Initial Meeting Consent

Welcome to the Couples Clinic at the Psychological Services Center at Regent University

The Couples Clinic is dedicated to providing state of the art care for relationships. 
There are two general approaches to couples counseling that we offer: 

Regular Couple Therapy for regular repair of a couple’s relationship
Couple Enrichment/Pre-marital for growth, wellness and skill building

Most couples receive the Regular approach to couples counseling to address problems in communication, conflict, intimacy, forgiveness and life stress.  Our approach to regular therapy is called “Hope Focused Couple Therapy” and is an empirically supported couple treatment based on the book Couple Therapy by Drs. Ripley and Worthington.  Twenty years of research on hundreds of couples have shown better than average effects for most couples but we cannot guarantee efficacy for any individual person.

The second approach to couples counseling is designed to help couples who are doing well but want to do better or are preparing for marriage.  For these couples we help you assess your relationship in-depth, learn communication and conflict resolution skills, and enjoy your relationship more. 

We have many questions to ask you, but these questions help us to both assess how you are doing individually and relationally.  We begin the process with questionnaires to help you with your goals.  These questions will help us be efficient but complete to ensure best quality care as a practice.  Thank you for your honest individual responses to each question.  

Risks to you are those common to couple therapy- It is possible that the therapy will not end as you hope and be distressing.  The questions we ask in our assessment could call attention to distress.  If you feel distressed at any time please discuss this with your therapist for support.

Costs: The counseling sessions follow the regular cost of the Psychological Services Center (PSC) at Regent University which is maximum $60/session of therapy.  There are discounts for Regent students, employees, those referred by a clergy, or those with financial needs.  Please discuss this with the counselors to meet your needs.

Length of Treatment:  Therapy in our clinic typically lasts from 8 up to 20 sessions.  We are closed from mid-July to Labor Day for University break and other typical University holidays.  Normally we invite you back for a free check-up and assessment 6 months after counseling ends.

Research:  We regularly collect and analyze the information couples share with us for quality improvement, training, and professional research presentation but your identity will not be revealed.
Freedom to withdraw:  You do not have answer questions if you don’t want to.  You may request to be removed from the research data analysis at any time by contacting Dr Ripley at 757-352-4296 without any consequence to your clinical work.  You will receive the SAME clinical care whether or not you agree to participate in the research.

Confidentiality:  Your clinical file is under professional standards for the PSC.  You will receive further information about that after the screening if you decide to begin couple counseling.  For research confidentiality we copy some information from the clinical file into a research file after treatment has ended. You can request not to be included in the research at any time.  The information is stored in a locked cabinet in a locked office or in a password protected electronic file without any personal identifying information.  All people involved in your counseling and research or administrative staff are bound by ethics and law to confidentiality of all of your information. 

For telehealthcare or videoconferencing there will be an additional consent and confidentiality form given to you.

Contact:  Dr. Jennifer Ripley is the director and supervisor for the Couples clinic in the PSC and can be reached at 757-352-4296 or 

If you have any questions or concerns about your rights as a participant in research you can contact the Co-director of the Human Subjects Review Committee, Jim Sells at

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* 1. Checking this box is equivalent to your signed agreement for participation in this project.

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* 2. Your name, agreement to informed consent 

This couples assessment takes people 23 minutes on average (according to Surveymonkey).  This assessment, which would typically cost hundreds of dollars, is offered to you at no cost due to financial support for the couples clinic.  The information will be vital to your counselors working efficiently with both of you for your relationship health.  If you prefer, you can complete this questionnaire on paper by coming into our offices.  Please contact us if you need to use that option.
You can access our telehealth-specific informed consent, 50% off referral form, and instructions for attending meetings online or in-person here:
We are a busy clinic and sometimes can't accommodate all schedules. We want you to be aware of that.  We can meet online to help accommodate your needs.  And we do regularly have evening opening times as the most common needs for couples.  If you have very limited availability feel free to email us at to see if this will be an obstacle for you.

Dr Jen and the Hope Couple Team
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