There are two common themes I have noticed among couples who come to therapy. Often they have not had a “date” in 12-18 months or more. Secondly, they do not communicate well together. Effective communication requires that each person be able to both “send” and “receive” messages.
I help couples with a wide variety of issues such as, but not limited to:
- Marriage Preparation
- Marital Issues
- Conflict Resolution
The Couple Counseling Process
When coming in as a couple, I begin with seeing the couple together. Usually within the first to third session, I will see each person alone for at least half of the session. I do this in order to better understand who the person is, as an individual, without their partner in the room. It also allows the person to speak more candidly without being concerned about hurting the other person’s feelings.
I am not there to gather information to ambush anyone, but to have a better understanding of each person in the couple-hood. If there is something discussed we feel would be helpful to bring back into the couple session, I will suggest at that time we do so.
With that in mind, it is important to understand I do not keep “big secrets”. For example if one (or both) of the two tells me they are seeing someone else, I will tell them we have to bring that back to the couple session or I will not continue to see them. No exceptions. Having that information and not disclosing it puts me onside and makes me part of the problem.
In couple work we explore the issues at hand. When working through conflict resolution or general communication issues, we will explore some of the “content” of what has happened. However, the main focus is more on “process” than “content”. It is more important to understand how to resolve your issues together, than to build a dependency on me and/or others to help you resolve them. Some of the tools we may cover in session are:
- 5 Themes for a Successful Marriage
- Personal Style Assessment
- Fair Fighting Rules
- Discovering Your Conflict Management Style
- Recommended Readings