Relationship - Marriage Counseling
For one human being to love another; that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks, the ultimate, the last test and proof, the work for which all other work is but preparation.
Rainer Maria Rilke
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Relationship counseling involves much more than simply improving communication skills or developing better ways of arguing.
In my practice I utilize two authorities in particular: Harville Hendricks PhD who describes the Imago therapy in his book on the unconscious marriage called Getting The Love You Want and John Gottman who wrote with Nan Silva, The Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work.
I have found in working with couples that more than anything it is an educational process. The working dynamics of relationships is a complicated matter. People are not only different in genders, sometimes not, but bring into the relationship their own individual personalities as well as baggage from their past which many times interferes in the relationship.
Many couples find after the "glow" fades that what they find themselves in is a very unhappy relationship with someone they really don't know. Or, worse, they think they know all there is to know about their spouse and do not think they will ever change.
Very dysfunctional and even toxic relationships develop that are very stressful and damaging to one's physical health.
Once the problems are clearly defined and action plans are made, there are definitely many things that can be done to improve and heal marriages. In my experience, this is a great possibility.
What to expect in relationship counseling
Usually, the first visit includes both partners and then each individually for the next sessions. Then after complete assessment, a third session occurs in which an action plan is developed. I have found this to be a highly effective way to work with the important issues.
The complexity of relationshipsM
In the April 2010 issue of Psychology today. the front page article was on the complexity of relationships. "By age 35, 10 percent of American women have lived with three or more husbands or domestic partners" which is an excerpt from a book by Andrew J. Cherlin called The Marriage Go-Round: The State of Marriage and the Family in America Today. He states further, "Children of married parents in America face a higher risk of seeing them break up than children born of unmarried parents in Sweden." The unfortunate problem now days is that marriages are discarded often before the partners know what hit them. Some more interesting statistics; 45-50% divorce after the first marriage; 60-67% divorce after the second marriage; 70-73% divorce after the third marriage.