Marriage and Couple Therapy

Marriage and Couples SessionsAs a Certified Emotionally Focused Couples Therapist, my philosophy is based on the importance of secure relationships which is integral to the human mental and physical health. In my sessions, I help couples overcome the negative cycle they are stuck in to develop a deeper, more secure loving relationship. Together we work on reconnecting, repairing and rebuilding trust as well as restoring communication and secure attachments.

Research indicates that emotionally focused therapy is nowadays considered the most effective form of couple therapy that significantly improves 90% of marriages. This improvement is lasting and helps couples heal, overcome distress and conflict while developing long term love. Emotionally focused therapy also helps creates supportive bonds and secure attachments between couples. This therapy was developed by Dr Sue Johnson and her colleagues in the 1980’s. It is a relatively short-term therapy with an average of eight and up to twenty sessions. The duration of the session is one hour and fifteen minutes.

In the first session, I usually see the couple together where the primary focus is to define the negative pattern that blocks the partners from having the secure loving relationship they want. The following session is usually an individual session where I get to learn more about the attachment and family history of each partner. After this our couple sessions resume again where the main goal is to expand and reorganize the emotional responses of the couple and create new positive cycles fostering a healthy dependency between them. Sessions are dealt with utmost confidentiality whereby the relationship is considered the client and I will only be biased towards anything that benefits the relationship. My priority is that throughout therapy both parties feel totally safe and validated. I make sure that my couples feel that my office space is a zero-judgement zone where they feel safe to pour their hearts out. I also work with couples in the pre-marriage stage to help them get a better perspective in the road ahead and guide them on how to overcome future bumps. I also do discernment counseling to help couples on the brink of divorce gain more clarity about the direction of the relationship and how to handle children in the process. To learn more about emotionally focused couple therapy please visit the official website www.iceeft.com.

What are marriage and couple therapy?

Marriage and couple therapy, sometimes known as relationship or marriage counseling, is a type of psychotherapy. The therapy is mainly aimed at helping couples improve their communication and conflict-resolution skills, leading to a healthy relationship. Marriage and couple therapy is a brief, solution-focused therapy designed with attainable therapeutic goals towards marriage and relationship issues, unlike many other therapies.

Many research now indicates that marriage/couple therapy is effective in treating relationship issues and treating many other health problems that may affect a relationship or marriage. Generally, many mental and health issues tend to trigger relationship or marriage problems. Some of them include:

  • Adult Schizophrenia
  • Affective (Mood) Disorders
  • Adult Alcoholism And Drug Abuse
  • Children’s Conduct Disorders
  • Adolescent Drug Abuse
  • Anorexia In Young Adult Women
  • Childhood Autism
  • Chronic Physical Illness In Adults And Children
  • Marital Distress And Conflict

Apart from these, there can be other specific health issues that can cause marriage and relationship problems. The best result of marriage therapy, aside from giving practical solutions, helps control or treat these health issues. So, even if a marriage or couple therapy may not necessarily be successful, controlling these triggering health issues can support a healthy relationship or marriage in the future.

Services in a marriage or couple therapy

Generally, marriage or couple therapy is solution-focused and takes a holistic approach. So there isn’t a set of structured services marriage, or couple therapists offer. Rather, marriage or couple therapies are tailored with specific tasks (not services) to serve better a marriage or relationship problem and the type of people affected by it.

This is more like other types of therapies that don’t go by a definite set of services methods or approaches- it differs with every client.

However, some of the typical tasks that I perform as a marriage or couple therapist regularly include (but is not limited) to the following,

  • Diagnosing any mental disorders or other health issues that may be affecting the marriage or relationship
  • Diagnose behavioral problems
  • Collect relevant information about the client and their respective problem using self-report, interviews, role-play, observations, discussion, and formal assessments
  • Help clients in developing communication and conflict-solving skills
  • Conducting psychotherapy
  • Developing treatment plans

I also assist with the pre-marriage stage to provide clients with a better perspective of marriage life, what to expect, and how to overcome potential problems at an early stage.

Whereas I may also assist with discernment counseling, this is where couples who are uncertain about wanting to continue their marriage or relationship are given options to consider before they make a decision. This is done to assist couples with handling such a stage and their children in the process.

FAQs about marriage or couple therapy

Should a couple attend marriage therapy together?
This depends on the type of issues the couple is experiencing. It’s always best to participate in marriage or couple therapy together. Sometimes, the therapists may want to separately meet each partner to get a clear view of both sides of the issue.

Are marriage or couple therapy and marriage counseling the same?
Yes, marriage or couple therapy and marriage/relationship counseling are the same. More specifically, marriage or couple therapy is a type of counseling. Besides, therapy takes a holistic approach to marriage or relationship problems, unlike counseling. Meaning all the family members are considered and involved within the therapy to make it more effective.

Can marriage or couple therapy save a marriage or relationship?
Most of the time, this therapy is effective and can improve a marriage or relationship. However, the therapy equally requires commitment and effort from both the partners of a marriage or relationship. And, because each marriage therapy is tailor-made to suit the unique cause of every couple, it works well with exemplary commitment.