination with physicians, school counselors, other treating providers, attorneys and anyone else is billed at my hourly rate, pro-rated. Outside of quarterly or yearly statements, administrative fees may apply for paperwork/invoicing as payment is due at time of service. Therefore, once again, please know your benefits as this knowledge empowers you as the consumer.

Regrettably, though communicated in a myriad of ways, billing issues and misunderstandings regarding the 48-hour or Friday-before-Monday notice wreaks havoc on the therapeutic relationship. I always want to avoid that.

True emergencies mean a death in the immediate family, an ER or hospital visit, a bed-ridden or seriously contagious illness. Sports practice, games, having to work, or a babysitter cancelling are not exempt from this policy. You can avoid hassle/fees by setting reminders, keeping in close communication of potential problems in your schedule. Email is preferred; phone message as well; text only during business hours and ONLY for scheduling snafus or if you do not have email access.