MARITAL COUNSELING

Could You Benefit from Marriage Counseling?
Discover the Hidden Power in Your Relationship

marriage counseling atlanta

Marriage is beautiful and fulfilling for many people. Those of us who are fortunate enough to find someone special and eventually get married understand this. But what happens when two good people just can’t seem to make things work? When the challenges of life overwhelm us and start to negatively affect our partner, where can we go for help? Most of us need the love and companionship of another person; it makes life more rewarding to share the experience. But when troubles escalate and you’ve tried unsuccessfully to resolve issues on your own, this may be a sign that outside counseling is a good idea.

When is it appropriate to consider couples therapy? When separation or divorce is being considered, when domestic violence exists, when communication is challenging or when sex has lost its sizzle. Some wait too long to seek help. That is why just your partner expressing a need for marriage counseling is a good time to seek help. Certainly when there is suspicion or knowledge of an affair, a professional should be consulted. Even when you are not sure you are in love any more but want to make sure you have given the marriage every chance to succeed, Dr. Phillips can guide you.

Dr. Phillips has helped thousands of couples with marriage counseling. When he first meets you, he’ll discuss your motivation and the degree of commitment to each other. If there are abusive or other destructive behaviors occurring, he’ll help you. He’ll also identify the positive and not-so-positive impact both spouses have on the marriage.

Some Goals of Marriage Counseling with Dr. Phillips

  • Understanding what great couples look like and why they have positive relationships
  • Increasing routine “attachment” behaviors – stop “going through the motions”
  • Understanding the unintended consequences of ineffective spousal acts
  • Replacing compulsive childlike reactions with deliberate constructive ones
  • Replacing fault finding with personal accountability by discussing and resolving potential self esteem and insecurity issues
  • Learning the rules of constructive arguing and acquiring re-attachment skills after the quarrel
  • Learning the anatomy of a mutual apology
  • Replacing a complaint with a request
  • Changing the focus from receiving to giving
  • Learning how to navigate the relatives
  • Consulting and informing versus asking for permission
  • Letting go of the key marital fears and replacing them with the realistic beliefs of commitment and love
  • Appropriately handling opposite gender friends

 

Generally, couples meet together with Dr. Phillips for 55 minutes. Some of the weekly sessions are spent on difficult moments the couple may have had. Specific suggestions are made as to how they could be handled better. Couples practice constructive negotiation and working through problems with Dr. Phillips supervision. The goals of marriage counseling (examples listed above) provide the basis for interventions by Dr. Phillips during the sessions. The timing and emphasis of these interventions are tailored to each couple. Most couples have improvements in their relationship from the onset of their work with Dr. Phillips.

Prior to relationship therapy, many couples find themselves locked into some predictable patterns. Some live like warring adversaries (aggressive vs. aggressive). Others reside like roommates in a sexless union following their individual interests (passive – passive). Still others are like conquerors and the conquered (aggressive – passive). Dr. Phillips helps them untangle these unrewarding gridlocks.

In average circumstances, couples do have moments of connectedness but the idea of soul mates seems like an unreachable fantasy. But by learning how to resolve conflict, take responsibility, apologize and to “see” and understand what is happening, they can gradually move into longer periods of connectedness and experience more emotional intimacy.