Couples therapy can mean a lot of different things to a lot of different people. Since addiction and mental health problems affect the most important areas of our lives including social, family, marital, relational, legal, vocational, recreational etc., significant others are at the top of the list. This means that our relationships with our partners can be both a cause and an effect or impact of our our drug or alcohol use.  For this reason, couples therapy is often essential to understanding addiction, treatment addiction and supporting addiction recovery.


Couples therapy can be for as short as one or two sessions or it can be on a regular weekly schedule instead of or in addition to individual therapy and other types of support.  The therapists at Jeremy Frank Associates are all trained in couples or family system approaches to help address the various issues that arise with the impact of addiction or mental health problems on the couple.


Sometimes it is crucial to start couples treatment right away in conjunction with the identified patient’s individual treatment. Sometimes both members of the couple will benefit from their own therapy but many counselors or therapists believe that especially with addiction or compulsivity issues it is critical that the person struggling with addiction starts the therapy process first and engages in treatment before couples counseling can begin. Professional counselors and psychologists tend to believe strongly that little therapy and recovery can be accomplished unless first the identified patient is either clean and sober or very engaged and committed to the recovery process.  So whether it makes sense to start couples counseling in the beginning or to wait until the individual patient becomes more stable is a question to consider with your therapist.


There are many issues that couples struggle with which are common concerns early on in treatment. Some of the main considerations are listed below. If you identify or struggle with any of these you might benefit from calling us, asking your partner to come in for a session or consulting a couples counselor or therapist near you.


What role can I play in helping to monitor his medications?


Couple or partner questioning role in monitoring drug or alcohol use. Should we drug test?

Are there ways to monitor drug or alcohol use such as programs like

Soberlink –


Should I have full access to financial accounts so I can be sure she isn’t using money to

buy drugs?



Should she tell me every time she decides to have one drink?


We have so many other issues like money problems, intimacy problems or problems with

kids. Do we start talking about those now or wait til he’s sober? We rarely have sexual



Trust eroded. Hurt, pain and anger won’t go away and seems overwhelming.


Considering leaving the relationship or ending the marriage. Three reasons to leave:

Addiction, affairs and abuse. Have I fallen out of love? Does it just make better sense to

leave the relationship? Do I have enough self esteem and belief in myself that I could

survive or be happy on my own?


I just want to learn to be happy together. We used to do so many things together but we

forgot what made us happy. How can we start to build up hobbies, purpose, meaning and

fun together?


Marriage Counseling -This page explains what marriage counseling and couples therapy is. It explains why couples undergo therapy and how to prepare for it. It also explains what to expect.