Colette J. Fehr
Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist
Credentials & Education
- Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist # MT3095
- Licensed Mental Health Counselor # MH13740
- Nationally Certified Counselor
- Certified Clinical Mental Health Counselor
- EMDR Certified
- EFT Certified
- Master of Arts, Mental Health Counseling, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida
- Certificate in Marriage & Family Therapy, Rollins College, Winter Park, Florida
- Bachelor of Arts, History & English, Cum Laude, Tulane University, New Orleans, Louisiana
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT)
- Internal Family Systems (IFS)
- Developmental Model of Couples Counseling
- Gottman Method Couples Therapy
- Encounter Centered Couples Therapy
- PREPARE/ENRICH Premarital Counseling
- Discernment Counseling
- Adult Attachment & Trauma
- Domestic Violence
- Acceptance and Commitment Therapy
- Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction
- Motivational Interviewing
- Complex Trauma & Dissociation
- Feeling State Addiction Therapy
- American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy
- American Counseling Association
- International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy
- EMDR International Association
- Central Florida Association of Marriage & Family Therapy, President Elect
- Mental Health Counselors of Central Florida
Welcome and thank you for visiting my web site.
I am a licensed psychotherapist who works exclusively with couples at my private practice in Baldwin Park in Orlando, Florida. Helping people find greater joy and connection in their relationships is my lifelong passion.
I'm ICEEFT-certified in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which is the gold standard in evidenced-based treatment for couples. I'm also EMDRIA-Certified in Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), which is used to treat trauma and relational loss. In my practice, I draw from a wide variety of psychodynamic, family systems, and attachment-based theories to develop evidence-based treatment plans customized to the needs of each unique client.
I have experience providing individual, couples and family counseling at a wide variety of settings including the following: a residential center, an intensive outpatient program, a community mental health center, an agency, an addiction treatment facility, and in private practice. I believe treating clients in these vastly different environments has enriched the quality of my work and my perspective on life. I feel honored to have worked with a diverse population of clients from whom I have learned so much, and whom I deeply respect.
I offer an experiential and integrative approach to Couples therapy that draws from attachment theory, neurobiology, and developmental psychology. My work is based on highly-specialized training in multiple methodologies that include: EFT (Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy), the Gottman Method, the Developmental Model, and Encounter Centered Couples Therapy. Contrary to popular belief, most relationship struggles stem from disconnection between partners, rather than from specific problems or arguments.
Couples Therapy involves uncovering and resolving unhelpful patterns, managing differences, and learning to effectively listen and communicate. The most important emphasis is on creating authentic, intimate connection. Couples come to feel emotionally safe and close with one another again, which changes the quality and perceived severity of their problems.
When one or both spouses is leaning out of the marriage, a process called Discernment Counseling can help the couple find clarity about whether to divorce or work on salvaging the relationship.
When couples have made the difficult decision to divorce they can often benefit from Closure Counseling. Closure Counseling offers couples the opportunity to understand their contributions to what didn’t work in the marriage, learn what to take from the marriage going forward, and find a sense of peace. This process can also help divorcing parents communicate their decision to divorce to their children and determine how they will co-parent after the divorce is final.
Please find more information on Individual Therapy, EMDR, Couples Therapy, Premarital Counseling, Discernment Counseling, Divorce Counseling, and Closure Counseling. I would be happy to speak with you directly to answer your questions. Call me at 407.951.3820 or email me here.
Do you feel misunderstood or emotionally disconnected from your partner? Are you having the same arguments over and over without getting anywhere? Do you feel lonely in your relationship but discouraged about how to get close again?
Perhaps you’re struggling to find energy for your relationship due to busy schedules, careers, or parenting demands. Maybe you’re going through the painful process of healing from trauma or broken trust, or perhaps you’ve simply grown apart. Sometimes it can feel hopeless. You may have settled into a pattern of quiet resignation, filling your time with distractions, and trying to ignore the fact that neither of you is truly happy.
Whatever your circumstances, couples counseling can help you rebuild a stronger, healthier relationship in which you feel seen, heard and connected.
We all bring echoes of hurts from the past into our love relationship. You may get triggered when your partner unintentionally taps into one of these old wounds. When this happens it’s only natural that you would try to protect yourself, but this self-protection often takes the form of criticism, angry outbursts, shutting down, or other behaviors that trigger old wounds in your partner. These natural defenses obscure the underlying vulnerabilities that are at the core of secure, healthy bonds. When you and your partner trigger and react to one another this way the cycle repeats itself, creating a problematic pattern that can be hard to break and can leave each of you feeling frustrated and alone.
In our sessions, I will help you identify these triggers and learn how to respond differently. You will gain insight into your feelings, wants and desires, and learn how to express them more vulnerably. In turn, you will also learn how to hear your partner’s feelings, wants, and desires and receive them without reacting defensively. Thus, you and your partner will develop the ability to soothe one another rather than inflame, and to share authentically with each other, rather than defend or hide.
By transforming conflicts into opportunities for growth and connection you will build the secure attachment and emotional safety needed for true closeness and intimacy.
I take the responsibility of my role as a couple’s therapist very seriously. You are entrusting me with the inner workings of your most private, valuable relationship. I take great care to respect each person’s perspective and to collaborate on creating positive changes that serve you both. There is no blaming or “taking sides” in my couples therapy process. Instead, we will work together to uncover the patterns of disconnection that are in the way of having the relationship you want. My goal is to help you reconnect with your partner and develop heathy, authentic intimacy.
In my work with couples I utilize Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which is the gold standard in evidenced-based treatment for relationships. I am one of only a few therapists in the Orlando area who is certified by ICEEFT in EFT. The couples therapy process begins with the assessment phase. The first step is an intake session in which I will get an idea of the history of the relationship and where you’re getting stuck, and we will begin formulating your goals for therapy. Following the initial intake, I will meet with each partner separately for one session to obtain a more detailed individual attachment history. From there we will move into the working phase and the three of us will reconvene to finalize goals and begin our collaboration.
Occasionally, throughout the course of therapy, there may be a need for another individual session with you or your partner, but the majority of our work will be done with both of you in session. Couples therapy sessions are typically 50 minutes and are usually weekly or bi-monthly. Often a full course of EFT can be completed in 13 to 20 sessions but the frequency of sessions, as well as the duration of the course of therapy, will be determined by the urgency of the presenting issues and your specific needs.
Congratulations! You and your partner have made the decision to commit to one another and become a new family. This relationship is undoubtedly the most valuable and potentially rewarding one you’ll ever have, so, of course, you want it to be healthy, satisfying, and full of love and laughter.
Perhaps your partnership is already rock solid, but no matter how strong the bonds of commitment, over the course of a lifetime every marriage has some trouble spots and goes through growing pains. By identifying areas of potential challenge and working to strengthen these issues now, you and your fiancé will have the best chance possible to build a strong, solid relationship that endures the test of time.
Many couples come from different backgrounds and have different ideas of what relationships and marriage should look like. Discussing differences and expectations beforehand better prepares you and your partner to understand and support one another throughout your marriage.
Premarital counseling can help you improve communication, set realistic expectations, and develop conflict-resolution skills. In premarital counseling, you may examine issues such as:
- Beliefs and values
- Roles in marriage
- Affection and sex
- Desire to have children
- Family relationships
- Dealing with anger
- Time spent together
In our work together, we will use an evidence-based assessment tool called PREPARE/ENRICH. The PREPARE/ENRICH assessment identifies your relational strengths and areas for growth. Each of you will complete a comprehensive online inventory. We will review the results together and discuss any issues that may be on your mind leading up to your marriage. I will provide you with the skills you need to increase mutual understanding and improve your communication.
Premarital Counseling and the PREPARE/ENRICH assessment set the following goals for you as a couple:
- Explore relationship strength and growth areas
- Strengthen couple communication skills, including forgiveness
- Identify and manage major stressors
- Learn conflict-resolution strategies using the specific ten step model
- Explore family-of-origin issues using the Couple and Family Map
- Discuss financial planning and budgeting
- Develop personal, couple and family goals
- Understand and appreciate personality differences
No matter how strong your relationship is, premarital counseling can help you get to know and understand each other even better than you do now. You’ll get a perspective on your partnership that can enrich the depth of your connection. As you walk through life and marriage together, it’s not whether or not you have difficulties but how well you manage them that determines the success of your marriage. Taking the time to explore and develop your couple-ship now will give you the confidence to navigate whatever challenges you may face in the future.
Discernment Counseling is a brief, time-limited process for couples in which one or both spouses is considering divorce but is unsure how to move forward. Through one to five sessions with the counselor, the couple gets the clarity and confidence needed to decide whether to work on saving the marriage or get a divorce.
Are you on the brink of divorce? Are you terrified your spouse may be finished with the marriage and wondering if there’s anything left you can possibly do? Or maybe, after months, years, or even decades of frustration, you’re the one who wants a divorce, but you find yourself stuck, feeling paralyzed by fear, guilt and confusion.
Deciding whether or not to stay married is one of the most complex and agonizing decisions you’ll ever have to make, and studies show that as many as 30% of couples are split on whether or not to get a divorce.
Even if you’ve been leaning toward divorce for a long time there may be many compelling seeds of self-doubt. It’s possible you’re just not 100 percent sure it’s the right thing to do. Will your spouse be okay? Will you really be happier on your own? You may be wondering how you could possibly live without seeing your kids every day. Or you might be worried your children won’t be able to accept the divorce or adjust to it well. Perhaps your concerns are even more fundamental, such as how you’d afford to make it on your own financially.
Concerns like this may be keeping you up at night and rightly so. Whether you’re the partner who’s leaning into the marriage and hoping to preserve it, or the partner who’s leaning out and fairly certain you want a divorce, there are important considerations to evaluate before you make your final decision. Unfortunately, these concerns are often so big and so scary that many people can get stuck in a toxic limbo of indecision for months, and sometimes even years.
Couples counseling only helps if both of you are committed to putting energy and effort into working on change. If you’re the only one willing to truly participate in couples counseling, it’s unlikely that you’ll get anywhere.
This is where Discernment Counseling can help. Whether you’re leaning out of your marriage or you’re desperately hoping to save it, Discernment Counseling can help you determine the best path forward. The process is designed to prevent you from: wasting time, energy and resources in half-hearted marriage counseling; blindsiding your partner with a shocking decision to divorce; or getting a premature divorce that you later end up regretting.
Discernment Counseling is a highly-structured assessment process in which a couple considering divorce meets with a counselor to decide what to do with their relationship. Unlike traditional marriage counseling, which usually focuses on rebuilding the marriage, Discernment Counseling focuses solely on helping you decide if you want to work on the marriage or get separated or divorced. While marriage counseling can go on for months, Discernment Counseling is a brief, time-limited process. Typically, it is completed in five sessions or fewer. It is designed to provide you with the information you need to reflect on your relationship and either pursue divorce or commit to a six-month course of intensive couples counseling. After six months, you can revisit the question about whether to divorce, but with greater insight and clarity about the true state of your marriage.
Discernment Counseling was developed by Bill Doherty, PhD, as part of the Minnesota Couples on the Brink Program and has been demonstrated to be highly effective in both helping couples save their marriages and work toward healthier pathways to divorce.
Who can benefit from Discernment Counseling?
Couples with mixed agendas (one wants a divorce and one doesn’t) and couples in which both parties are considering divorce but are unsure, can benefit from Discernment Counseling.
What are the benefits of Discernment Counseling?
Discernment Counseling provides a safe space for spouses to process difficult thoughts and feelings and find clarity about whether to divorce or try an intense course of marriage counseling.
For couples who decide to divorce, the discernment process can help each partner begin to understand what happened in the marriage, reduce fighting and emotional conflict, and set a positive tone for the relationship moving forward (a critical element for those who have children).
For couples who decide to commit to marriage counseling after going through Discernment Counseling, the process will have identified the areas that each partner needs to work on, thereby making the subsequent marriage counseling more focused and productive.
Even when a couple ends up deciding to divorce after going through a period of marriage counseling, each partner will have learned important skills to prevent the same mistakes from happening in future relationships.
Discernment Counseling cannot prevent divorce if one spouse is determined to proceed in that direction, but it can help one or both partners considering divorce figure out what they really want and move forward with clarity, confidence and greater peace of mind.
Closure Counseling is a short course of counseling sessions that a divorcing couple attends together to make peace with the end of marriage, explore what they can learn and take forward, and work through issues such as communicating productively, avoiding unnecessary legal expenses and co-parenting effectively.
No matter what the circumstances, or how quickly you get divorced and recover, going through divorce is a complicated process that can bring many challenges and a roller coaster of emotions. If you’re getting divorced you’ve likely gone through much thought and effort to arrive at this point, or perhaps your spouse made the decision for you and you have no choice but to go along. Whatever the case, you will undoubtedly heal and move on (even though it may not feel that way now), but there is much to work through and figure out along the way. You may elect to seek help with divorce recovery through individual counseling, but you may also find it helpful to participate in a brief course of Closure Counseling with your soon-to-be ex.
Increasingly, more and more couples are choosing to do Closure Counseling or divorce therapy together, in order to come to terms with the end of the marriage, improve communication, and learn how to co-parent productively after the divorce.
If you don’t get genuine closure when your marriage ends you’re more likely to bring the same issues into your next relationship. You may also find that you’re stuck in an endless loop of conflict with your ex for years to come. Couples who continue to fight after divorce may seem to be focused on disagreements over the kids or money, but quite often the real culprit is an underlying hurt, anger and sense of rejection or betrayal that was never dealt with properly at the time of the divorce. Sometimes these unresolved feelings manifest in a quest for retribution, which can involve years of court battles, parental alienation, fighting over children, or interfering with new and subsequent romantic relationships.
Closure Counseling can help you sort through the tumultuous feelings and unresolved issues that may be keeping both of you from healing and moving on. By holding a safe space for processing whatever you need to address with your soon-to-be ex, you’ll be a better parent and feel calmer and more grounded as you go through the divorce process. I will help you and your spouse part ways with as little anger, confusion, and volatility as possible. We will work together to minimize the emotional damage so you can make peace with the end of your marriage and come to a place of acceptance. Through Closure Counseling you can begin to create a clear, inspired vision for your future, one that is unencumbered by the ghosts of a wounded past.
What are the benefits of Closure Counseling?
- Understand what went wrong in the marriage
- Make any apologies or acknowledgments that feel important to express
- Learn what each of you can “own” that contributed to it not working
- Prevent yourself from repeating the same mistakes in other relationships
- Help the partner who doesn’t want a divorce to understand why the divorce is happening
- Determine how to break the news of the divorce to the children
- Make decisions about the children, including exploring visitation, custody, and co-parenting concerns
- Develop a vision for co-parenting effectively after the divorce
- Discuss values and create boundaries around dating and introducing kids to future, or perhaps, current partners.
How does Closure Counseling Work?
Typically Closure Counseling involves a short course of therapy in which both partners attend between one and ten sessions together. These sessions are usually 80 to 110 minutes in duration and may be scheduled weekly, bi-monthly or monthly, depending on your needs. In some cases, particularly when there are extenuating circumstances with children, couples may elect to attend Closure Counseling sessions for a longer period of time.
Is divorce leaving you feeling lost and overwhelmed? Does it sometimes seem as if you don’t even know who you are anymore? Perhaps you’re the one who wanted the divorce and are shocked at how difficult it is to adjust. Or maybe your spouse initiated the divorce and you’re still grieving and trying to make sense of how this happened.
No matter how well a divorce is handled, it always brings enormous change, a host of complicated emotions to sort through, and grief that’s best dealt with in the short run. Some people seek escape to avoid dealing with painful feelings or some may remain in denial for a long time to come. Unfortunately escape and denial usually magnify the emotional challenges that emerge later, sometimes even years down the road. Divorce counseling (also knows as divorce recovery or divorce therapy) can help with grieving the loss of the marriage, coping with your children’s needs, dealing with your ex after divorce, and rebuilding your self-esteem and new identity. Some people find that a divorce gives them a timely opportunity to re-examine their lives, behaviors, values, priorities and other relationships. It’s often the time to create new goals and an empowered vision for the future.
Who can benefit from Divorce Counseling?
This process is specifically designed for people who have made the decision to end their marriage, people whose spouse made the decision to end the marriage, those who are in the middle of a divorce, or those who are reeling from the aftereffects of divorce.
Divorce Counseling often helps with one or more of the following issues:
- Dealing with the emotions of divorce
- Learning lessons from the marriage so mistakes aren’t repeated
- Gaining closure to this chapter of your life
- Grieving the loss of the relationship and dream of a certain way of life
- Rebuilding self-esteem and confidence
- Parenting, co-parenting and time-sharing children after divorce
- Interacting with your former spouse and his/her new romantic partners
- Establishing a new social life, meeting new people, and/or dating again
- Managing issues with new romantic relationships after divorce
Sometimes divorcing spouses seek Closure Counseling together to explore what went wrong and work on effective co-parenting, but most often, divorce therapy is done on an individual basis. This helps you work through the fear, anger, loneliness, confusion and hurt you may be feeling as you end a vital relationship and make profound life changes. Sometimes there is severe trauma, depression and anxiety that Divorce Counseling can treat more effectively than you can manage on your own.
Couples Therapy sessions are 50 minutes at a rate of $285, via Telehealth or in person.
Good Faith Estimates
According to the No Surprises Act, as of January 1, 2022 all healthcare providers are required to provide estimates for the costs of your care. The Good Faith Estimate (GFE) shows the cost of items and services that are reasonably expected for your healthcare needs and treatment. This will be provided upon scheduling and/or as requested. This GFE does not include unexpected costs that could arise during treatment.
I do not accept any form of insurance. Upon request, I can provide superbills to my clients for possible reimbursement by their insurance provider. Please call your insurance provider to determine your coverage and if you are eligible for reimbursement with an out-of-network (OON) provider.
If you do not attend your scheduled appointment, and you have not notified me at least 24 hours in advance, you will be required to pay the full cost of the session.
All payments are due at the time of service. Credit card and health savings accounts are accepted.
Once you schedule, client forms will be emailed to you directly to complete in a HIPAA-protected client portal.
What can therapy do for me?
There are a variety of benefits that can come from therapy, and they tend to be individualized. Therapists are there to provide support, teach certain skills, and help clients discover new coping strategies for things like anxiety, depression, stress, or even creative blocks. You don’t need to have a ‘major disorder’ to find therapy useful. In fact, if you’re simply looking for personal growth or feel stuck on a particular situation at work, or at home with family or friends, therapy can help you figure out how to move forward. Essentially, a therapist offers a different way of looking at things – perhaps a perspective you haven’t yet considered, which makes it easier to point you in the right direction, and find the solutions you’re looking for in your life.
Of course, therapists can’t just ‘fix’ everything on their own. It’s about using those resources you learn in your everyday life that can really turn things around. Still unsure about what therapy could do for you? Let’s take a look a few examples of some common benefits:
- Grasping a deeper understanding of who you are
- Identifying your goals and dreams
- Obtaining the right skills for bettering your life’s relationships
- Learning resources to put an end to the issues that brought you to therapy
- Managing problem areas in your personal life, like anger, stress, depression, etc.
- Creating new patterns of behavior for yourself
- Changing your problem-solving perspective
- Boosting your self-esteem and confidence
If I feel as though I can handle my issues on my own, is therapy really necessary?
There isn’t a person alive who doesn’t experiences challenges of some kind throughout their life. Some people can simply get through them better than others, and even then, it’s never a bad idea to have additional support and understanding when it comes to the obstacles you’ve encountered. Therapy is ideal for people who understand themselves enough to realize they actually could use some help, instead of denying it. Acknowledging that your life isn’t necessarily where you want it to be is a big thing to admit and taking the steps to change that for the better is something to be incredibly proud of. You’re taking the first step down an incredible path that can lead to long-lasting benefits for the rest of your life, even when challenges come up again.
What makes people go to therapy in the first place? How do I know if it’s the right decision?
Everyone’s reasons for coming to therapy are different, whether they’re going through a big life change, or a specific event like divorce, or just aren’t dealing with stressful situations ideally. Sometimes, the assistance of therapy can not only help with specific situations, but personal issues as well. Depression, anxiety, relationship issues, couples counseling, and even low-self esteem are often common reasons to seek out help. You may start out looking for one thing, and find on your journey that you can gain so much more through learning the right skills, and having the right kind of encouragement.
In terms of making the ‘right decision’ for yourself, of course therapy is a personal decision, but if you take a look at your life, and your desire is to make a change that starts from within, it’s likely that some form of psychotherapy could be a great benefit.
What can I expect from therapy?
Just like the reasons for therapy are different for everyone, most people can expect different experiences. The good news is that therapy is completely individually-focused, which is why everyone can get something different out of it. Generally, your life, your history, and any relevant insights will be important to the specific discussions, but in a very personal and individualized manner. Sometimes therapy can be focused on a specific need, in which case it’s a ‘short term’ solution, while in other cases, many people go to therapy regularly, each week, to simply look for more personal growth.
Again, therapy isn’t meant to be some kind of ‘quick fix’ where you simply sit back and listen. It is a participatory experience. The more you involve yourself in the process, the better results you’re bound to see. It’s a practice in everyday living, in which you take what you learn from the session, and apply it to your life. Therefore, it’s important to be mentally prepared to make those changes in your life, and desire new perspectives on things.
How should one consider medication vs. psychotherapy?
While medication has been proven to help with many different disorders, it has also been proven that time and time again, it simply isn’t enough. Medication often treats the symptoms of a problem without getting to the root of solving it, which is where therapy comes in. The decision to take psychotropic medications or not, is a highly personal one, and your personal wishes will be honored. If in the course of treatment, you decide you might benefit from medications, I will refer you out to an appropriate provider.
How does insurance factor into therapy?
Insurance companies are different – some reimburse for mental health services with out-of-network providers and others do not. I recommend that you call your insurance company to find out what they will reimburse you for an out-of-network provider under your particular plan.
Do the topics in each therapy session remain private?
There is practically nothing more important in therapy than confidentiality. As with any doctor/client agreement, your privacy is of the utmost importance. A good therapist understands the vulnerability and openness that must come from each client in order to really get through, so therapy itself can take a lot of trust, and that needs to be developed over time. Make sure your therapist offers a confidentiality agreement before you begin your sessions, typically called ‘informed consent.’ It is your choice if you’d like to have your therapist share anything significant with your other healthcare providers, but this can only be done with your written consent. Nothing you share in your sessions is to be told to anyone else, with the rare exceptions of suspected abuse of any kind (including child protection), or if the therapist has any reason to believe their client may hurt themselves, or others.
These exceptions are based on legal requirements in the state of Florida.
The following links are listed to provide you with additional online mental health information and counseling resources. Nothing here is meant to replace professional care.
Associations & Institutes:
Addiction and Recovery Resources:
Borderline Personality Disorder:
I am no longer taking new individual clients. If you’re interested in couples therapy, I am not taking new clients at this time but please contact me if you would like to be placed on the waiting list. Please fill out the appointment request form. All requests are pending until approved.
Contact Me Colette J. Fehr, MA, LMHC, LMFT, NCC, CCMHC 407 951 3820EMAIL ME USING MY FORM
I am no longer taking new individual clients. If you’re interested in couples therapy, I am not taking new clients at this time but please contact me if you would like to be placed on the waiting list.
Address: 1555 Lake Baldwin Ln., Suite B, Orlando, Florida, 32814
Specializing in couples counseling Winter Park