Couples Therapy

Maybe you’ve been struggling for a while or maybe the fights, the distance, and the confusion is relatively new. Either way, if you find yourself wondering whether or not you need marriage counseling, you may. Marriage counseling is more common than you might think. Many couples each year choose to attend marriage counseling to hopefully improve their relationship. The decision to enter marriage counseling will depend not only on your thoughts, but on those of your partner.

Marriage counseling is a partner process. It involves both partners showing up and being committed to the process. In marriage counseling, the psychologist or therapist, is not interested in saving the relationship or destroying it. It’s important to realize that the therapist is looking to help you and your partner explore both paths. They are looking to find the ways in which your relationship is weak and fragmented. They will help you identify ways in which you could fix your relationship, but you may decide that you don’t want to fix your relationship. Some marriages end after marriage counseling because both partners decide that they don’t want to fight for the relationship. They feel the differences are too large and they feel they would happier apart. This is sometimes why marriage counseling is said “not to work” or to be “about splitting up relationships” rather than a way to save a marriage. The truth is that it’s all about your marriage. It isn’t about the therapist and a good therapist knows this.

If you are considering entering marriage counseling, you need to first think about the commitment required. If you and your partner are not committed to being open, honest, and willing to try new things…therapy will be unsuccessful. The goal with marriage counseling is to help couples make thoughtful decisions about strengthening their relationship or ending it. It is most helpful to have a person who can listen to the problems that face you and your partner, and then provide unbiased feedback. Your therapist will be like a moderator in a business meeting, someone who is not partial to either side and hoping to help you resolve the matters at hand. These sessions may be intense, difficult, and emotional. The work accompanying therapy will require effort and it isn’t easy. I can promise you that if you find a competent therapist who specializes in marriage counseling and you put forth the time, effort, and commitment to the work, you will find yourself where you need to be.

There are no definitive answers to the question, “When is it time to enter marriage counseling?” The answer lies with you and your partner. If there are problems in your relationship that you would like to resolve, then go. Couples therapy is often short-term and a few sessions may leave you with renewed energy and conflicts resolved. If you find that you and your partner cannot work through a particular problem, seek help before you find yourself in a bad place. If you are already in a bad place within your marriage, seek help before it ends on its own. Entering marriage counseling keeps you in control of your relationship by helping you to explore all of the possible options available to you and your partner.

Sometimes you just need to go skinny dipping alone. Every woman needs to have her own space and time alone. It can be difficult, however, to ask your partner for time away. Many men may feel insecure with your request or feel that you no longer “like” them and are headed for divorce or a break up. To avoid this, make sure that you explain WHY you need time alone and reassure them that it has nothing to do with the status of your relationship.

It’s actually been shown that lasting relationships form between couples who spend time together and time away from one another. It’s important and healthy for couples to have their own separate interests as well as shared interests. When talking with your boyfriend, it is necessary and helpful to explain to him that you need time to reflect, to visit with other friends, and time to think alone. Then explain to him that you still want to spend time with him, but you just need some of your own space too.

Most men, when told this, will understand. In fact, they may have been hoping to have a little more time to themselves as well. This can happen in relationships after the initial “honeymoon stage.” Suddenly, you don’t want to spend every waking second with your man, and you’d like to spend some time alone. Talking about this with him is the best way to get what you want without jeopardizing your relationship. Communication, as always, is the key in this particular situation.

“I had an affair and I want to save my marriage! How do I do it?”

An affair is the ultimate betrayal in a relationship and it’s usually almost impossible to try and pick up the pieces afterward.  I’m sorry for not giving you a much rosier picture, but the problem is affairs are trust-poison, and all relationships run off of the gasoline of trust.  If you’ve had an affair, you will need to let your spouse handle trying to bring the relationship back together.

So you’ve had an affair, but you care enough about your partner to try to save your marriage. While I commend you for opting to stick it out, I can tell you that this is one of the most difficult things to recover from in a relationship. You’ve broken the sacred trust between the two of you and re-establishing that is not going to be an easy task. In addition, I have to wonder if your partner is on board. To have a happy and healthy marriage, both partners must be willing to make it work.

Many people think that they can solve this problem on their own. Maybe they’ll buy their wife flowers or begin cooking every meal. Others adopt a lazy approach and assume that she’ll just “get over it” eventually. Neither is the correct response. It is kind and considerate to begin to do more around the house, but make sure that you are doing things that you do well. If you always do the laundry and she screams at you for doing it wrong, don’t touch it. Try to do the things that you know you can do right. Cleaning and cooking are usually good options that will not upset her.

You must always remember that you were in the wrong and that she will be suspicious of you from now on.  She’ll call you at work, she’ll ask your friends where you’ve been, she may even check up behind you.  Relationships where one partner has cheated are usually damaged in some way and that poison lingers on in her for many years to come.  She is the one that will ultimately decide to forgive you.  Give her every reason to.

In the end, it’s important to realize that you cannot fix this on your own. The chances are slim to none and why risk it? If you are serious about your marriage then you should ask your partner to go to couples therapy with you. This will give you both a mediator and an objective third person perspective. A couples therapist will be able to help you work through your problems. Your partner will also be more likely to share things in session that she might not at home, giving you a better idea on what she needs and on what you can do to save your marriage.

Another way to fix the problem and save your marriage is to take proven steps that will rewind the damage that’s been done. It’s still possible to get back those initial sensual feelings and keep them for good. Watch my FREE video presentation to see how…CLICK HERE to check out the video while you still can…

Are you looking for a therapist?  What about a couples therapist?  What should you look for?

When looking for a good couples therapist, you may find yourself stressed and confused. There are so many options and you may not know what to look for. Thankfully, this checklist will share with you some of the Do’s and Don’ts in finding a helpful, competent couples therapist.

The main thing you should look for in a couples therapist is professionalism and having trained in your specific problem.  Some couples therapists deal with divorce and other couples therapists deal with sexual issues.  It all depends on what kind of problems you’re having, and there are specialists in those areas, so when you do your research keep that in mind.

Now for our Do’s and Don’ts.

Do’s & Don’ts

-Therapist is compassionate and understanding of both of you

-Your therapist structures your sessions and is clearly organized.

-Your therapist doesn’t allow you to interrupt each other or yell.

-Your therapist expresses his or her desire that you will work things out and believes there is hope in fixing the problems in your marital relationship

-Your therapist holds you both accountable for your actions and believes that both of you can do things to change the dynamic of the relationship, rather than just focusing on one individual.

-Your therapist should not take sides.

-Your therapist should not assume that there are specific gender roles that must be present in the marital relationship and does not force you into any specific roles.

-Most importantly, your therapist offers her objective feedback and helps you develop strategies to work towards a healthy and happy marital relationship.

If your therapist does all of these things, and give him or her a few weeks before you try to assess their competence, then you can feel secure and safe in your time in session. If not, you may want to ask your therapist about it and may need to terminate the relationship. Not every therapist is a good fit for every client and if your therapist follows all of the above ‘Do’s & Don’ts’ but you don’t feel right, it’s okay to find another therapist. Just make sure that it is actually the therapist that you dislike and are uncomfortable with, rather than the idea of “going to therapy” and the therapy process itself.

Couples therapy exercises are like getting a tune-up for your car.  You really need to do them every once in awhile to maintain the health of your relationship.

Maybe you aren’t ready to meet with a couple’s therapist, but you’d like to try a few couples therapy exercises? It’s an excellent idea and a great first step to identifying your problems. If you already know what your problems are, it can be a way to develop insight about why the problems exist and what can be done to rectify the situation.

Talk. You must communicate in order to make any sort of progress.  There are so many couples who are in love but fall into disorder when they let communication break down.  There is no reason you should not be able to talk to your significant other.

This may not sound like an exercise, but it can be with a twist.  Sit down together and make sure that there are no distractions. Set a timer for five minutes. Partner A will use these five minutes to say all of the things that they like about Partner B. Partner B cannot say anything. At the end of the five minutes, set another five minutes and begin again. This time Partner B will say everything that they like about Partner A, while Partner A sits in silence. Then Partner A will take five minutes to talk about anything that has happened in his or her day. Next Partner B will take five minutes to talk about anything that has happened in his or her day. The key here is not to interrupt. The partner that is not talking must be silent. He or she will get their turn.

This exercise allows both partners to share without the fear of interruption or inattention. It also allows both partners to remember what they love about one another. Furthermore, it promotes communication. Lack of communication, especially positive communication, is often at the source of many couple’s problems.

Trust falls.  This is a common exercise for people in adventure challenges, but it works just as well for couples.  You see, couples need to develop a relationship on a bedrock of trust.  Trust is part instinctual.  You cannot just decide to trust someone, you build a relationship over time where you feel like they will do nothing to harm you.

The exercise works where one partner stands behind the other.  The partner in front of them is blindfolded.  They should let themselves fall into your waiting arms. This builds instinctive trust, and you’ll find that more trust in your relationship will help things go smoother.

Because you just finished reading about couples therapy exercises, watch my FREE video presentation while it’s still online. See exactly how to keep your relationship good. Learn about the 4 secret stages of a breakup and you’ll know how to always rewind to a blissful state. Watch the video NOW and fix your relationship.

Sometimes things aren’t going well in a marriage, but rather than rush off to couples therapy people like to try a few things at home. One possible thing to try is an exercise designed for couple’s therapy. Couple therapy exercises are created to hopefully bring out the issue in your marriage and allow you to work to resolve it.

This exercise is simple, but the results can be great.

First, sit down with your partner. Look at each other and lock eyes. Just spend a moment with one another this way. Then, instead of complaining about what he or she hasn’t done or has done incorrectly, ask for what you want.

Ask for what you want and make sure it is something tangible.

Do not ask for things such as more love or greater help around the house. What does that mean? It isn’t tangible. Ask for a hug or for help with the dishwasher. Better yet, make specific requests that can be measured. For example, ask for a hug a day or that your partner take over the dishwasher responsibilities every other week. This enables both of you to get one thing that you would like and to know how to meet your partner’s needs.

Try to just ask for one thing and then every week thereafter, check in with each other. You can change your request then if you’d like to ask for something else. Let each other know what you need, why and for how long. This can have a dramatic effect on the balance of your relationship.

When you’re looking for couples therapy worksheets, something must be wrong with your relationship. Although there are a variety of couples therapy worksheets available, they usually come in books and cannot be purchased separately.

I’ve created this simple worksheet to help you identify your problems and look for possible solutions. This is just a basic tool and you may require the assistance of a devoted, caring, understanding, and knowledgeable professional.

Couples Therapy Worksheet:

  1. Identify what you want to change.  What are the feelings that you have that you would like to get rid of? What are the problems you are facing? Do you feel stressed, anxious, depressed, worried, angry, jealous, etc. Do you want to work on your communication skills or you’ve found yourself in a rut and you’d like to fall in love again? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  2. Present the obstacles. What’s stopping you from changing these feelings? What about your behavior? What about your partner’s behavior? What about your schedules? Your patterns of intimacy? Your communication? The cycles you revert to? ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________
  3. What can you do about it? Write down the possible solutions. These are the ways that can help you achieve the change you desire and demolish the obstacles preventing that change. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

This worksheet is just one way of assisting you in looking outside of yourself for answers. Its aim is to help you look at things objectively. However, being objective is difficult and not everyone can accurately answer these questions or find the insights needed to answer #3. If you think this is far too difficult then you need to let a professional guide you and your partner towards a happier and healthier marriage.

Because you just finished reading about couples therapy worksheets, watch my FREE video presentation while you still can. See exactly how to keep your relationship passionate. Learn about the 4 secret stages of a breakup so you can rewind back to a better, happier state. Watch the video NOW and stop failing in your relationships.

Take a look at a different view of couples therapy…

While couples therapy can be a great way to overcome problems in your marital relationship and work through unhealthy patterns, it can be detrimental to your relationship as well. Couples therapy exposed, will show you that it is the therapist who sometimes sends couples into ruin. Many therapists have not had significant training in couple’s therapy and when you decide to go to one of these therapists, there may be problems in the quality of your therapy. This is because couples therapy is different in terms of structure and values than individual therapy.

This doesn’t mean that therapy itself is dangerous or detrimental to your relationship. It merely means that you need to exercise great caution in choosing your therapist.  Check to make sure that your therapist is an accredited member of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT). This ensures that the proper training and understanding of the couples dynamic is accounted for.

There are two main ways in which you can gauge your couple’s therapist:

1. Is he or she good at structuring your time together?

In couple’s therapy, it’s important to structure your time together. The therapist is in charge of this, but there shouldn’t be constant shouting or cutting off each other’s sentences. A good couples therapist is in control of the session and sets a definite structure to the session.

2. What are their values and do they interfere in the therapy process?

Personal values should never interfere in the therapy process and they usually don’t. However, with couples, theses values about marriage and family may cause problems.  Dr. Doherty, PhD and the director of the marriage and family therapy program tat the Unveristy of Minnesota, discusses this problem in his “Bad Couples Therapy” article.  He once heard of a client who was considering her children’s needs when looking at a possible divorce and the therapist didn’t think she should do so. The therapist said it was about “her” and that she needed to accept her life and move forward. If your values are not appreciated and your therapist redirects you towards something else, you may need to find a new couples therapist.

Couples therapy is an excellent idea, but it is something that must be pursued carefully. Pay attention to what is happening in therapy sessions and to your results after several sessions. Always be candid with your therapist about what you are looking for and about the current state of your marriage as well as it’s progress. This will ensure that you get the most out of therapy.

Because you just finished reading about couples therapy, watch my FREE video presentation while it’s still online. See exactly how to fix your relationship. Learn about the 4 stages of a breakup and you won’t even need couples therapy. Watch the video NOW and stop failing in your relationships.

Is a couples therapy retreat the solution you’ve been searching for?

When most people think of the word “therapy” it doesn’t sound fun. Sitting on an overly plump couch while you talk about your feelings every week with a total stranger isn’t a trip to the movies. It is, however, one way of approaching the problems in your relationship. Couples therapy retreats are another option.

One such program, called Marriage Quest, takes couples on a private three-day retreat. During this time, two qualified psychologists meet and discuss the couple’s issues with them. This retreat is not actually a vacation, but couples often stay at a nearby B & B while attending the counseling sessions over the three-day period.

There are a variety of couples therapy retreats out there today, but they are not a means of going on a vacation. They are instead a way to objectively look at your problems with less time constraints. In usual private practice, clients may meet for a 30-40-45-60 minute session every week, but a retreat allows windows of 2-6 hours of time. It also promises to be the best way of quickly addressing the problem. If you or your spouse had an affair or the marriage seems to be in immediate risk of ending in separation or divorce, then a retreat may be your best option. It will definitely allow you to jumpstart the process and see where you stand as a couple.

If you and your spouse aren’t having significant problems and would just like to strengthen your bond together, then couples therapy may not be necessary. Those couples that are just looking for time away together could go on a cruise, a yoga retreat, escape to the sea, climb through the mountains or go backpacking through Europe!  You could even combine both the vacation and the therapy time into a longer, extended vacation.

Whatever you do, make sure that both of you are 100% committed and ready to participate. Choose to go somewhere that you both want to go and/or find a counselor that you both click with.

Because you just finished reading about couples therapy retreats, watch my FREE video presentation while it’s still online. Learn the 4 stages of a breakup and you’ll know how to rewind to a blissful state. Watch the video NOW and get your relationship back in shape.

Emotionally focused couples therapy is a short-term (8-20 sessions) psychotherapy method that focuses on attachment theory.

Developed in the 1980s by Leslie Greenberg and Sue Johnson, it is one of the most scientifically validated forms of couple’s therapy precisely because it deals with attachment issues. In fact, research has found that 70-75% of couples move to recovery and 90% show statistically significant improvements.

The goals of emotionally focused therapy are to: re-organize emotional responses, change the dynamic in the ways the partners interact, initiate new ways of interacting, and create a stronger, secure bond between both partners that enables a deep trust.

For couples, participating in this therapy can be a difficult and vulnerable experience. It’s important to remember, however, that all therapies require time, commitment, a willingness to let go, and an openness to share intimate details as well as personal weaknesses. When couples consider emotionally focused couples therapist, they should consider their own problems within the relationship. They should also consider whether or not they like and understand this method. If scientific results are a concern, then this is one of the best forms of therapy for couples because it’s extensive research has shown it as a highly successful form of couples therapy. Regardless, it’s a personal decision that you and your spouse will have to make. Choose the therapy approach that feels right for you and choose a therapist who is professional, objective, compassionate and skilled.

If you are looking for an emotionally focused couples therapist, then click HERE. This site, created by Dr. Johnson and her colleagues, talks more in-depth about EFT, it’s benefits and how to find therapists who have trained in the method.

Because you just finished reading about emotionally focused couples therapy, watch my FREE video presentation while it’s still online. See exactly how to fix your relationship. Learn about the 4 secret stages of a breakup and you’ll know how to rewind to a blissful state. Watch the video NOW and stop failing in your relationships.