Marriage and Couple Counseling
Some couples seek counseling because they wish to enrich and improve an already satisfying relationship in order to make it even better or to work through certain specific issues. These issues might include:
• Improving patterns of communication to enhance your relationship
• Balancing the competing demands of your professional and family lives
• How to handle the challenges of parenting in today’s accelerated environment as a team
• How to handle extended family or in-law issues together as a couple
• How to approach retirement as a couple
If you fall into this group of couples, then you are seeking marriage enrichment, and my commitment is to help you achieve your goals to have the best possible relationship you can have.
Other couples seek counseling because they are struggling with complex relationship challenges that have resulted in a less satisfying and perhaps more distant relationship where there is less of a felt sense of connection. Couples in this group may be struggling with:
• Poor communication patterns and frequent arguments and verbal fights
• Increasing isolation as the symptom and byproduct of leading parallel lives
• The impact of children on your marriage
• Serious differences over parenting styles
• The challenges of building a viable stepfamily
• One partner’s depression or other mental health challenge
• Issues stemming from both of you coming from different religious traditions
• Sexual issues in the relationship
• The death of a family member or relative
• Addiction issues
I have helped couples in crisis come back from the brink of divorce, I have helped couples recover from the trauma of infidelity, and I have helped couples navigate the process of grief over a lost family member.
My fundamental commitment to couples who may be struggling with serious relationship challenges is to do everything possible to give you the tools to have a better relationship. In this way it is my hope to help you discover that you in fact can have the kind of relationship that you had always envisioned but perhaps had come to fear was not possible. As a consequence, everything that I do in my work with couples is designed to be in service of your relationship. At the same time, I also am committed to respecting the uniqueness of each of you as individuals and the legitimacy of each of your feelings, values, desires and goals.
Whenever I work with couples, I always work on two levels. The first involves teaching couples core communication and other relationship skills from the Relationship Enhancement® approach that research has demonstrated are effective at helping couples learn how to have a more fulfilling and satisfying relationship. The second level then involves using these core communication skills, and a structured dialogue process, to help couples dialogue skillfully about the specific issues in their relationship that need to be addressed. My job during the couple’s dialogue is to facilitate your process by helping each of you go deeper in understanding your partner’s experience. The ultimate goal, of course, is to foster healing and to help each couple create deeply a satisfying relationship.
If the timing is right, you may wish to consider attending the Mastering the Mysteries of Love weekend workshop at the National Institute of Relationship Enhancement® (NIRE) in Bethesda, MD as a preliminary step toward or as an adjunct to marriage or couple counseling. For more information about the workshop, please visit www.nire.org.