What Happens in Counseling?
After we speak on the phone and set an appointment, I will email
you paperwork - a LOT of paperwork. The paperwork includes brief
personal history, some assessments to identify personality
traits, strengths, and stresses, as well as Gottman Institute
questionnaires. After a session or two, I will use the information
to develop a report for you, including strengths, recommended areas of
focus, and specific suggestions for our work together. The
work, though, starts at once, and you can expect to have "homework"
of some kind at every session. The focus will be on the patterns of
behaviors that create problems for you. By focusing our work and
having "homework" between sessions, you can get the most progress
with the least sessions. Research from the Gottman Institute,
for example, indicates that couples who really work on their homework and in
session can make significant improvements in their relationship in as few as
six sessions spread out over six months!
For couples, I prefer to implement methods and materials from the
Gottman Institute. This includes lengthy questionnaires that give me insights
into the strengths, disappointments, hopes and dreams of you as a couple, as
well as targeted interventions, based on research, to overcome specific
patterns of problems in relationships.
While I have taken training in the Gottman Method of couples
therapy, I want you to know that I am completely independent in providing you
with clinical services, and I alone am fully responsible for those services.
The Gottman Institute or its agents have no responsibility for the services you
Couple & Family Therapy
Marriage, Couple and Family
Therapy are ways to address communication problems, conflict, infidelity,
relationship burnout, parenting concerns, blended families, and premarital
Did you know that the American Association for Marriage &
Family Therapy now estimates that on average, couples postpone counseling for
about 5+ years before seeking counseling? While it makes sense to see if
minor problems will just iron themselves out - as so many things in life do! -
repetitive patterns become more entrenched over time. I think a lot of people
are afraid that getting counseling means the next step is separation or
divorce, or they are afraid of being criticized or blamed. So, even though they
are suffering, they postpone making a call.
Counseling can, and should, make things better. No one should
feel shamed or blamed.
How do we know if we need counseling?
If you are having the same arguments over and over...if you feel helpless to make things better...perhaps even if you're asking the question.
There are certain times in relationships that are difficult for many people. These include:
The "post-honeymoon" period - about two years after the formal commitment of a couple
The first five years after the first child is born - always a time of such adjustment, so many changes in routine, expenses, and extended family's behavior! Many people are unnecessarily embarrassed about how difficult this also-joyful time of life can be - it's normal to feel like everything's different.
Major changes in career or health, such as retirement, end of active-duty military career, or returning to school. These are all happy times of life, but the adjustment phase can take a year or more and can drastically alter the family routine.
Life phases: the empty nest, for example. Research points to it being a very happy time, but sometimes people have difficulty redefining and reconnecting with one another after the kids leave home.
Children coping with divorce
Times of grief
Times of change
Pre- and post-deployment adjustments
Parenting challenges - I am a presenter for Love and Logic Parenting
With many years of experience in school-based counseling, I have worked with many children and their families. I hope I can help your family in times of challenge.