marriage therapy

Finding the Right Relationship Counselor Part 1

Finding the Right Relationship Counselor Part 1

When your relationship is in crisis, it can become an overwhelming task to find someone who you can trust to help. You are feeling hurt, vulnerable, overwhelmed, and are looking for a stranger to care for one of the most precious relationships in your life. When a marriage is on the brink of divorce or facing any difficult situation, it can be hard looking to another party for help. Many of my clients have never been in counseling or therapy before, and they frequently discussed their experiences looking for the right couples or marriage counselor for their relationships. Patterns have emerged from my conversations with them and I wanted to share my thoughts on the topic of finding your own couples/marriage counselor.

Should We Even Attempt Marriage Counseling?

Are you considering marriage or couples therapy, but don't know if it's too late to save your relationship? Often, people don't know if they want to continue in a relationship or if it's time to end things. The decision is just one more thing that you have to do. If you are trying to decide between trying to make things work or ending the relationship, you are not alone.

We know that, on average, problems impact a relationship for six years before a couple seeks outside help. The research also shows that by the time a couple seeks help about 30% of those couples are 'mixed agenda couples'. Mixed agenda couples come into therapy with different goals for the therapy process.  Frequently in these relationships, one person is 'leaning in' (wanting to fix it) and the other is 'leaning out' (not knowing if they even want to work on the relationship). Sometimes you have two people leaning out, unsure if they want to continue. 

If this sounds like your relationship, Discernment Counseling is designed for you.  Discernment Counseling is a chance to slow down, take a breath, and look at goal-oriented options for your relationship. Discernment Counseling is different from typical marriage/relationship therapy in significant ways. While traditional relationship therapy is helpful for couples where both individuals are motivated to work at making changes in the relationship, Discernment Counseling is intended to help with the unique dynamics in the leaning in/out relationship. The therapist will help you decide whether to try to restore your marriage back to health, move toward divorce, or take a time to decide later.  

Unlike typical relationship therapy, Discernment Counseling is short-term and takes place for 1-5 sessions. After each session you will decide if you wish to attend another. The goal is for you to gain clarity and confidence about a direction in your relationship, based on a deeper understanding of your specific situation and its possibilities for the future. The goal is not to solve your marital problems but to see if they are solvable.

The Center for Relationship and Sexual Wellness is pleased to offer this unique, specialized service.  As the only certified Discernment Counselor in North Dakota and greater Minnesota, I can help you explore the relationship paths. To learn more about Discernment Counseling click here or give us a call.

How Much Porn is Too Much Porn?

With the increase in accessibility, affordability, and anonymity of pornography, it has become a hot topic of discussion in relationships.  She says he looks at porn way too much.  He says he looks at porn the same amount as every other guy.

I wanted to share an article written by one of the leaders in couples therapy, Sue Johnson.  She does a nice job of breaking down when it's time to get help for you, or your partner.  If your partner isn't willing to have a discussion about the topic, it still is helpful to talk with someone about your own concerns.  As Susan Johnson discusses in the article "Bond science tells us that feeling shut out and rejected by the person we depend on registers in our brains as much a physical pain. Plus, that rejection is a danger cue that can send us into panic."

If you are concerned about your use of pornography or your partner's use of pornography, we can help!

Marriage Therapy 101

By the time someone calls for marriage therapy, they often have agonized over the decision to go to therapy for months, sometimes years. Research indicates couples wait 6 years after a problem has set in before they seek help. It is important to discuss your questions and concerns about therapy with your potential therapist. In addition, I thought I'd share a quick article that discusses what to expect in marriage therapy.