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Marriage / Relationship
Relationships >> Marriage / Relationship Therapy

MARRIAGE / RELATIONSHIP THERAPY
All couples have conflicts or disagreements at times. The difference between a happily married (or otherwise committed) couple and an unhappy union most frequently involves the ability to discuss and resolve those differences in a positive manner that respects the interests and needs of each individual.

Common unhealthy, damaging relationship communications usually include such interactions as:
  • Hostility, or verbal or physical attacks on the other person
  • Put-downs, name-calling or other contempt for the partner
  • Dragging old information or experiences into a current argument
  • Defensive responses
  • Withdrawal from a disagreement
  • Escalating negativity in the relationship
Some therapists have specialized training in marriage counseling. A marriage counselor usually sees both members of the couple together, though some will occasionally also see each person individually. The goals of a marriage or relationship counselor are generally to help the couple:
  • Improve communication patterns
  • Develop empathic, active listening skills
  • Improve problem-solving skills
  • Resolve conflicts in ways that meet the needs of both partners
  • Explore ways for old wounds (from this or previous relationships) to be healed
  • If possible, find ways to stay together in a positive and mutually satisfying relationship
  • If not possible to stay together, then to separate in a healthy and respectful way
Jaelline Jaffe, Ph.D., and Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., contributed to this article. Last modified on: 2/02/07.

Reprinted with permission from http://www.helpguide.org/. C 2008 Helpguide.org. All rights reserved.

You can find the original article at
http://www.helpguide.org/mental/psychotherapy_relationship_
marriage_counseling.htm


SOURCE: www.helpguide.org

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