Why get relationship counseling?
Conflicted, fractured, disconnected, or estranged relationships are often a major source of personal pain and suffering. Obtaining relationship counseling can be helpful for changing the trajectory of a dynamic that is veering off-course or that is unsustainable in its current state.
Are you physically, emotionally, and mentally exhausted from caring for a family member?
Are you getting sick more often? Do you feel irritable, blue, or hopeless? Have you withdrawn from friends and family? Do you feel guilty about spending time doing things for yourself?
As airplane passengers, we are instructed to put on our oxygen masks first before assisting others. As caregivers, we are often so busy caring for and trying to fulfill the demands of others that we neglect our own emotional, physical, and spiritual health.
We can help!
We are here to listen to you as you share your concerns. We understand that caregivers may not feel comfortable opening up to family and friends because we also know that it is acceptable to “put on a brave face.”
We can help you sort out and clarify roles, expectations, and demands. We can help you find a path forward that supports your physical and mental health. Not only can we meet with you, be we can also connect you to other local resources that meet your needs—if that is what you desire.
Do you find yourself growing farther and farther apart from your partner or family member?
Has unresolved conflict led you to staying quiet in order to avoid arguing? Are you lonely even though you are in a committed relationship? Does everything that your partner or family member say or do irritate or annoy you?
Can your on-going conflicts as a couple be overcome?
Do you wish that you could just get along and enjoy each other’s company? Are you worried that it’s “too late”? Are you wondering how it would be possible for counseling to help when you’ve tried everything, and nothing has helped? Are you reluctant to share about how bad things have really gotten?
Couples counseling is learning about how “relationship” patterns are set in childhood.
Once you understand how your unique background shape your perspectives, wants, needs, and strategies for navigating relationships, you can strengthen those that are working, identify those that are unhelpful, and learn alternative methods for each person getting their needs met.
You will discover a way to find the strengths in your differences.
You will learn how to stop “assuming,” move away from “absolutes” (i.e., always/never), shift from “winning the argument” to “solving the problem,” and practice using “I” statements for healthier, more constructive discussions.
There is hope that you can feel better, even if your partner or family member is not willing to participate!
One person getting help and learning alternative ways to communicate and cope in healthy ways can have a ripple effect.
Due to the sensitive nature of couple’s counseling, a thorough intake process is in place to determine the safety and appropriateness of couple’s counseling.
Part of the screening process providing information around intimate partner violence, assault and/or arrest history, infidelity issue or concerns, and substance use/abuse status and history.
Potential couple’s clients will also be requested to complete full Releases of Information with:
- any current or past mental health providers,
- substance abuse treatment providers,
- probation agents,
- child protective service workers, and/or
- any other person or entity deemed appropriate to determine appropriateness/safety of couple’s counseling.
Substance Use Assessment:
Clients seeking couple’s counseling who endorse substance use that is harming the relationship and/or daily functioning will be required to obtain a Comprehensive Use Assessment from an outside Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor to assess a possible substance use disorder and recommendation for treatment.
If there is information to support occurrence of acts of domestic abuse, such individuals will be required to show successful completion of a batterer’s intervention program prior to moving forward with any services.
Upon completion of the information gathering process, the information will be jointly reviewed by Wellness Matters staff and a determination made as to whether each member of the couple will be accepted for couple’s counseling.
Persons declined for services will be referred elsewhere to other providers (i.e., Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors, Licensed Family and Marriage Therapists, etc.).
Process for Advancing to Couple’s Counseling:
Wellness Matters recognizes that couple’s counseling can be a highly emotional process.
In order for couple’s counseling to be constructive rather than destructive, it is beneficial for each participant to have a base of information, self-knowledge, and self-management (i.e., ability to manage one’s own feelings and actions) PRIOR to bringing both persons together for joint couple’s therapy sessions.
- All potential “couple’s counseling clients” will begin the process by each person obtaining their own individual Diagnostic Assessment.
- Wellness Matters requires individual therapy until the therapist determines that the person is “ready” for couple’s counseling.
- The focus of the individual therapy includes strengthening understand and demonstrated skills for:
- effective interpersonal communication;
- emotional regulation;
- distress tolerance; and
- mindfulness and awareness of one’s owns thoughts, actions, and feelings.
For more information about Wellness Matters’ therapists, please see About Us – Wellness Matters.