Noel C Gonzalez, PhD, LPC Psychotherapy & Consultation
Couples Therapy: What to Expect
Couples therapy can be either a short-or long-term arrangement. A difficulty might be cleared up in a few weekly sessions. In other cases, counseling might last a year or more. Couples counseling is intended to help when a variety of issues and problems, including conflict that goes unresolved, in order to improve communication, enhance psychological intimacy, resolve problems with or increase physical intimacy, and or when the problem in the relationship appears to be linked to personality disorders, addiction, sever depression or other issues
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- When conflict goes unresolved so long that it hardens into rigid confrontation with neither spouse feeling able or willing to budge from an inflexible position.
- When couples cannot figure out how to solve their difficulties themselves
- When couples want to stay together and want to learn new ways of interacting.
- When partners' communication is increasingly hostile and they are unable to reach out to each other in understanding
- When couples want to divorce and need help with negotiating the process and telling their children
- When a relationship has deteriorated to the point at which a spouse feels she or he must resort to some dramatic gesture, such as leaving the home, becoming physically violent, or sexually acting out
- When a problem in the relationship appears to be linked to a personality disorder in one or both partners, for problems with addictions (chronic drinking, sexual behaviors), when one or both have severe depression, anxiety or deep feelings o insecurity and inadequacy.
There are a variety of reasons and issues for seeking couples therapy. These are just a few examples of when parterres should seek counseling. If you have concerns about your relationship or if you have questions about couple's therapy, please contact us with your question and concerns.
What is Couples Counseling?
For virtually all couples, being in a relationship involves striking a delicate balance between belonging and feeling constrained. Striking such balance involves effective communication, among other things. The benefits of couples therapy is to help spouses with no serious conflict, but who want to enrich their relationship, to the unhappy couples who fail to manage conflict learn how to relate to and behave healthily toward each other.
Themes & issues addressed in couples therapy:
- Consensual validation of each partners reality in life and in the relationship
- Negative family power or control issues
- Dispelling the myths of conflict-free love
- Identifying and addressing the denial of conflict, such as fight evading
- Ineffective communication, using mixed or double messages
- Guidelines for fighting, making fighting more productive rather than destructive
- Keeping fighting in perspective
- How to effectively compromise followed by a commitment to the compromise
- Sexual dissatisfaction or sexual dysfunction
- Expectations of sexual exclusivity (monogamy, infidelity or extramarital sex)
- Choosing to separate or to divorces: Weighing the alternatives and the effects on children
When two people always agree, there's no need for one of them anyway
BEN BROWN, 54, married thirty-one years
I know you believe you understand what you think I said, but I am not sure you realize that what you hear is not what I meant
How to schedule a couples session?
To schedule an appointment, please contact our office for available times and dates. We will make every effort to work with your schedule depending on availability of appointments. Appointments are available Monday - Friday from 9:00 am to 5:30 pm.
I will meet with the couple for the first appointment. In some cases I will meet with each partner individually for the first appointment. Following the initial appointment and evaluation, we will meet in couples therapy.
Couples and family sessions are 60 to 90 minutes.
After the initial, individual appointments, we will discuss how often we should meet. For some couples it is important to meet weekly, or more than once a week, while for others 2 sessions a month is appropriate. How often we meet may change during the course of therapy.
When should couples seek counseling?