Relationship & Marriage Counseling, Couples Therapy

Before a relationship between individuals can begin to be understood, it is important to recognize and acknowledge that each person, including the counselor, has a unique personality, perception, set of values and history. Individuals in the relationship may adhere to different and unexamined value systems. A tenet of relationship counseling is that it is intrinsically beneficial for all the participants to interact with each other with optimal amounts of conflict. Conflict is not intrinsically adverse to relationship happiness. In fact 60% of divorces occur in low conflict marriages. When conflicts arise, as inevitably it does, to manage those conflicts consciously.

Most relationships will get strained at some time, resulting in their not functioning optimally and producing self-reinforcing, maladaptive patterns. These patterns may be called negative interaction cycles. There are many possible reasons for this, including insecure attachment, ego, arrogance, jealousy, anger, greed, poor communication/understanding or problem solving, ill health, third parties and so on.

Changes in situations like financial state, physical health, and the influence of other family members can have a profound influence on the conduct, responses and actions of the individuals in a relationship. Relationship influences are reciprocal – it takes each person involved to make and manage problems.

A viable solution to the problem and setting these relationships back on track may be to reorient the individuals’ perceptions and emotions – how one looks at or responds to situations and feels about them.  Emotions bring the past alive in rigid interaction patterns, which create and reflect absorbing emotional states.

Couple or Marriage Therapy  focuses on:

  1. Communication impasses – unlatching negative cycles of interaction
  2. Deceptions, affairs and other betrayals (emotional affairs, internet infidelity, pornography obsessions)
  3. Trust and intimacy issues
  4. Lack of affection and tenderness
  5. Conflicts over children (including adult children)
  6. New baby stress on relationship
  7. Divorce transition and recovery
  8. Emotional overreactivity
  9. Premarital counseling

In treating couples, I use an intervention called Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) developed by Susan Johnson. EFT is an empirically validated couple therapy with a 70-75% recovery rate. I received extensive training in the EFT therapy modality.

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