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Solutions for a better relationship
Woman Being Free

Marriage Counseling and Couples Therapy

Getting Started - Scheduling an Initial Consultation Session
To begin the process, contact our office to schedule an initial consultation appointment.  It is recommendated that both partners attend this initial session.

Marriage Counseling is a process in which the therapist works with a couple to address concerns and develop a specific plan for improving their relationship.  Marriage counseling is appropriate for couples when both partners express a desire to remain in the marriage, as well as for couples in which one, or both partners are uncertain about their commitment to remain in the relationship - only partially invested or skeptical as to whether needed change is possible. Marriage counseling in not appropriate when a clear decision has been made by either spouse to end the marriage. It is a common misconception that the goal of marriage counseling is to "save the marriage at all costs."  An ethical therapist respects the right and responsibility of each person regarding major life decisions. It is the job of the marriage counselor to help clarify issues, bring out the personal agendas and the goals of each spouse, recognize dysfunctional behaviors and communication patterns, and help the couple make an informed decision regarding the best course of action to bring about needed changes. For couples who wish to stay together and work on improving the quality of their relationship, marriage counseling can be transformative, leading to a more fulfilling and satisfying relationship.

Marriage Consultation - is an initial in-office session - typically 90 minutes to two hours in length - designed to help a couple gain greater clarity and a context for better understanding the challenges and opportunities they face in their relationship. It is recommended that both spouses attend the initial consultation session so that all perspectives can be discussed.  At the end of the session, the therapist will review options and make recommendations - typically providing specific suggestions for bringing about immediate change.  For some couples, the consultation session is adequate to meet the needs of the couple - for other couples the consultation provides a starting point for more extensive work, which may involve on-going therapy sessions over a period of weeks or several months. 

Discernment Counseling.  For a husband or wife who is unwilling to participate in marriage counseling - but not yet ready to end 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 marital situation and options. Discernment counseling provides an initial step which may lead to a commitment to work with their spouse to address problem issues and find solutions to build a better marriage.

Marriage Intensive Therapy - For couples who wish to confront issues and transform their marriage in the most focused and rapid manner possible, Marriage Intensive Therapy provides an appropriate treatment option.  This format provides a one-day intensive therapeutic process (5-6 hours) - typically taking place on a Friday or Saturday). This therapeutic intervention format brings critical issues into focus - often resulting in immediate and sustained changes 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.


Helpful Forms

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