According to the work of researchers Lois Verbrugge and James House, an unhappy marriage can increase your chances of getting sick by roughly 35% and even shorten your life by an average of 4 - 8 years. Unhappy married people often feel physically stressed and emotionally worn out. Our immune system is weak even stopped working when we are stressed. This can cause heart disease, high blood pressure, and psychological troubles, including anxiety, depression, substance abuse, violence, and suicide.
Happily married couples tend to be more health-conscious than others, and remind of each other to have regular checkups, and eat nutritiously. Their immune system is stronger that gives them a better defense against disease.
Marriage is a living thing like the apple tree or roses. If it is not taken care of, it will get sick and eventually die. Timing is an essential element in whether marriage counseling works. Unfortunately, most couples wait much too long to reach out for help repairing their marriage. Couples wait an average of six years of being unhappy before getting help.
How can marriage counseling help couples?
- Identify toxic relationship patterns early, and start the process of real change.
- Help motivated couples to explore their problems from a new perspective and learn new ways to recognize and resolve conflicts as a result of the tools provided by the therapist.
- Begin to build trust and improve communication that may have eroded the quality of their interactions.
- Provide “neutral territory” to help couples agree upon and work through tough issues with support.
- Help couples decide to rebuild their marriage and make a renewed commitment, or clarify the reasons why they need to separate or end the marriage.
Couples therapy is designed to help teach specific tools to deepen friendship and intimacy in your relationship. Most of the work will involve sessions where you will be seen together as a couple. However, there may be times when individual sessions are recommended.
The couples therapy consists of four parts:
- “Phasing Out” of Therapy
Early in the assessment phase, you will be given some written materials to complete that will help me better understand your relationship. In the first session we will talk about the history of your relationship, areas of concern, and goals for treatment.
In the next session, I will meet with you individually to learn each of your personal histories and to give each of you an opportunity to share thoughts, feelings, and perceptions. In the final session of assessment, I will share with you my recommendations for treatment and work to define mutually agreed upon goals for your therapy.
During the treatment phase of the therapy, I will help you productively manage conflicts and improve your communication skills. You will be given methods to manage “resolvable problems” and dialogue about “gridlocked” (or perpetual) issues. We will also work together to help you to appreciate your relationship’s strengths and to gently navigate through its vulnerabilities. I may also give you exercise to practice between sessions.
In the later stage of therapy, we will “phase out” or meet less frequently in order for you to test out new relationship skills and to prepare for termination of the therapy. Although you may terminate therapy whenever you wish, it is most helpful to have at least one session together to summarize progress, define the work that remains, and say good-bye.
Call 778-235-4027 to find out how you can improve your relationship.