If any of the following sound familiar as a current or past concern, you are doing the right thing to seek help. At the same time, for many people this is not an easy step.
- marriage conflict, contempt or hate
- retirement marital issues
- poor couples communications
- infidelity/cheating recovery
- angry wife
- cold distant husband
- transitions: family life cycle
- relationship coaching
- alcohol and sexual addiction
- recovering from an affair
- marital sexual concerns/pornography
- loss of trust in relationship
- emotional, sexual or physical abuse
- living like roommates
- feeling out of love with each other
- staying together only for the sake of the children
- feeling alone and misunderstood in the relationship
- extreme circumstantial pressures such as heavy financial or parenting a child with disabilities
- feeling trapped in the marriage, feelings of abandonment
- polarized needs and demands: she wants emotional intimacy and he wants physical intimacy and neither will give in to meet in the middle
- conflict/difficulty over parenting duties
These are a few of the problems and requests couples have brought to me. Although there is no magic formula, we have been able to work together and find solutions.
These have not been miracle cures (although I do believe in miracles). Instead, modern psychotherapy and marriage counseling has advanced and can now provide the insight and skills sets couples need to overcome conflict and other challenges.
The research and expertise of professionals such as Dr. Sue Johnson, Dr. Carl Whitaker and Dr. Daniel J. Siegel have developed effective solution focused strategies and techniques to deal with the most complicated of challenges in modern relationships. These and other evidence-based methods are what I use in my clinical practice.
Because of this, here is hope for your relationship.
I take the confidence of my clients very seriously and use strong measures to protect the content of what we talk about. No one, not even lawyers, will get your information without written permission from you.
My practice is HIPPA compliant, meaning I adhere to the Federal Privacy Rule that protects your confidentiality. I also do not work with insurance companies because they cannot be trusted to protect your personal information from being used against you. (Read more here)
This video was made while I was still practicing in Overland Park, KS several years ago. So, in it I mention “Overland Park”. I am now in Bluffton, SC, but this video will let you know something about my orientation to marriage counseling.
by Paul W. Anderson, Ph.D.
As a family psychologist, I know a loving relationship between two people is a terrible thing to lose. If a financial investment goes sour, it’s possible to get some of your money back. However, once love is invested in a relationship, it can never be retrieved. Relationships are perishable and require regular care for you to not lose your love investment.
Either the relationship continues to work for the couple and provide benefits for them to some degree, or they lose their emotional investment in each other.
I never recommend divorce. Divorce rates are already high enough. Marriage counseling can help you make the make the decision that is right for you.
Although some experts like John Gottman, PhD assert that they are able to identify predictor traits for a divorce in a relationship, I have come to see that in actual life, it is always up to the couple themselves. Nothing can override the efforts of a couple who works together to use the proven skills of managing communications and relationship dynamics.
I have seen people hang onto relationships that looked miserable to me. On the other side of things, I have worked with couples who had great things going in their marriage, yet they amicably shook hands and agreed to call it quits. What a couple does with their relationship, between consenting adults, is their business and up to them. I work to help couples go where they want to be, solve the problems they ask me to help them deal with.
Do couples or marriages with problems need traditional counseling?
Trouble in relationships does not mean the people involved are sick. It means they need a better idea of what intimate relationships are really all about. Many distressed couples simply need an education about what does works in a relationship, what a healthy interaction looks and sounds like.
The couple needs new tools and strategies to manage marriage or partner relationships in a modern world full of serious challenges. When I say tools I mean ways to manage strong negative emotion, communication skills and the abilities to negotiate compromises.
With a new vision and the skills and tools to achieve that vision, the couple will bring new and better results into their lives, as described by Sheri Stritof. Their relationship is strengthened and intimate joy again experienced.
There are, however, some medical conditions such as alcoholism and other chronic diseases which do impair the quality of life between a couple. Those must be recognized and dealt with before a relationship can focus on it’s strengths and use new skills and tools to improve. I can help you with illness of substance abuse.
How much does couples therapy or marriage counseling cost in Bluffton, SC?
Often couples wait until they are at their wits end to call me for their first appointment and get started with marriage counseling. Along with wondering if I’m going to recommend a divorce, the couple involved in counseling is concerned about the cost.
A counter question is, “What is the cost of not getting help once the couple becomes stuck and unable to guide the relationship in the right direction?” In this question, the word “cost” is probably first used to refer to finances and the therapists fees. There are, however, many costs to making a relationship better. It costs time. It costs tolerance and patience and it costs an open mind to learn how to use modern techniques for marriage.
My fee is $150.00 per session. I offer discount packages of up to 25% with advanced purchase.
What to expect from marriage counseling with me?
I provide an emotionally safe place where you and your partner can freely discuss sensitive topics. My job is not to judge, criticize or gang up on one of you as if you’re more to blame for the problems in the relationship and your partner.
Marriage counseling and life coaching can help you feel emotionally safer and trusting with your partner, more open in exploring hot topics with him or her. You will develop skill sets that result in compromises both can live with rather than escalating conflicts.
Come prepared with an open mind, trust your counselor and do the best you can to try out new ways of thinking. Be willing to practice the communication and interpersonal skills your coach or counselor recommends to you in your work together. Do the suggested homework, understanding that marriage counseling encourages practice to build new relationship skills.