Couples counseling is my specialty. As I have been married for 41 years, I have a solid set of experiences related to what works in marriage and what does not.
I believe in marriage and my marriage is successful. These are two primary ingredients that a successful marriage counselor needs to possess. In fact, I haven’t seen a divorce in my office in a long time. That is related to the fact that I am not recommending it. Even if men and women believe they don’t need marriage, children do. So, if people have children, they need to learn how to be successfully married because divorce hurts the children. I am not suggesting staying together in misery, but learning how to do marriage successfully.
If people don’t have children, they can certainly leave and declare a mistake or a “fender bender”, but without some marriage training to learn what went wrong–not the symptoms but the real problem, the fender benders tend to happen repeatedly.
I have developed a four-step model that teaches people how to get and stay connected. Marriage is a skill set and when people learn the skills the feelings follow.
I work with people who, in many cases, have been unfaithful. They call me believing that they cannot recover from the infidelity or infidelities. However, with the right help and guidance, people do recover and marriages survive.
I prefer to see couples who call me together initially. That way people tend to start off feeling that each was able to explain their understanding of the situation to me equally.
Couples therapy needs to be conducted so that no one feels that the therapist is taking sides. This means it must be balanced. Many therapists say that they do couples therapy and yet, they miss the importance of “balance” as we’ll as an understanding of focused problem-solving.
Focused problem-solving refers to understanding what has gone wrong in the marriage. That is, people tend to come in with the symptoms of the problem but not the problem. So I work with my clients to discover the real problem. Then we can decide what to do about it.
I start off seeing people together so that we start off with balance. I also see them individually as well as we go along.
As marriage requires certain ingredients to be successful, in an initial evaluation, I can determine fairly quickly, which ingredients are present and which are missing. Determining which are missing gives direction as to what to teach.
People like this approach because it is concrete and clear. Couples learn what needs to change and what to do to change it. They learn what to do with what they feel.
Unless people come from families where marriages were successful, they tend to not know how to make their own marriages work. They need a “class” or a group of “classes” to learn the skills that they need. It could therefore be said that the skills of marriage are taught in an experience called “couples therapy”–really classes about marriage, and the “therapy” is about understanding and removing the emotional blocks that keep people from doing what the information they are receiving is suggesting they do.
Please call me before you call anywhere else in the Atlanta area, so that we can talk about what you should expect from your therapist and from therapy (404) 698-3699. I look forward to speaking to you.