For many people considering marriage therapy, individuals and couples are often plagued with similar questions such as…How can a stranger help us? If I can’t talk to my spouse at home, what makes you think I can do it in front of someone else? What if too much damage has been done? Is there even hope for us?
How can a stranger help us?: At first glance the therapist is considered a stranger, but ultimately the third party individual is a trained professional working to build trust with the couple and create a safe environment for both parties to participate. The therapist is there to treat the relationship and not the individuals separately. Their goal is to guide and set the framework as the couple does the work to promote change.
If I can’t talk to my spouse at home, what makes you think I can do it front of someone else?: Every couple reports to session with topical issues stemming from children, family, intimacy, infidelity, finances, and more. Regardless of what brings the couple to session the specific content is not the primary focus. The goal of couple’s therapy is to identify the process that will repair the relationship, rather than continuing to keep the couple in a destructive pattern focused on a specific topic. Couples will be given the tools to identify needs, communicate, process, and implement change as they work through each topical issue in their daily life.
What if too much damage has been done?: When one or both individuals have been wounded by infidelity or unable to forgive the past, the couple often remains stuck in a pattern of pain. A common misconception is that forgiveness means giving permission to what the other person did. Forgiveness is not forgetting, but it is a delicate process that unlocks the complacency of stuck within the relationship. Marriage therapy creates a process for healing from past wounds. It looks different for each couple, but the desire is to bring restoration to the places of pain.
Is there even hope for us? Last but not least, there is always hope and the possibility to promote change within a marriage. By no means does this change come easily or with a wave of a magic wand, but the changes comes from the commitment between the couple. The process begins when both individuals are able to reflect on their own internal issues, identify their personal need for change, and begin to gain a deeper understanding for connection. Showing up to therapy is a huge step representing some degree of commitment to one another.
What should we expect from counseling with CrossWinds? CrossWinds couples counseling brings a married, engaged, dating, or partnered couple together with a counselor who will provide them with the tools to address and manage areas of conflict or dissatisfaction in relationship. A counselor works collaboratively with the couple to determine a course of action designed to meet their unique needs with the ultimate goal of improved communication and conflict resolution. To make an appointment, call CrossWinds at 620-343-221 or request an appointment online.
Joey McLaughlin M.S., Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist
CrossWinds Counseling and Wellness