Here are some of the FAQs I get from people considering hiring me as their coach.
How are you different from other therapists / counselors? If a couple has worked with other therapists in the past, why should they try you?
I think the biggest thing that distinguishes me from other counselors and therapists is my relate-ability. A lot of therapists and psychologists don’t know how to relate to their clients as real people. As a coach I am not above anyone else. My clients are my equals in every way, I’m just here to support them in getting to where they really want to be in their romantic relationships. That’s it. I’m also very understanding, and I don’t mean intellectually. It’s incredibly important that my clients feel like I get them. Just because I’m a relationship and affair recovery coach doesn’t mean that I haven’t made stupid mistakes in my own marriage. I’m human, just like you, and I continue to screw things up from time to time. But as a coach I do have a different set of skills and tools that help me prevent mistakes and fix them when I do mess up. My clients understand that – they get that I don’t judge them at all, no matter what they may have said or done – and they feel safer being real with me because of it.
Another thing that distinguishes me from other therapists and counselors is that I create a detailed strategy that is rooted in taking new actions and achieving new results in a person or a couple’s romantic life. Too many people try the same things over and over again and get no results, which is crazy and incredibly frustrating. If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always gotten. If you want different results you have to take new actions, and that is exactly what my coaching is focused on. I don’t need to talk about your past, or your childhood, or anything else that most counselors try to dig through. We’ll start where you are right now and I’ll give you new tools and skills you can apply immediately to get results.
Finally, I am 100% committed to my clients’ success. When someone becomes my client I always tell them to call me any time day or night if they need me for ANYTHING. Relationship problems don’t happen on a regular weekly schedule, so I don’t want my clients to wait until our next session. If you need me, call me. I’m always here for you. We’ll have extra sessions, or just a quick check in, we will take as long or as little as is needed to work through whatever is “up” in your relationship until it is resolved. I don’t charge extra for extra sessions either. When you are my client you have my 100% support, whatever it takes.
Affair recovery requires a unique set of skills, and many therapists and counselors are not specifically trained in affair recovery. It takes a unique set of skills and tools, plus a lot of compassionate understanding to really get down to the core of an affair and resolve it. I happen to be very good at what I do, and my approach is completely unlike anything you will find with a therapist
I also realize that I may not be a fit for every person or client out there, which is why I’ve created a video on How to Find a Good Therapist. Feel free to check it out.
How long does it usually take for your clients to heal?
In general 6 – 12 months. Every situation is unique though, and there are a few factors that will determine if a person or couple needs longer. How long has the affair been going on? How long since it was discovered and/or ended? I’ve had couples who wait 8 years after an affair has ended to seek help. Those clients take longer, because there’s 8 years of baggage piled on top of the original problem. How strong was the relationship before the affair happened? If it was very strong then that gives the couple a much more solid foundation to rebuild upon, but if there were major issues in the marriage to begin with then it will take longer. But the most important factor is how willing the couple is to actually do the work required, how willing they are to stretch and change and grow. A person and a couple who does whatever it takes to heal will see results very quickly, regardless of any other factor.
Is there any religious element to your work?
No. You do not need to adhere to any religious doctrine or belief to save your marriage and heal after an affair. None of the tools and techniques I teach include any religious element, nor is any of it based on a sacred text such as the Bible.
If you are a religious or spiritual person then that will clearly inform and shape your recovery, and I will help you incorporate those elements into your program only if you wish.
I fully respect each individual’s right to their own beliefs, whatever those may be.
What is the process you use when guiding a couple through recovery?
The first thing I do with all new clients is the Magic Wand Exercise. It’s a tool I developed which helps people get really clear about where they want to be in their romantic lives. One of the biggest mistakes most couples make (and their therapists or counselors) is to stay focused on the affair, the pain, the sadness, the heartache, and everything else that is simply not working in their marriage. This is one of the biggest reasons people stay stuck. Instead I help people focus on where they want to be, and then we build a strategy to take them from where they are to where they want to be.
From there is a matter of filling in the gaps of what is missing in their skill set and tools – their ability to create that new vision. I teach people how to create emotional safety, how to communicate effectively, how to connect and express love in healthy ways, and how to meet one another’s needs effectively. I help couples get down to the real core of why the affair happened (and it’s usually not what most people think), resolve it, and incorporate that information into their marriage. This is the key to insure the marriage stays strong, vibrant, and fulfilling well into the future.
Have you or your wife ever cheated?
No. I have never cheated on my wife, nor has she ever cheated on me. Nor have either of us ever cheated or been cheated on in previous relationships. That’s not to say we haven’t had our fair share of relationship trauma and challenges though. We are a couple like many others. We are (usually) a bit more caring and loving and patient and understanding with each other, but there are still plenty of times when we mess up.
If you were never cheated on, and have never cheated, what makes you think you are able to help people heal from an affair? How can you possibly understand what it’s like to go through that kind of pain?
This is a point that many couples find confusing, since so many affair recovery therapists and counselors do have personal experience with infidelity. I am not trying to heal my own pain through the work I do, which makes me quite unique from other therapists. There is no prerequisite for helping couples heal from affairs. In fact, I find that many well-meaning therapists and counselors work purely from their own experience. If the counselor was the person who was cheated on they often cannot understand the perspective of the person who cheated. Their experience makes them bias. The same is true in reverse too.
In order to create true healing and change, a certified affair recovery coach, counselor, or therapist must be able to understand and support both sides of the affair completely without judgement.
I have the skills and training and compassion, and I am not clouded by a past affair, which means I am uniquely placed to help you, no matter which side of the affair you happen to be on.
Do you accept insurance? How do you charge for your services?
These are very important questions. Many people are amazed to hear that I do not charge for the 2, 3, or sometimes 4 initial conversations I have with individuals or couples before they become clients. Working with me to rebuild your marriage is an investment of time, energy, and money, and I want clients to make the choice to hire me intentionally and with complete confidence. In my experience people who make that investment, even if it’s not easy, get more out of doing the work than someone who chooses to find the least expensive option. It’s a sign of true commitment.
I do not accept insurance directly, however I encourage you to check with your insurance provider to see if you can be reimbursed for working with me. I am a certified professional coach through the Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching (IPEC) and the International Coach Federation (ICF). Some benefits packages do include options for professional coaching, so check to see.
I only charge a client whenever we have a clearly defined relationship goal, which has a time frame and a clearly defined payment structure. Until we have that conversation I don’t expect anything, and will still support you as if you were already a full-time client. If I can help you take the next step in your journey, whatever that step may be, I am happy to help.
Do you have a question you’d like to ask Joshua? Please submit it on the Contact page, and you will receive a personal response!