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Marital-Couple Therapy


Couples or Marital Therapy

 Couples - Marital Therapy:  This is a process of determining how each is perceiving the problem and finding the best way of helping each partner achieve their goals in the relationship. Typically the couple works on their communication skills in order to clarify their words and bring an understanding to their behaviors.  Many times it is helpful to have a mediator to interpret and clarify things for each person in order to assist the communication process.  If the relationship is too conflicted it may be necessary to work on some individual issues with each person before the couple is brought back to work on their relationship together in therapy.

Typical problems that bring about marital or couples therapy:  Stress, Time Together, Intimacy Issues, Financial Stress,
Personal loss, Divorce, Remarriage, Parenting .

Stress- conflicts can originate from work or home. Sometimes all it takes is one more stressor to make the marriage feel unmanageable.  Finding ways to reduce the stress or develop some new coping skills can be helpful in getting through a difficult time.  Sometimes one additional stress issue can trigger things like addictions to surface, anger to blow, or avoidant behaviors that don't help the person or the relationship cope any better.  When we reach the end of our rope and can't seem to make things get better talking to a healthcare professional can be the start of something new that can bring relief and hope to a person's life.

Time Together- if the time we spend together with our spouse or significant other is always arguing or fighting things can seem pretty bad and hopeless. The same is true if very little time is spent with our spouse.  Isolation is the discouraging result of being alone much of the time.  This is an issue that needs to be talked about.  Human beings were made to commune with others. When we don't have this feeling of companionship in our most important relationship we can feel empty and alone on the inside. wcouple1.jpg

Intimacy Issues-  Sometimes a couple may have a hard time talking about sex in their marriage.  We first need to feel loved, valued and wanted before we give of the most intimate part to ourselves.  Sex is lacking intimacy if the romance or quality time is missing.    The presenting issues may change with a new job or a new spouse.  Counseling may feel like the only safe place for a couple can talk about these issues.  Many times the intimacy is a pronounced issue if one of the spouses is mistreated or if their has been past physical or sexual abuse.  Discovering the underlying issues of abuse and talking about how they affect the relationship can help bring about a greater understanding in the relationship.  Clarifying boundaries and talking about what feels ok and what doesn't will many times help the abused person feel more respected and valued in the relationship.


Financial Stress-  When two individuals get together and live together they bring with them the baggage from the past.  Part of this is how they have handled money and how their parents have handled their money and credit.  Talking about the financial stress and developing a plan for their financial goals and needs can bring about a healthier way the couple handles money together.  Ignoring the problem  usually continues to perpetuate it.  Divorce and remarriage can also have it's financial difficulties.  Many times their are things in our life that we cannot control; for example a birth, loss of a home, accident, or a health issue.  We cannot always foresee what may happen to us or our spouse or loved one. This setback can seem overwhelming at the time and counseling can help facilitate a discussion that can bring ultimate relief.

Personal Losses-  when we lose a loved one or something we valued like a job, home, car or pet we experience a grief reaction.  All grief is normal,  but if we stay stuck in the grief process too long we can become clinically depressed.  This can then effect our home life and job.  If you have experienced a loss in your life don't wait to get help.  You are not alone.  There are many people going through similar situations as you are.  My grandmother stayed depressed for 10 years when her first husband died unexpectedly.  The only advise she got back then was to read her Bible, pray and go to work every day.  There are more resources for people going through grief today.  You can feel better with some professional help.  Grief wasn't meant to be forever. 


Divorce-  The unfortunate occurrence of divorce, brings about significant changes for all those involved.  Having someone to talk about those changes can often relieve stress.  Sometimes a couple wants counseling to determine if the situation or problem can be resolved or improved.  One needs to plan on a minimum of 6 sessions to see if deep rooted issues can be worked out or resolved.  If only one in the relationship wants out of the marriage that is enough to end things.  Many times I see couples after they have put up with the presenting issues for years.  Their patience has worn thin and they don't have much left in them to see things change.  This is unfortunate, because if they would have started to work on their issues sooner they would not have worn out emotionally.  As I marriage counselor I look for ways to find hope and strength in the individuals I work with.  Usually both of the individuals in the relationship have some strengths from which to build on and begin to repair things.  But if the couple wants to separate I facilitate the communication and the process so divorce becomes as painless as possible.


Remarriage-  I have worked with many couples that have divorced and remarried.  Some find the next marriage to be more successful than the first. Others marry into the same problems of the past and find it difficult to escape the old patterns.  I try to facilitate discussions with the couples that will bring about a healthier relationship than the previous one.  We talk about possible baggage brought into the new relationship. From this discussion we look for ways to change the unhealthy patterns of the past.   Premarital counseling is recommended.  Problems are more easily worked on before the marriage than after.  Is it possible for your spouse to change? Yes! But your spouse must want to change.  That is the real question, how bad does the future spouse want to change?  What I tell couples is that they need to accept their partner with all their weaknesses and shortcomings, both before and after the wedding.  If they truly do this, they don't have to spend the rest of the marriage, working so hard, to try to change their spouse to their expectations.

Fredrickson Counseling  &   Coaching    1639 N. Alpine Rd. Suite 403    Rockford, IL. 61107

Call:  815-494-6785   Email:  talk@fredricksoncounseling.com


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