Marriage Counseling-Most people’s greatest satisfaction and greatest difficulties occur in relationships. A large majority of individuals seeking psychotherapy do so because of relationship problems. There are conflicts, endings, or not having a relationship. There can also be external crises, for example, job loss, illness in self or family member may take place in a relationship context. This is not surprising since human beings are naturally social.
In working with couples (married, engaged or dating), our therapists focus on their pain not being understood by the partner. That is the essence of all conflicts or arguments. There is a feeling of rejection, abandonment and betrayal that include this pain. There is sometimes the feeling of being unappreciated or unloved related to this pain- the feeling of being ignored, or being taken for granted or unseen.
The opposite of these painful feelings include Feeling seen; Appreciated, cared for; Thought about, accepted and loved for who we are.
Successful couples therapy (of any type), in addition to creating a safe environment, helps each of the couples better understand the other. It is not enough for the therapist to be fair, impartial, and even empathic with each member of the couple. To be really helpful, the therapist must help each partner understand the other partner better. Using a variety of approaches, this is what our therapists will initially focus on in the couple’s sessions. Therapist would actively engage with couples to facilitate more effective communication and to disrupt dysfunctional patterns which, even though destructive, the couple is having trouble breaking out of or changing.
Since increases in self-understanding are very helpful in making couple changes, therapist also works in couple sessions to help each partner understand and accept themselves. Therapist may sometimes recommend that both partners be involved in concurrent individual psychotherapy since this can greatly speed up the couple’s progress.
A couple’s therapy, therefore, may:
- Help clarify each person’s perspective
- Help clarify whether the couple is ready for therapy
- Decrease concerns or objections to couples therapy.
If one partner is unwilling or not ready for a couple’s counseling, an individual consultation may be helpful to get started. Individual sessions can help a person to get clearer about themselves, get some emotional relief, perhaps even make some changes in their behavior, and perhaps couples therapy comes later.
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