What’s the difference between therapy, counseling, and coaching?
I use the terms coaching and counseling interchangeably to describe a process designed to solve problems, modify behavior and improve quality of life. Therapy traditionally assumes there is something wrong with the individual, but coaching and counseling emphasizes that there is a great deal that is right. By looking at what works and building new behaviors on that, we work quickly toward successful outcomes.
I don’t know anything about counseling (except that everyone in my family is against it) and I’m sort of afraid. How scary is it?
You might be surprised to learn that a lot of people are afraid to go into counseling, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps they think they’ll be forced to do something they don’t want to do, or admit or reveal something they don’t want to talk about. Some people think that if they have counseling they’ll no longer be “themselves.”
These assumptions are incorrect. It’s very, very important to me that you feel safe during your coaching experience. You are in charge and involved in every decision that’s made. You will never be forced or obliged to do or say anything. We progress at a pace that is comfortable for you. If you ever have doubts or concerns or are feeling a little afraid—with me or with any therapist—you should talk about it immediately.
Successful counseling should not only make you feel more like yourself, but it should also make you like yourself more!
How long will it take?
During your first session, we will explore your options, so you can make an informed decision about your coaching experience. For the best results, we recommend an initial commitment of 12 weekly sessions. During that period you will have an opportunity to move along at your own pace. After twelve weeks we will look back together at what you’ve accomplished and you may decide whether (and how) additional coaching will be useful.
If you’re busy, we’ll find ways to accommodate your schedule, whether you are interested in short-term, intensive, or ongoing coaching. Sessions may be conducted in-person and by phone. If you are flying in from out of town, we will customize the length of sessions, frequency and intensity to suit your personal needs.
Do you see people on weekends?
Yes, by appointment
Do you see people in the evenings?
Yes, by appointment
We’ve had some “anger issues” in our marriage and now our son is acting out, both at home and at school. What should we do?
Just like individuals and couples, families need communication tools to work together successfully. Family counseling supports each individual and the family as a whole as we look for ways to replace problem behavior with productive, rewarding behavior. Often, once we’ve addressed the at-home issues, many of the problems at school will resolve themselves.
Anger, Is anger always bad?
Absolutely not! If your small child picks up a chain saw or runs out into the street, your angry (but not violent) response will help them learn an important lesson. If you are able to channel your anger with a co-worker’s chronic lateness, you may end up with a better working relationship and more effective results. At work and in your relationships, feelings of anger may indicate that a problem is brewing. You can learn to recognize your angry feelings and deal with the underlying problem before it escalates.
Relationships: Frequently Asked Questions
How do I know if it’s me, my spouse, or our relationship that’s the problem?
When we address “couple” issues in counseling, we don’t look for someone to blame; we look for what is working in the relationship and use that as a foundation to build future success.
Even if your problems seem entirely one-sided—“my spouse is cheating on me”—we approach it as a couple issue and work as a team to solve the problem. If you or your spouse have individual concerns, we can address those as well.
There’s nothing wrong with our relationship except that it’s boring. Can coaching help?
Yes! Every couple deserves a rich, rewarding, exciting relationship, regardless of partners' age or how long they’ve been together. Relationship coaching can help you re-ignite your spark and find new meaning and commitment within your relationship.
What is pre-marital counseling?
When two people get married—whatever their ages, and whether it’s for the first time or a subsequent marriage for one or both—they always hope that this relationship will be “forever.” But in our divorce-prone society, few couples have the knowledge or tools necessary to keep their marriage healthy once the initial excitement is past.
Getting married without the right knowledge and tools is like crossing the ocean in a rowboat without oars, sails, a motor, water, sunscreen, books or anything to eat; and expecting to make it armed with only hope.
Pre-marital counseling helps couples assemble their tools, including the resources they already have within themselves. It helps them recognize and deal with small issues before they become big problems and opens up new channels of communication that work for the twosome.
Counseling helps couples avoid the relationship pitfalls that lead to unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and divorce in 95% of marriages. In a safe, neutral environment, couples address issues that can be difficult to talk about, such as money, anger and sex.
When do you encourage clients to return for tune-ups?
As a couple, you will be encouraged to commit to a minimum of twelve weeks of relationship coaching. You will be asked to enter the program with serious intent to learn how to love one another, feel safe as a couple, and work together as a unit.
As with any new skill, once you learn to create health, happiness and prosperity together, you must continue to “use it or lose it”. It’s helpful to periodically reinforce the healthy behavior, so you don’t go back to your old ways.
Dr. Fibus FAQ
Do people you work with always appreciate their results?
No, and it’s not because they don’t want to appreciate their success, my experience and skill, or the fact that they got the outcome they had asked for. The fact is that, sometimes, getting what we ask for (too quickly) can be overwhelming. “Change” is something most people resist.
There are usually some (positive) “secondary benefits” that, one can depend on as an outcome of the predictable negative behavior. The key word here is “predictable”. Even negative behavior can be soothing, to a degree, if what will happen next is “predictable”
What type of clients do you enjoy working with the most?
Highly motivated clients who want to learn to do what most of the “Pied Piper Followers” around them don’t know to even ask for, let alone work toward.
Clients who understand that most marriages in our society aren’t healthy and are determined to be much happier and healthier than the status quo. They are searching out an expert who has a strong success record with couples and is strong enough to handle their power struggles between themselves and with the therapist/relationship coach.
Couples that want my help to both stay together and also be happier than they ever imagined was possible.
Couples that want to have a better new relationship and to have that next relationship with one another.
Are you Married? Is it a good marriage? Please describe.
Yes, and I love it.
My wife and I work very hard to listen and pay attention to one another. We both learned to appreciate that the other “makes sense”, even if we don’t always make sense to one another.
We think and act loving most of the time, when our own perspective doesn’t get in the way. We both acknowledge that having a healthy and loving relationship takes work and we do what it takes.
Are you a “Family Man”? Do you enjoy being a father?
My favorite word in the world is “Daddy” and I hope and believe I have earned the title. Being a loving and caring parent is one of the most important and significant (ongoing) accomplishments I am imminently proud of.
Why do you care about helping other people?
I actually grow as much as the client when I engage with them. Doing this work keeps me on my toes, forcing me to challenge myself to rethink.
How clients describe Dr. Fibus
I am absolutely committed to finding ways to repair a relationship. Out of a group of 100 marriage therapists, I would probably be the last to say “You guys should just file for divorce and move on”.
I believe that the fundamental reasons two people are attracted to one another and create a bond is much more sophisticated and complex than the over-simplistic rationalizations we offer, such as:
- She's beautiful / He’s handsome
- She’s / He’s good in bed
- He makes a good living
- She understands me
- We both like the same kinds of activities
- We both like kids and want a big family
- Our families really like one another
One myth about marriage is that “Most (other) people getting married are wiser, better prepared and more successful with their marriage.” Successful marriages do not come easily! Couples often give up too early and turn to the following reasons for breaking up or divorcing:
- We were “Too YOUNG”
- We were “Too IMMATURE”
- We were NOT “FINANCIALLY SECURE ENOUGH”
- We were NOT “EMOTIONALLY SECURE ENOUGH”
- We were just “INFATUATED”
- She looked “REALLY SEXY” until that got old
- We were ”Too IMPULSIVE”
- I Married Him/ Her “For THEIR MONEY”
- I just wanted to “MOVE OUT OF MY PARENTS' HOUSE”
- We were “Too SELFISH & SPOILED”
- We were “Too INDEPENDENT”
- We were “IN-LOVE” and now we aren’t
- “Bad decision” / “We made a huge mistake”
Your partner was not the only person you had the opportunity to pursue and be pursued by you. You and your partner got together because two extraordinarily sophisticated computers negotiated the match- your brain and their brain.
What types of clients do your colleagues refer to you?
My colleagues regularly refer clients seeking counseling for the following:
- Anger Management
- Conjoint Couples Coaching
- Pre-marital, Pre-Divorce Filing, and Post-Marital
- HOT MONOGAMY
How do I know if this is the right time for counseling?
- Are you feeling stuck?
- Do you find that you run into the same problems over and over again?
- Do you have a hard time saying what you need?
- Do you sometimes feel so worried or angry or excited you don’t know how to express it?
- Do you feel that your life is uninteresting, colorless—sort of “blah”?
- Do you have a hard time sleeping at night or getting out of bed in the morning?
- Do you ever use alcohol or drugs to feel better?
If you answered "Yes" to any of these questions, this would be a good time to consider counseling. Counseling can give you practical tools to make your life and emotions more manageable, make you feel more satisfied and help you get what you need to be happy.
I’ve had years of therapy, but my life is still a mess. What could you possibly offer that would make a difference?
My methods are based on your strengths rather than your weaknesses.
If you are committed to having a better life and getting rid of the “mess,” I believe we can break through whatever barriers may be holding you back. Many of my clients have had tremendous success through our work together, even after “giving up” on therapy.