Insight-Oriented Couples Counseling Marital Therapy Fertility and Family Planning
Martin H. Klein, Ph.D. Clinical Psychologist Serving The Westport and Fairfield Connecticut Communities
Communication Friendship Family Intimacy
Is Your Relationship on the Rocks? Your partner comes home from work, makes a beeline for the liquor cabinet and then sulks off silently. You haven't had a real conversation for weeks. A few arguments over money or late nights out, sure, but no heart-to-hearts. Sex? What's that? You are feeling alone, angry and frustrated. Your relationship is on the rocks, and you both know it. But you aren't sure how to fix things -- or if you really want to fix it.
It may be time for couples counseling. Couples counseling can help you rebuild your relationship. Or decide that you'll both be better off if you split up. Either way, couples counseling can help you understand your relationship better and make well thought out decisions.
Do You Communicate and Know How to Resolve Conflicts? Couples counseling (also called marriage therapy) helps couples (married or not, straight or LGBT) understand and resolve conflicts and improves their relationship. Couples counseling gives couples the tools to communicate better, negotiate differences, problem solve and even argue in a healthier way.
Do You Value Each Other's Views and Opinions? Marriages and other relationships aren't perfect. Each person brings his or her own ideas, values, opinions and personal history into a relationship, and they don't always match their partner's. Those differences don't necessarily mean your relationship is bound for conflict. To the contrary, differences can be complementary — you know the saying about opposites attracting. These differences can also help people understand, respect and accept opposing views and cultures.
Do You Spend Quality Time Together? But relationships can be tested. Differences or habits that you once found endearing may grate on your nerves after time together. Sometimes specific issues, such as an extramarital affair or loss of sexual attraction, trigger problems in a relationship. Other times, there's a gradual disintegration of communication and caring. Having a family can be stressful on a relationship. The quality time you now have to spend with each other is limited and the amount of time and energy required to take care of your kids can be exhausting. Driving your kids to soccer practice or endless play dates can leave you feeling stuck, frustrated and alone.
No matter the cause, distress in a relationship can create undue stress, tension, sadness, worry, fear and other problems. You may hope your relationship troubles just go away on their own. But left to fester, a bad relationship may only worsen and eventually lead to physical or psychological problems, such as depression. A bad relationship can also create problems on the job and affect other family members or even friendships as people feel compelled to take sides.
Do you Want to Strengthen Your Bond and Be In Union? You don't need to have a troubled relationship to seek therapy. Couple counseling can also help couples who simply want to strengthen their bonds and gain a better understanding of each other. Couple counseling can also help couples who plan to get married. This pre-marriage counseling can help you achieve a deeper understanding of each other and iron out differences before a union is sealed.
Couple counseling typically brings couples or partners together for joint therapy sessions. The psychologist helps couples pinpoint and understand the sources of their conflicts and try to resolve them. You and your partner will analyze both the good and bad parts of your relationship. You will get a better understanding of the external influences and family dynamics that play a role in shaping your relationship and causing the dysfunctional interactions.
Couples counseling can help you learn skills to solidify your relationship. These skills may include communicating openly, problem solving together and discussing differences rationally.
Why Choose An Insight-oriented Couples Counseling Approach? Couples counseling can sometimes feel like a tennis match. Couples arguing back and forth, volleying for their point of view. A therapist, however, is not a referee. It is not the job of the psychologist to determine who is right or wrong or resolve a dispute by compromise. Conflict resolution is the technique used in mediation where an arbiter assists the couple to negotiate the terms of a settlement. A settlement is something that is acceptable when you are getting a divorce, not when you are planning to stay together. To settle and sacrifice your needs for the sake of the relationship can only lead to further resentment, conflict and contempt. It is counterproductive. To stick with the tennis analogy, couples counseling does not lead to “Love” just because the participants both agree to being “at fault.”
Taking sides in couples counseling is a big mistake. What is important in insight-oriented couples counseling is for the psychologist to assist both partners to develop the ego strength to see outside their own personal assumptions and begin to understand the perspective of the other and how it relates to the dynamics of the relationship. A seasoned therapist knows the focus in working with a couple must be on insight and transformation, not on who is right or wrong.
He help couples pinpoint and understand the sources of their conflicts. He works with you to achieve a better understanding of the external influences and family dynamics that play a role in shaping your relationship and cause dysfunctional interactions. He assists you in developing new strategies to solidify your relationship and regain trust and intimacy. The work will include learning how to openly communicate, problem solve and develop new productive ways to discuss, understand and accept individual differences.
The goal of couples therapy is to learn to see your significant other in a new way, based upon insight and knowledge and not the blind subconscious forces we sometimes mistake for attraction and love.
Dr. Klein specializes in couples counseling and has helped hundreds of couples improve their relationship in terms of communication and intimacy. He helps couples reignite the spark they once had and re-experience the chemistry that they have lost over the years, but is the very reason they got together in the first place.