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 session. The initial consultation session will include an in-depth discussion of concerns and recommendations for bringing about needed changes.
Marriage Counseling is a process in which the therapist works with a couple to address concerns and develop a specific strategy for needed change. Marriage counseling is appropriate for couples who express a desire to remain in the marriage, as well as for couples in which one or both partners are uncertain about their long-term commitment to the relationship, may only be partially invested, or skeptical as to whether 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." We respect the right and responsibility of each person regarding any 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 can be transformative, leading to a more fulfilling and satisfying relationship.
The Process of Therapy. The initial phase of therapy, typically consisting or four sessions, helps each spouse gain greater clarity and a context for better understanding the challenges, opportunities, and the choices they face in their relationship. We will review options and make recommendations, as appropriate. The consultation phase of couple therapy, typically takes place over a period of several weeks.
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.
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 decision to either leave the marriage, or 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 a more focused and rapid manner, Marriage Intensive Therapy may be an option. This MIT format ia one-day intensive therapeutic focus (typically five to six hours) that includes an initial joint consultation and assessment, individual interviews with each partners, followed by 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, provides specific recommendations for change, and reinforces the couple's commitment to the relationship. This MIT 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.