There is no human experience more satisfying than a loving, close and happy relationship. On the other hand, there is no experience more emotionally draining and frustrating than an unfulfilling or strained relationship. When love is involved our very quality of life can be at stake.
Whether you seek help together as a couple or alone, an experienced counselor can make a significant difference in how your relationship fares. It is best not to wait when it comes to couples therapy. As soon as one partner feels a disconnect, it is a good idea to get help, even if you attend sessions alone. There is a lot that can be done to improve the dynamic of a relationship just by changing one partner's approach. Marriages have been repaired even when one partner refuses to attend counseling.
Most couples have warning signs of marital trouble years before one of the partners decides to divorce.
Here are some signs your marriage is headed for trouble:
- Frequent bickering, usually about the same things over and over
- Arguments escalate quickly
- Few or no apologies to each other
- Turning toward other people for support rather than your partner
- Spending less time together
- Having little or no sex
- Focusing much more on the kids than each other
- Feeling criticized, judged, or unappreciated by your partner
- Feeling blamed, unheard, or unsupported
- Few or no fun or playful moments together
- Lack of trust
- Lack of respect
- Finding excuses to avoid spending time together
- Feeling alone in your marriage
- Mention of leaving by either partner
If you are experiencing any of the signs listed above, it would be useful to seek couples counseling to improve your relationship.
A marriage is like a living entity, and if not tended to and nurtured, it will slowly die. Do you feel your marriage is growing? Or is it headed the other way?
Since most couples who have divorced waited years to seek outside help (often after one partner has already seen a divorce attorney), it is important to address the health of the marriage as soon as a partner feels a disconnect. The earlier marriage partners seek help, the more likely the marriage will thrive.
My approach with helping couples is using a variety of evidence-based couples treatment modalities and methods used in relationship coaching. I customize a treatment plan for you that reflects your needs and expectations as a couple. There is usually a goal to be met each week that is uncomplicated and specific to encourage the development of a healthy and satisfying relationship. I utilize assessments such as the Gottman Relationship Checkup, Prepare/Enrich, and Relate to discover strengths and areas of growth for couples. I also occasionally utilize Myers-Briggs Personality Indicator and other resources to to facilitate understanding for couples.
Counseling for couples is usually provided weekly, but some couples who are in dire straits prefer meeting more frequently. Once a couple is on more solid ground, frequency of sessions is reduced.
Issues covered in marital or couples therapy may include:
- Addressing hurts/psychological injuries
- Reconnecting through empathy
- Self care
- Sexual incompatibility
- Reframing views of the partnership
- Goals as a couple
- Improvement in communication
- Parenting concerns
In a situation where a partner has already made a decision to dissolve the marriage before seeking counseling, I provide support and help the couple navigate through the difficult and emotional divorce process. Issues surrounding effective and respectful communication are stressed, along with coparenting issues. I also can provide individual therapy for the partner who feels he/she needs it.
For couples who are engaged, I provide counseling using PREPARE/ENRICH and RELATE assessments and feedback, along with followup counseling to address specific areas.
For questions, or to schedule an appointment, call (630)901-1154 or use contact form below.