There are many therapeutic approaches to helping individuals thrive in an intimate partnership.
Because I am familiar with the current research-based methods of couples counseling and marriage therapy, I use whichever strategies are likely to work best with each couple, depending on the issues at the time.
I can apply the knowledge I've gained about conflict management as a trained mediator.
I also always perform a personality assessment of persons seeking couple counseling or marriage therapy, so basic, inborn similarities and differences are defined, accepted and respected. That allows trust, friendship, and communication skill to grow within a relatively predictable relationship framework.
Findamentally, two people make a good couple when each person learns – for the sake of the other – to behave in some ways that don’t come naturally at first. As each does this for the other, and receives acknowledgement and appreciation in return, what was once effortful behavior usually becomes relatively automatic and much easier over time. In other words, mutual and demonstrated willingness to please the other nourishes further reciprocation, friendship, trust, and love.
I’d like to help you achieve the wonderful feeling of warmth and safety a healthy intimate relationship creates.
However, relationships also depend on the goals of each of the partners. I have specialized training to work with couples that have varying goals for their future. Some couples want couple and marriage counseling. Some want Discernment Counseling. Others are at the Closure Counseling stage.
* Couple and Marriage counseling. This counseling is geared to improve marriage. The duration of this counseling is as long as it’s useful and both partners are committed to the process and goal.
Much focus is on communication skills and conflict management. See my page on Communication Skills for more detail on that subject.
* Discernment counseling. In one to five meetings, I help couples in which one or both parties are undecided about whether to stay together. In each session, I meet with each person individually as well as both together.
Ultimately, a decision is made either to separate, to work on the relationship for six months, or to wait to make the decision.
* Couple closure counseling. Typically, this counseling lasts only a few visits, but depends on the needs of the couple. Counseling in this situation is designed to establish effective communication skills for healthy conflict resolution as the couple encounters new challenges within their re-organized relationship. The goal is healthy family dynamics going forward. My page on Communication Skills elaborates on that topic.
Also, watch a dramatic example of couple/marriage counseling!
"Mental Health Minutes" is a dramatization of professional counseling for various presenting problems.
Dr. Kimmel portrays Dr. Toby. Actors portray the clients in therapy.
There are four half-hour episodes for each client or clients.