"I love being married. It's so great to find that one special person you
want to annoy the rest of your life." - Rita Rudner
Who can benefit from couples therapy and marriage counseling?
Most any relationship and marriage can benefit from couples therapy, ranging from a couple who wants to "tune up" their friendship and intimacy to a couple in significant crisis who are questioning whether they should remain together. Other relationships and marriages that would receive benefit from couples counseling include couples who are not as happy and emotionally connected as they would like to be and couples who are struggling to communicate effectively about difficult issues and feelings. Issues addressed in couples and marital therapy may include communication, intimacy, finances, parenting, anger, infidelity and any other specific issues that remain unresolved in the relationship.
What are the benefits of couples counseling and marriage therapy?
Benefits of couples and marriage therapy will include:
- A more fulfilling and satisfying relationship with your partner
- Less conflict and arguing
- Increased connection, intimacy and teamwork
- Improved problem solving and issue resolution
- More fun, passion and romance in your relationship
What is the difference between individual therapy and couples therapy?
Couples counseling and marriage therapy involves meeting with both partners in a relationship. Although relationship and marital issues can be addressed in individual therapy, meeting with both partners at the same time is the most effective way to impact and create positive relationship change. My therapeutic approach in working with a couple is different than my approach in individual therapy. The initial sessions with a couple in therapy are more structured in nature than individual therapy and I help couples to learn and apply a set of simple, yet very effective communication skills and problem solving strategies. This couples communication skills training is based on the latest research in the relationship and family studies field that indicates that effective communication is the single most important factor that predicts whether a couple will stay together and how satisfied the partners will be in their relationship with one another. Improved communication sets the stage for couples to effectively work on the specific issues that have brought them into therapy both in and outside of the therapist's office.
What is a "relationship plan"?
Most of us spend more time planning family vacations and hobbies than we do with the most important and meaningful aspects of our lives such as our primary relationships and marriages. A "relationship plan" is an individualized plan that helps the couple to define what strategies and activities give them positive results in their relationship and what approaches and interactional habits give them negative results in their relationship. As an example, finding time to spend together as a couple engaged in some fun and romantic activities has positive results, while falling into interactional habits of arguing and avoidance has a negative impact on the relationship. In my clinical experience, those couples who follow through with their unique "relationship plan" by actively improving their communication, getting themselves to do "what works" for them as a couple and staying away from "what doesn't work" are able to create the relationship of their dreams (a really awesome dream, not a nightmare).
"What counts in a happy marriage is not so much how compatible you
are, but how you deal with incompatibility." - Leo Tolstoy