Couples Counseling

First comes love, then comes marriage, then comes the baby in the baby carriage.

That’s not all, that’s not all… now John has shut down, and Sue is posting pics on Instagram.

In our culture, marriage and making a family is romanticized. The reality of things is that marriage can be very romantic and also takes a lot of work to keep healthy.

This is an example of what any “normal” marriage looks like on a graph:

No matter what, there will always be ups and downs in a relationship.

The key is how the two people can cope and work together through the slump to make it back into an upswing.

It is not possible to know what to do about everything in life, plus relationships are very complex. They take on a life of their own, becoming a dance – or a pattern, or a rhythm – between people.

When two people decide to have a relationship together, they are taking their two different styles and mixing them, creating a new style that is so original that each relationship is as unique as a fingerprint.

Sometimes couples can navigate their ups and downs on their own and get through just fine. When asked, most long-term couples, those who have had relationships for 20+ years, report having experienced counseling to help them through a hurdle about 90% of the time.

Needing help is a normal part of life.

Have you ever thought about the complexities you bring to the table in your relationship? Most people don’t. When couples go to counseling, that is one of the skills they learn – self-reflection. Once you learn you, amazing things start to happen in your relationship and in other areas of your life as well. The dance changes; it becomes a beautiful exchange of love.

Usually people like you look for help when the dance has become so bad that one or both partners are doing something like Sue and John. John’s shutting down is a tool to avoid the problem, hoping it will go away. Sue’s social media use is a fantastic tool that provides the acceptance and love someone should be getting from their relationship, even if it is not real.

Love, acceptance and belonging are the food and water of a healthy psyche. People need it so much they will do anything to get it. Very much like how children require attention, if they can’t get it in a positive way they will resort to negativity because something is better than nothing.

When you come to couples counseling you will be able to take a look at your special dance.

We will hold it out in front of you and examine it as a separate entity, making adjustments, learning from it and hopefully healing the relationship. Looking at the relationship as having a life of its own makes it easier to look at it objectively, so that change can happen.

It’s up to you. Take action, only action creates change.

Divorce Counseling

No one ever gets married with a divorce planned for their future.

Sometimes we find out that it has been allowed to go too far. Divorce may be an option in this case.

Why would you continue therapy if divorce is the road you are headed down?

Good question. For those of you that have kids, they may be your reason. But even without kids, finding a way to move forward respectfully can be helpful.

Although you have decided you cannot live with each other, a lot can be learned from divorce counseling. Here is a list of reasons you can think over:

  • Preventing the same problem from happening again in your next relationship. Remember as much as you think it is all the other person, you brought something to the dance as well. Figure out what that is.
  • For Parents – Reframing the relationship from intimate to more of a business partnership. You are now in the business of raising kids.
  • After a divorce you sit and think and think and come up with stories of what the other person is thinking or doing. These stories don’t help. Divorce counseling allows you to get it from the source. Usually those discussions create a lot of understanding and growth.
  • Overall understanding of how the heck you got here
  • A healthier environment for the kids and everyone else
  • Easier divorce proceedings
  • Happier future outlook

Divorce counseling can be as beautiful as couples counseling.

There is so much to learn from this person you spent years with and so much you can teach them. It takes a lot of digging deep, openness and reflection. Often when divorce is put on the table, people open up because they feel less fear of saying or doing the wrong thing. People often report feeling like they communicate better after the fact than they ever did together. These folks go on to have very happy relationships with new lovers and are able to balance their emotions better.

You can have a “happy” divorce.

If you give me a call today, we can get a sense of where you are in your journey. I will ask you some questions, and then you can ask me questions to determine if we would work well together. If you decide that you would like to begin this journey with me, you will need to talk to your partner. Then we can set up a time for our first meeting.

Your first appointment will involve 5 minutes of paperwork, and the rest of the time I will gather background information so we can start to get to know each other. You will have the opportunity to tell about how you met, what you have been through, and where you’d like to go from here.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Premarital Preparation

Planning a long-term commitment?

Gain the knowledge and skills on the front end to equip you with the tools needed for a long-lasting relationship.

What happens in premarital preparation sessions?

Preparation for marriage involves about 4-6 sessions that last 50 minutes. During this time you will gain deeper knowledge of your partner’s past. These conversations will teach you how to navigate life together, opening up new lines of communication and understanding you never thought possible.

Going through this process will also familiarize you with what counseling is and make it feel more comfortable if you need to seek outside help in the future; you will know what to expect.

Most couples go through preparation within 4-8 months of their wedding date. Your church may have someone they refer, but you always have choices. Choose someone that makes sense to you.

Congratulations and please give me a call to set up your appointments.