Most people desire a relationship that will last forever. When the glow of romance fades and is replaced by constant conflicts and disagreements partners may start to feel disillusioned with each other. Hurt, anger and sadness can create distance and disconnection where there was once compassion and support. It is at this point that many couples call for help wanting to learn how to change and improve their relationship.
Research Proves Counseling does help! With divorce rates at 50% or higher in remarried couples, we face the most severe challenges to relationship stability. Research shows that on average, couples wait six years from the first signs of relationship problems before seeking help. A recent study conducted by the Association of Marriage and Family Therapists found that after receiving treatment, almost 90% of clients reported an improvement in their emotional health, and nearly two-thirds reported an improvement in their overall physical health. A majority of clients report an improvement in their functioning at work, and over three-fourths receiving marital/couples therapy report an improvement in their relationships.
What is Couple or Marriage Counseling?
Couples counseling helps partners look at the ways they connect with each other during positive and negative interactions. Couples counseling focuses on increasing positive experiences couples have with one another and the changes that need to take place in how couples approach and handle conflicts, hurts and disagreements.
The Role of the Therapist?
The therapist acts as a compassionate and observing guide who collaborates with them to identify the extreme parts inside each of them that create the presenting problem(s). If the couple agrees with the therapists’ observation, goals are set for each of them to work on their own parts, not on each other’s. For instance, a wife may be acting like her husband’s mother (telling him what to do), not like a wife . . .and her husband may be re-acting like a little boy, not a husband (temper tantrums, drinking, staying out late) . Both are reacting to the other. One does not cause the other . The therapist creates a safe space for the couple to risk new ways of relating to each other, expressing feelings, thoughts and behaviors and exploring new possibilities and solutions to their problem. Counseling may involve a combination of individual sessions to work on their individual issues, as well as couple sessions to improve communication patterns and find solutions.