Every relationship – whether it’s in business, between a parent and child, between friends, or an intimate and romantic relationship – requires real work, compromise, and commitment.
Couples counseling can help with every stage of a romantic partnership no matter how complicated. Thinking about getting married? Moving in together? Considering breaking up or getting divorced? Are you battling within yourself about “staying together for the sake of the children?” Counseling may be the solution to finding answers to all of these questions and more.
Seeking the help of a skilled and experienced Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist is a good place to start your relationship on a new and improved path. Marriage and marital-type relationships have changed radically over a fairly short period of time, and many of the rules of the past no longer seem to apply. Not having a rule book may be freeing, but at the same time, it can be hard to know how to proceed with clear direction.
Imagine a relationship where conflict is not only allowed, it is healthy and results in greater intimacy and connection. Imagine bringing new skills and awareness into your relationship to create a fresh and renewed commitment and appreciation. Or imagine a respectful ending to your relationship that has run its course, and with the peace of mind that you have done everything possible for the best outcome of all concerned.
If you’ve done everything you know, and it isn’t working, you find yourself out of ideas, it’s time for professional help. Every day is precious and the sooner you begin the better the chances you have for the results you desire.
Some of the frequently discussed topics in couples therapy:
- “We just don’t communicate!” We are always communicating, even if we aren’t saying anything. The question is HOW are you communicating? Do you hear or do you listen? How do you address conflict?
- “I just don’t think I’m in love with my partner anymore. Should I get a divorce?” Feelings change over time, including “in love” feelings. Relationships change over time, sometimes growing closer but sometimes moving apart. The job of the therapist is to help provide clarity and to create a good action plan, but it is not the therapist’s job to make decisions for you or tell you what to do.
- “Do you take sides in couples counseling?” While at times it likely appears so, Marriage and Family Therapists are trained to work with the RELATIONSHIP as the client or patient. The goal of effective couples counseling is figuring out the path to creating a new and improved version of the existing relationship.
- “What helps couples’ counseling be successful?” Commitment to the relationship and to the work required is number one. Two committed partners working together with a skilled couples therapist can create amazing outcomes.
- “Do you tell a couple if you don’t think you can’t help them?” Yes, it is an ethical obligation to be honest with all people who come for therapy.
- “What is your opinion of ‘staying together for the children?’ “ I do not encourage “staying together for the children” as I believe that makes the children responsible for the marriage. No child should be responsible for their parents’ marriage. If you want to do what is best for your children, fix your marriage; if you cannot fix your marriage, do what is best for your children.