Signs you might need counseling as a couple:
You both have quit talking about stressful topics
You do not feel safe being vulnerable with your mate
One (or both) of you has had an emotional or a physical affair
You or your mate have attitudes of contempt and defensiveness
Your relationship feels distant and negative
You have lost shared interests and common activities
Parenting is causing too much stress on your relationship
Exploding Myths About Couples Counseling
In his book, The Seven Principles For Making A Marriage Work, John Gottman, PhD a section entitled “Why Most Marriage Therapy Fails”. Dr. Gottman is a research-based marriage therapist in Seattle. His research, along with others, shows that marriage counseling often makes the relationship worse! Many couples believe their biggest relationship problem is communication. As the therapist agrees and begins to teach them active listening skills, they focus on conflict resolution. One important study demonstrated that with this approach, only 18% of couples retained these benefits one year later. That’s a little scary. Gottman provides evidence that “successful conflict resolution isn’t what makes marriages succeed”.
Another research-based therapist, Brent Atkinson, PhD, wrote a book entitled, “Emotional Intelligence in Couples”. He has taken the research on marriages and combined it with research from the neuroscience. His work is creating solutions that last in marriage counseling.
I am committed to marriage counseling that has the power of research. It can be dramatically successful with some couples. It can save your relationship from breakup and divorce. Premarital counseling can get you started on the right foot before the problems develop.
The time and money you spend in couples counseling will be one of the wisest investments you can possibly make. Working to develop the health of your relationship is deeply rewarding.