Scheduling an Appointment
To get started, contact our office to schedule an initial consultation appointment. if you are seeking to address issues in your marriage or relationship, it is recommended that both partners attend the initial session, if possible. The initial session will include an in-depth discussion of concerns and options for bringing about needed changes.
Marriage counseling is appropriate for couples who desire to improve their marriage, as well as for couples in which one or both partners are uncertain about their long-term commitment to the relationship. For marriages or relationships that are in conflict, it is common for one or both partners to feel ambivalent about their relationship - only partially invested or skeptical as to whether needed changes are even possible. The counseling process will help each person sort through these issues and consider all options. Marriage counseling in not appropriate when a clear decision has been made by either partner to end the marriage.
It is a common misconception that the goal of marriage counseling is to "save the marriage at all costs." We respect the right and responsibility of each person regarding all major life decisions. It is our job to help clarify issues, bring out the personal agendas and desired goals of each spouse, recognize dysfunctional behaviors and communication patterns, and help the couple make an informed decision regarding the best course of action. For couples who wish to stay together and work on improving the quality of their relationship, marriage counseling or couple therapy can be transformative, leading to a more fulfilling and satisfying relationship.
The Process of Relationship Counseling. The initial phase of therapy, typically consisting or four sessions, helps each spouse gain insights and a context for better understanding the challenges, opportunities, and choices they face in their relationship. We will review options and make recommendations, as appropriate.
For some couples, the initial consultation sessions may be sufficient to adequately address and clarify issues of concern. For other couples, the initial consultation provides a starting point for more extended work over a period of weeks or months.
Discernment Counseling. For a spouse who is unwilling to participate in marriage counseling - but not yet ready to exit the marriage - Discernment Counseling is recommended. Discernment Counseling is a short-term process of individual counseling (one to five sessions) which helps the "undecided spouse" gain greater insight into their relationship problems and possible options. Discernment counseling provides an initial step which may lead to a decision to either leave the marriage, or a commitment to work with their partner to address problem issues and find solutions for a relationship.
Marriage Intensive Therapy - For couples with limited schedule availability who wish to confront issues and transform their marriage in a more focused and rapid manner, Marriage Intensive Therapy may be an option. This MIT format is a one-day intensive therapeutic focus (typically four to six hours) that includes an initial joint consultation and assessment, individual interviews with each partners, followed by a therapeutic intervention session. The MIT takes place in an all-day format, and can be scheduled on a weekend - either in office, in home, or at a remote location. This format brings critical issues into focus, provides specific recommendations for change, and gauges each spouse's commitment to the relationship. This accelerated MIT approach can produce immediate change in a couple's interactions. Please contact Dr. Canfield to discuss your particular circumstances and if the Marriage Intensive Therapy format may be appropriate to your needs and circumstances.