It can be overwhelming to look for the right therapist. After all, most counselors treat a diversity of problems, including depression, anxiety, substance use, and trauma-related stress.
At the Marriage and Family Clinic:
All of our Therapists have a Master's Degree and post-graduate training in the Mental Health and Relationship Field.
We are trained with a minimum of two (2) years of supervised clinical experience.
We invite you to take a few minutes and read how our training will help you change problem patterns and gain a greater understanding of yourself and your relationships.
Our major goal is to help you make changes that will improve your life and your relationships.
Neutralize Negativity and Learn what to Do Differently.
Staying grounded even if your partner isn’t is one of the first differences we see in successful couples. You'll learn how to recognize the signs of “Emotional Hijacking” in yourself and your partner and why timeouts are so important. We’ll help you recognize those situations and personal raw spots that trigger the "Fight or Flight” responses that play an important role in being stuck. Recognizing the escalation cycles and the particular ways that you both contribute to being stuck is key to improving communication and problem solving..
Commit to Eliminating the 4 Horsemen of Divorce and Becoming Friends Again.
We all struggle and argue at times, but research shows that successful couples have 5 times as much Tenderness, Playfulness and Positive Interest in each other as couples that struggle.
You’ll learn how Contempt, Criticism, Stonewalling and Defensiveness create an overall tone and limits the way you interact with each other.
You'll learn how to develop those rituals and habits that successful couples use to manage conflicts and keep the love going. We'll help you address difficult issues like money, managing the household responsibilities, time spent on work and with friends or families.
Improve your Communication and Negotiation Skills.
After recognizing and changing the negativity in your relationship and creating more positive interactions and rituals; we’ll help you learn and practice more effective Problem-Solving Communication skills.
You'll learn what Compassionate Honesty is and how to use it in difficult times. Communication is one of the most important skills we can ever learn. It leads everything that we do—so many problems stem from poor communication and there’s no wonder why, really.
We are not taught how to communicate properly at school; it’s something we have to ‘pick up’ from the people around us. Unfortunately, unless we are lucky enough to have stellar communicators in our close circle, we can often pick up bad habits.
Learn How to Keep the Changes Going
Life is complicated and you'll need a long term blueprint to keep things going in the right direction. From managing conflict to keeping your "Love Maps" up to date. This doesn't mean you'll always be in therapy. It just means that you'll be better prepared to handle both the expected changes and the unexpected changes in life.
We have put together a list of some frequently asked questions related to counseling.
What is involved in the Evaluation/Feedback Process?
- How did you get together?
- What was your courtship like?
- What was your relationship like before the problems began?
The second and third sessions will be used to meet with each of you individually to complete the assessment process. This will allow each of you to speak freely without worrying about making things worse and allows us to discuss:
- How distressed are they?
- How committed are they to continuing the relationship?
- What issues divide them?
- Why are these issues so powerful?
- What strengths have kept them together?
- What can treatment do to help?
The fourth session will be used to share with you the results of your evaluation and give you a rough idea of how often we will meet and what treatment goals might be. You’ll have a chance to weigh in and fine tune the treatment plan or correct any misunderstandings.
You'll be able to decide whether or not the plan sounds good to you. Also, during this evaluation process, you’ll have a chance to get to know your therapist’s style and find out how comfortable you are.
Why can't therapy start right away?
Unfortunately every couple is different and there is no cookie cutter approach to solving problems or making changes. You'll benefit in the long run with a thorough and consistent approach to learning what it is that successful couples do under stress.
What can I expect in Ongoing Therapy ?
- Sessions at this point are a mixture of meeting individually and jointly, depending on your particular situation.
- The focus is often on important recent incidents and upcoming incidents. These will be used to help you identify and change patterns that you might not be aware of.
- You'll also explore how your past has shaped present behaviors.
- Individual sessions will focus on helping you manage any anxiety, depression or anger issues.
- Joint sessions will focus on changing the dynamics and interactions as they relate to your well-being.
We’ll help you take a big-picture view of your problems by examining larger relationship patterns and exploring how past issues may still be at work in your life. We also understand that problems can build up overt multiple generations.
We’ll help you better understand yourself, your partner and the patterns of interactions between you. Therapy becomes effective as you apply this new knowledge to break ineffective patterns and develop better ones.
We’ll combine practical "hands-on" tools from the latest research to help you make the changes you need to make without having to compromise your core values.
What if my partner won't agree to therapy?
Although therapy can improve your marriage, it’s not the only thing that works. Talk to your spouse and see if he or she might be willing to try an alternative approach. You might, for example, have a weekly meeting during which you talk about the state of your relationship, each resolve to do a favor for the other every day, take 10 minutes each day to listen to your spouse’s feelings, or spend the money you would spend on therapy on a romantic weekly outing. Spending quality time together and validating one another’s feelings can improve your marriage even without therapy, and are two of the skills many marriage counselors focus on.
Will Therapy help in the long run?
The improvement rate at two-year follow up — is around 70 percent — measured by a scale that examines factors including consensus between partners, mutual satisfaction, level of affection and relationship cohesion..
At five years, about 50 percent of the couples still showed clinically significant improvement, They had developed better "Love Maps" for their marriage that included more acceptance, compassion and fun.
Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology (Vol. 78, No. 2).