Scheduling an Initial Consultation Session
To get started, contact our office to schedule an initial consultation appointment. if you are seeking to address issues in your marriage or relationship, both partners should attend the initial consultation session. The initial consultation will provide an in-depth assessment of concerns and strategies for bringing about needed change.
Marriage Counseling is a process in which the therapist works with a couple to address concerns and develop a specific strategy 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. One, or both, partners may only be 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 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 may 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.
The Format Therapy. The initial consultation phase of therapy, typically consisting or four sessions, helps a couple and each spouse to gain greater clarity and a context for better understanding the challenges and opportunities they face in their relationship. The therapist will review options and make recommendations regarding further therapy, if needed. The consultation phase of couple therapy, typically takes place over a period of 3-4 weeks.
For some couples, the initial consultation sessions may be sufficient to adequately address and resolve issues of concern. For other couples, the initial consultation provides a starting point for more extended work taking place over a period of several months.
Discernment Counseling. For a spouse 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 partner to address problem issues and find solutions to build a better marriage or relationship.
Marriage Intensive Therapy - For couples with limited schedule availability who wish to confront issues and transform their marriage in the most focused and rapid manner possible, Marriage Intensive Therapy is an option. This MIT format ia one-day intensive therapeutic focus (5-6 hours) that includes an initial assessment, individual interviews with both partners, and an extended therapeutic session. The MIT typically takes place all-day, typically on a Friday or Saturday. This therapeutic intervention format brings critical issues into focus, presents specific recommendations for change, and reinforces the couple's commitment to the relationship. This intensive approach often results 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.