Relationship Harmony

Marialena Malejan-Roussere
Marriage & Family Therapist, Certified Group Psychotherapist


Frequently Asked Questions


How does therapy help?
The therapist facilitates your process of healing, self-discovery, and behavior modification. I have extensive experience working with people and their emotions, thoughts, behaviors, and traumas…but there is no real power that I possess as the therapist to get rid of your problems. The challenge and responsibility of healing and improving your life is yours.  I help by offering a safe connection that allows you to reveal and understand yourself.  As therapist, I offer assistance with blockages, give you tools for discovery and growth, and encourage self-acceptance.  By doing this, your emotional experience is reflected back to you, and validated – empathy and compassion for self are allowed to develop.  As you explore your patterns and responses to the events of your life, your sense of choice and responsibility is affirmed, and new options for living are revealed. 

What should I expect on my first meeting?
Before our first meeting, we will have a 10-15 minute free phone consultation, which helps me determine your needs and provides you an opportunity to ask questions. After which, If you decide to move forward with setting up an appointment, you will be sent an email with a link to a secure on-line client portal where all necessary paperwork related to office policies, personal information, therapeutic contract and billing can be filled out. The standard session time is 50 minutes.  During our sessions, we will look closely at your family of origin, the history of your struggles and successes, and give considerable attention to your thoughts, feelings and reactions.

Do you accept insurance? How does it work?
I currently do not accept insurance. If I am not on your insurance panel, it is possible to see me as an out of network provider. This will provide some reimbursement for your cost of therapy should I not be on your specific insurance panel. Please call to confirm, as my panel involvement may change. 

Is therapy confidential?
Everyone has right to a confidential relationship with me. Therapy works like a one way secret, where your engagement in therapy and everything you do and say in therapy is kept confidential.  Exceptions to this include the legal requirements of responding to a subpoena by a court of law, disclosures of harm to self or others, and your written permission to release information to a third party.  

What is your rate?
The fee for a standard session is $185.00 for individual and couple‚Äôs therapy, and $75 for group therapy. Payment is due at the beginning of each session by cash, check or credit card. A super billing statement can be provided for clients seeking insurance reimbursement from services rendered by an out of network provider.  

I want couples therapy, but my partner doesn’t. How should I proceed?
It is normal for couples to come in with different ideas of what they want to work on and often with varying levels of intrigue to work on the issues.   There are many misconceptions about therapy; some individuals fear that they will be blamed or made to feel unworthy.  I suggest framing your desire for couples therapy as wanting to enhance your relationship.  It is important to validate your partner’s hesitancy and feelings, and know that is also okay for your partner to be scared or resistant.   If your partner backs down, continuing with your own need for support can be an important step in changing the relationship.   

I think my family needs family therapy, but am unsure if all members will cooperate and come in.  How should I proceed?
It only takes one family member to make change in a system.  State your positive intention to seek therapy and be sure to include yourself in any description of what you would like help changing.  Ownership of your ineffectiveness goes a long way with making others comfortable with confronting their own part in how the family interacts.  Allow all feelings about therapy to be okay when approaching family members.  If members are very resistant, try framing it as an invitation and see if they can agree to at least one meeting, with no obligations for a long term commitment. Remind them that they are important to you.