I have been married for 41 years (that means I was two when I started). I have a live laboratory in my home for knowing what works and what doesn’t. I am always thinking about how to pass along effective means of interacting. The best marriage counseling teaches couples how to talk to each other constructively . The couples therapist is the model for this. The therapy must be what I call ”clean”. That means the therapy needs to demonstrate the skills the therapist is teaching. For example listening with respect means that the therapist does so as well. Hearing what is asked needs to be part of the couples therapy as well.
Many people believe what they feel is most important. The best marriage skills follow a pattern of deciding what is best to do with feelings. It is important to know what we feel so that we can decide what best to do with feeling. The best marriage counseling is full of tools for working through negotiations. It teaches people concrete behaviors aimed at changing interactions that don’t work.
Some people come from families where good marriage skills are demonstrated and. these skills are readily available to copy. However many people do not have this opportunity.
My parents divorced when I was five. I have been studying marriage ever since. In fact, therapists are made not born. We get our clinical training growing up and then we go to school to learn what to do with it. I am a product of my own therapy. Many people are if the therapy does the job. I learned the skills of marriage in therapy and those skills have serve me well.
If people don’t come from families where marriage has been successful they tend to have behaviors that don’t work. They may repeat negative patterns and may re-create the patterns of the parents whose marriages were unhappy. These patterns perpetuate down through the generations. Good marriage counseling can alter these patterns.
It is really important that your marriage counseling be done by someone who believes in marriage. He or she needs to be successful with relationships both in and out of the office so that they understand that the skills of relationships determine the outcome.
Teaching new marriage proficiencies requires trusting in the person being hired. This goes back to knowing you have hired someone who is successful in their life and marriage which also means being willing to openly discuss it with you as a client.
Outcomes vary given how well people are able to learn new habits. Successful marriage counseling should result in couples improving their connections to each other and decreasing their anger level. It should also result in better understanding of the person you married and improved skills at avoiding stepping on buttons that trigger negative responses.
Good couples counseling teaches participants how to pay attention to how they affect each other rather than to how they are being affected.
It is important to remember that therapy really happens in the head of the therapist and what the therapist believes and how clearly they communicate it to their clients creates the outcome of your therapy.