Marriage Counseling, blog posts

Marriage Counseling

Does marriage counseling really work?

People often ask if marriage counseling really works.  The short answer is, it depends.  Well that is no help right?  One of the most important factors in the success of marriage counseling is that the clients and the therapist work well together, that they are a good fit.  The best therapist in the world can’t help a couple improve their marriage if they don’t like the therapist.  On the other hand, the worst therapist cant help the couple recover if they get along really well, and the therapist doesnt use any kinds of proven therapy models.  There has to be some structure to the therapy.  I use Emotion Focused Therapy. (see “What is EFT” on my homepage in the menu bar).  This is an empirically validated therapy model.  You can also google “emotion focused therapy” and see if you think that model is right for you as a client.

Secondly, the clients have to be open to making changes.  It seems logical that if they show up for marriage counseling, they are ready to make changes.  This is usually true, but it works like this.  Client A is ready to see Client B make changes and vice versa.  What needs to happen, is for the clients to be open to making changes within themselves and with their own behaviors and even with their thinking and beliefs about the marriage, and the causes of the problems.  A critical turning point in any relationship is when one person, client A, realizes he/she, client A has been wrong, and needs to change.  Realizing that your partner is wrong usually doesnt help.

Whatever you decide, find the right therapist for your situation, and you will see positive results.

For more information on Don’s theories and practices, see home page

Perfect Husband

Marriage Counselors are often asked by wives to help her create the perfect husband.  No such thing right?  The point is to try to be the best husband YOU can be using your talents and strengths.  One of the biggest roadblocks is that we men have difficulty understanding what our women want.  So each person is different but here are some basic truths.

  1. A wife needs to feel she is number one in your life.
  2. She needs to know that you will keep her safe, both emotionally and physically.
  3. She needs financial security.
  4. She needs you to listen and empathize.  See /its-not-about-the-nail/

For wives, make sure you dont catch a shark.

Couples Therapy, Breaking the Cycle of Conflict

Couples Therapy pracitioners use a variety of therapy models and intervention techniques to help couples overcome conflicts in the relationship. One of the things we teach couples in conflict is to try to externalize the conflict.  The conflict is the enemy, not the people.  So when we identify the conflict cycle, we sometimes give it a name, like the “ugly monster”.  The couple is then asked to imagine the ugly monster as something outside the marriage who is attacking them.  They have to work together to defeat the ugly monster.  This is very effective at times and serves to de-escalate the conflict.

This exercise also has the effect of giving the couple a sense of togetherness that has been missing for awhile.  Together, they defeat the ugly monster.  Together they win for a change.  Try it.

For more information about the process of couples therapy, or marriage counseling, see  /marriage-counseling/