Marriage and Relationship Counseling:
Having counseled, researched, and assessed relationships for over 15-years, I have found that the decision to start or end a marriage is rarely taken lightly. As time passes and our lives evolve, it can be hard to cope with the changes and continue to find ways to come together with compassion, affection, fun and laughter.
Do these problems sound familiar?
- We don’t have anything in common anymore. It’s like I’m looking at a stranger
- It’s all about the kids and getting things done…we're roommates and co-workers
- Sometimes I can’t even remember the last time we were intimate
- We fight over the stupidest things
- Why is she so nice to everyone…but me?
- I know I love him, I want him to be happy…but I just don’t seem to feel anything for him anymore
- I try to be nice and look happy but inside I feel numb, alone and resentful
- I don’t even know what I’m getting out of this relationship anymore, but it seems too scary and hard to leave
Research has shown that couples wait an average of five unhappy years before committing to see a therapist, despite strong evidence that marital therapy can be extremely helpful – whether you end up staying together in a much improved relationship or decide to part but co-parent amicably. Finding the time, admitting to yourself that you need outside help, and cost are some reasons – but I have found that most of my clients are afraid. Afraid of being honest about how bad things have become. Afraid of hurting their partner. Afraid of loss. Afraid of conflict and their partner’s anger. It seems so much easier to let another day pass, suppress your feelings and hope that tomorrow will be a better day.
Yet nearly all distressed couples end up knowing they needed to see someone a long time ago, and that waiting only made things worse. I have found that counseling is an excellent resource for improving communication, resolving problems, coming to terms with or addressing chronic issues, gaining insight, increasing or regaining trust and friendship, and restoring intimacy. Working with a marital therapist provides a safe environment to discuss issues that run the risk of escalating at home. My approach is active, practical, and focused on helping your relationship reach a point of resilience and satisfaction that no longer requires counseling.
I have found the following models to be the most effective and accurate in my work:
- Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, S. Johnson - www.ICEEFT.com
- Gottman Couples Therapy, J. Gottman – www.Gottman.com
I have also been trained in and will sometimes utilize methodology from:
- Imago Therapy, H. Hendrix – www.GettingTheLoveYouWant.com
- Structural Family Therapy, S.Manuchin - www.minuchincenter.org/structural_family_therapy
- Motivational Interviewing – www.MotivationalInterview.net