Read through the Quick Assessment at the Right to think about some common struggles with married or non-married couples that can be resolved through good marriage counseling.
Many couples experience certain persistent conflicts, such as physical intimacy issues or financial disagreements, which seem to resist resolution. It is not uncommon for a couple that seems comfortable and satisfied in most respects of their relationship to complain of some particular area where they feel stuck.
Typically, in such cases, these seemingly isolated areas of conflict are discovered to be more pervasive or complex than originally perceived. Sexual issues, for instance, may be tied to longstanding tensions regarding male and female roles, financial matters, or in-laws. By the same token, if a couple experiences difficulty in communication, for example, those same conflicts may underlie other close interpersonal relationships. Issues with one's employer may parallel issues with one's romantic partner. Power struggles with one's children or parents may mirror conflicts with one's spouse. Often times somewhat minor issues in the beginning of a relationship turn into higher degrees of conflict over time.
When scheduling an initial consultation for couples counseling, the best approach is to come to the initial session together. The counselor will often want to meet with each person individually to gain a more complete picture of the reported issues. Alternatively, one member of the couple comes to the first appointment alone. It is recommended in this situation that both individuals attend the second session, but the person who wasn't present in the first session might spend the majority of that second session with the counselor.
It is often asked how the clinical records are maintained with conjoint (two people present) counseling. From the counselor's perspective it really doesn't matter. Each clinical record can only represent one person. Most of the time the couple chooses who fills out the paperwork, which determines which name goes on the chart. Sometimes, it comes down to which person has the insurance coverage for the counseling. If the member of the couple who is not named on the chart attends a session by himself/herself, unfortunately he/she is required to fill out their own set of initial paperwork.
Even though only one person is listed on the chart, if there is ever a need to have the clinical records released from our office, it is required that both individuals must sign an Authorization to Release Information form.
Many couples experience feelings of isolation, disconnect, and frustration for many years before they become "desperate" and make a couples counseling appointment. Unfortunately, sometimes they wait too long and the overwhelming hurt or distrust in the relationship keeps them from believing change is possible.
Like most problems, addressing and correcting them early is much easier than after they have grown to a dominant force in the relationship. Call and schedule an appointment today and start working on some realistic goals for where your relationship can be.