Marriage Counseling/Pre-Marriage Couples Counseling

“There is no place for selfishness—and no place for fear! Do not be afraid, then, when love makes demands. Do not be afraid when love requires sacrifice.”  -St. Pope John Paul II

The virtue of hope is vitally important in our relationships. Once the presence of the problem is replaced by hope, what is left is love, joy, and relationship satisfaction.

When working with couples, I remember that the couple was once in love, happy, and very close. They were once at a place where they dreamed together about their future. They planned to love and be together forever. I also know that the couple would like to get back to that place.

As a couples therapist, I am not just a mediator. I function to assist the couple remember who they are. They are still the people they fell in love with. I want the couple to see that the things that originally allowed them to fall in love, are still present.

Often times, the couple has begun paying attention to things that are undesirable which causes more undesirable things to occur. By focusing our attention on what the relationship was like when the individuals were happiest, we begin to see a path that can guide each member of the relationship back to an experience where hope and happiness were present. In creating more hope we open to doorway to possibility. A possibility to a future where there is no problem.

When I work with couples I believe it is incredibly important that we build what is desired. Most therapists working from a traditional model will focus on the “problem” and focus their attention on trying to fix what is wrong.

In focusing our conversation on what is desired, hope can be quickly re-introduced into the relationship. All relationships have unresolvable problems and therefore I do not find it helpful to fix what is wrong. Instead of studying and learning about what is wrong, Solution-Focused therapy directs our conversation to details associated with the solution to the couples distress. I find that this provides much more helpful information.

Details provide a description of the relationship both partners want to experience. In talking about what their relationship will be like without the problem, it becomes clearer on how to turn their vision into reality.