Conflict is inevitable in every marriage and relationship. While most couples are able to resolve or manage “day-to-day” conflict through their own efforts and resources, when a problem persists, or when a couple is confronted with an issue that is overwhelming, professional help is needed.
Finding solutions to relationship problems is often more challenging for people in certain professions. Admitting that help is needed and heightened concerns about privacy and confidentiality can make it particularly difficult for medical professionals to ask for assistance. Intelligence, education, and proficiency in one’s own professional work provides no immunity to marital discord and other relationship concerns.
Issues with which many couples struggle include conflict over money and finances, competing work and family demands, issues with in-laws and other family members, parenting concerns, sexual dissatisfaction and intimacy issues, lack of trust, poor communication, emotional detachment, escalating conflict, and infidelity or the suspicion of infidelity. However, research indicates that with professional support, couples who make a commitment to improving their relationship are very often able to successfully resolve problem issues and build a more satisfying marriage or relationship.
Our approach to marriage counseling and couples therapy differs from other approaches, and offers some distinct advantages:
- We employ the most current research and proven clinical methods and intervention strategies. We work with couples who are mutually committed to improving their marriage, as well as couples in which one or both partners are uncertain about the future of their relationship. Through counseling, each partner is able to gain greater insight and clarity needed to make an informed commitment decision about the future of their relationship. We work actively with couples is a supportive, non-judgmental, and collaborative setting to bring about desired changes.
- We utilize a dyadic-based cybernetic approach to marriage counseling that is “resource based” rather than “pathology based.” While a co-occurring mental disorder, or substance abuse problem, may occasionally be present in one or both partners, for the vast majority of couples, marital and relationship problems stem from dysfunctional relationship experiences or differing expectations and priorities - not mental illness. We find that attaching a DSMV diagnostic label to one or both spouses – routine practice in most clinical settings in order to secure medical insurance payment for services - is rarely appropriate in counseling or helpful in stabilizing and improving a marriage or relationship. In addition to the dubious ethical practice of “pathologizing” relationship conflict, diagnostic labels stigmatize and often confound a couple’s efforts to effectively negotiate relationship issues and find meaningful solutions to issues of concern.
- Our professional services are provided on a “direct pay” basis. As such, insurance companies are not involved and no mental disorder diagnostic label is attached to either partner and retained in any medical information data base. This approach insures the highest possible level of ethical practice, privacy, and confidentiality.
To discuss how we may be of help to you and your spouse or partner, please contact our office. We are here to help.
About Dr. Brian S. Canfield, LMFT
Dr. Brian S. Canfield, LMFT specializes in marriage counseling and couples therapy. As a licensed marriage and family therapist (Louisiana & Florida) and licensed psychologist (Arkansas), he has more than thirty years of experience helping couples gain new insight and skills for improving their relationship.
Dr. Canfield is an internationally recognized therapist in the field of marriage and family counseling. In addition to his clinical practice, Dr. Canfield holds appointment as Professor of Clinical Mental Health Counseling at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Florida. He has worked with more than 2,500 couples over the past three decades and has provided clinical training to mental health professionals throughout the United States and internationally in eighteen countries. His research in “applied cybernetics,” “dyadic-based therapy,” and “work and family conflict” are widely cited in the professional literature. Dr. Canfield is the recipient of several prestigious awards, including the “Leadership, Vision, and Professional Excellence Award” of the Australian Cultural Family Therapy Association, the Florida Counseling Association “2016 Advocate of the Year Award”, and the “Lifetime Achievement Award” of the Louisiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy. Dr. Canfield is a past president of the International Association for Marriage and Family Counselors, and a Fellow and Past President of the American Counseling Association.
Dr. Canfield maintains clinical offices in Bossier City, Louisiana and Fort Lauderdale, Florida. You may reach Dr. Canfield directly via email at [email protected],or on his cell phone at 985-974-8405.