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couple relationship therapy with a counselor. Close Up hands of the woman client during a

COUPLES  COUNSELING 

Strengthen Your Marriage At Authentic-Life Counseling

Humans thrive in relationships that are loving, supportive, fun, and safe. When intimacy, trust, and connection begin to falter, it can feel like your entire world is collapsing.

Couples often overlook that relationships, like anything that is meaningful, require care and attention.

Just as a garden needs water and sunlight to flourish, your relationship needs nurturing to bear the fruit of love and joy.

 

At Authentic-Life Counseling, we help identify specific habits to strengthen your marriage and educate you on common pitfalls that, over time, are destructive to relationships and how to avoid them.

It's not uncommon for couples to find themselves locked in the same conflicts for years. Our effective approach transcends blame and repetitive narratives, offering a structured, step-by-step process to develop deeper understanding and a more loving connection. We provide new skills, education, and practices designed to enhance your relationship.

Let us guide you on this journey toward creating the strong, fulfilling marriage you deserve. With the right support and strategies, you can transform your relationship and achieve lasting happiness together.

 

Relationships can be challenging to navigate!

It's not uncommon for couples to find themselves locked in the same conflicts for years. Our effective approach transcends blame and repetitive narratives, offering a structured, step-by-step process to develop a deeper understanding and a more loving connection. We provide new skills, education, and practices designed to enhance your relationship.

Even though we may love our partners deeply, we sometimes struggle to communicate, please, or trust them. Couples go through various stages of growth and development, which means the objectives of therapy differ for pre-marital counseling or blended families.

For marriage counseling to be effective, couples need a clear idea of their goals. This can be challenging because rebuilding or enhancing subjective aspects like trust involves understanding that partners may perceive issues differently. Our dedication lies in providing marriage counseling that fosters stronger, healthier, and more loving connections.

Once we identify the issues, the real work begins. Couples receive homework assignments designed to enhance emotional reactions, behavioral patterns, thinking processes, and communication styles. These assignments aim to help you and your partner better understand and love each other.

 

Your Marriage Counseling Will Consist of Two Objectives:

  • Comprehension: We aim to understand the positive and negative aspects of your relationship from both perspectives. We delve into the history of your relationship and explore the dynamics of your current situation. Enhancing communication is often a primary focus, examining patterns and conflict resolution skills. Understanding family of origin issues is significant, especially if early childhood trauma impacts your current emotional responses. Additionally, assessing general functioning, including self-care and substance use, is vital for comprehending the holistic nature of the relationship.

 

  • Tools for Change: We provide you with the tools needed for change. Ineffective emotional reactions, thinking patterns, and behavioral responses must change for growth to occur. With targeted strategies and support, these changes are achievable.

Marriage Counseling

What To Expect In Marriage Counseling

Marriages are constantly in a state of change. There are marriages, divorces, the death of a loved one, health challenges, and career changes. Children grow up and couples grow apart. Sometimes couples have a hard time adjusting to these changes.

The most common reasons couples go to marriage counseling are:

To improve conflict resolution skills.

Recovery from infidelity.

Improve communication.

The complications of blended families such as parenting stepchildren, and co-parenting with the ex's.

 

Substance abuse and addiction. 

Common Questions About
Marriage Counseling

Does Marriage Counseling Work?

If one or both partners are unwilling to actively engage in the counseling process, it may contribute to the relationship becoming worse.  Research indicates that marriage counseling is effective for 70% of couples who receive treatment. Alternatively, if one partner invests effort in making changes while the other does not, it could lead to feelings of resentment. 

 

I have had clients who were not able to save their relationship despite marriage counseling. I often feel like the efforts in this scenario is "too little too late". On the other hand, I have had many clients that have gone from the brink of divorce to loving relationships. Even after infidelity, couples have said their relationship is stronger than ever.

Can Marriage Counseling Make Things Worse?

Marriage counseling is intended to help couples navigate and improve their relationship, but yes, there are instances where it might not be effective, and in some cases, it could potentially make things worse. Here are a few reasons why this could happen:

  • Unwillingness to Change or Lack of Commitment:

If one or both partners are unwilling to actively engage in the counseling process, it may contribute to a deterioration of the relationship. Alternatively, if one partner invests effort in making changes while the other does not, it could lead to feelings of resentment. 

  • Incompatibility with the Therapist: If the couple and the therapist are not a good fit or if there is a lack of trust or connection, the counseling process may not be as effective.​ In my practice, instances of poor fit often occur when clients expect sessions to focus solely on complaining about their partner rather than actively working towards positive changes.

How Long Does Marriage Counseling Last?

The duration of marriage counseling varies widely. The duration is dependent on the specific needs and circumstances of the couple. Short-term focused counseling may range from a few sessions to several weeks, addressing specific issues such as communication or conflict resolution. More complex or deeply rooted issues may require longer-term therapy, extending for several months or even years.

Other factors that influence the duration of marriage counseling include the severity of the issues, the commitment of both partners to the process, and the skill of the therapist. Couples need to discuss their goals and expectations with the therapist to establish a realistic timeframe for their unique situation. Additionally, some couples may find periodic "maintenance" sessions beneficial even after the initial counseling period to ensure ongoing support and growth in their relationship.

How Long Have You Been A Marriage Counselor?

I have been a marriage counselor for over a decade, working with a diverse range of clients that includes various cultures, sexual orientations, races, and religions. Over this period, I have encountered marital challenges presented in numerous dimensions, and I've witnessed healing emerge from various aspects of the therapeutic process.

Will You See Us In Individual Sessions?

In marriage counseling, the primary focus is on the relationship as the 'client,' unlike individual therapy where the client is the individual. However, there are instances when individual issues significantly impact the relationship. I do consider seeing individuals on a case-by-case basis, especially when my unique therapeutic approach resonates with them.

It's important to note that I uphold a 'No Secrets Policy.' If you are withholding any information, such as previous affairs, sexual orientation, or addiction use, that has not been disclosed to your partner, the secret must be revealed, or I cannot proceed with individual therapy.

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