Category: Couples Therapy

Four Issues to Talk About in Premarital Therapy

People in this country are waiting longer than ever before to get married.  Since living together and potentially having children without being married is socially acceptable in most parts of the country now, some people are seeing very little reason to married at all.

Premarital Therapy Strengthens Communication

When people are planning to get married, particularly younger people, it may be a good idea for them to take part in premarital therapy.  It can be an incredibly helpful tool in getting couples to talk through many of the issues that they will encounter during marriage.  Talking through some of these issues in premarital therapy can help couples be able to deal better when the situation arises.

Issue #1 Life Long Goals

You are both adults.  That means that you have probably made some plans with your future.  These plans can include things about careers, family, things you would like to do, or places you would like to go.  This is the time for sharing some of those goals to find out if they are things that you can be doing together, things that you will need to do separately, or things that neither one of you can live with.  If the goals of one member of the couple are to settle down, have a family, buy a house etc. and the goals of the other member of the couple are to spend his or her life traveling all the time and do not including a family then you have something to discuss.  These differences do not mean that one or the other of you has to completely give up on a dream, and they do not mean that you cannot be together, but having these conversations now may save you some heartache later on.

Issue #2 Mutual Expectations

The questions to address here are usually things like ‘What kind of emotional support do you expect during the good times and during the bad times?’ or ‘Do you have some specific needs in order to be happy?’.  This is the time to talk about anything that you expect from your partner.  Your expectations could be in relationship to small things like that you think the dishes should be done right after dinner, or they could be in relationship to big things like career opportunities and child care obligations.  You may be expecting something from your partner that he or she has no idea about.  This is the time to discuss those issues.

Issue #3 Money Management

Money is the #1 reason why couples fight.  Making a handful of decisions about how money will be managed and having an honest conversation about it now may help some in the future.  You will need to make decisions about whether you will have joint bank accounts or separate, how you will decide on bigger purchases like a car or a house, who will be paying the bills and keeping an eye on your financial health, or what will happen when one of you is making more money than the other.  If you are planning to have children, you will need to discuss how you plan on providing for their futures and how the family’s money will work if one of you is going to be staying home with that child.  You may also want to discuss making plans for saving money or contributing to a retirement accounts, college funds, or vacation funds.  While these questions may not seem important now, they will be important in the future.

Issue #4 Conflict Management

All marriages have a certain amount of conflict.  It is completely normal for you to fight sometimes.  But you may want to come up with a mutually agreed upon way to discuss these conflicts before you really start to have them.  You will need to talk about what feels the most comfortable for you when your partner is upset, and also what you can do that will make your partner more comfortable.  You may want to come up with a way to present things that are bothering you that is not confrontational or judgmental but rather productive and approached in the interest of solving the problem rather than placing blame.

All of these issues are things that can be discussed during premarital therapy.  Every issue that couples can work out and set expectations for before they get married will help avoid some of the typical conflicts that can arise throughout a lifetime together.

Seven Commonly Asked Questions in Couples Counseling

The idea of couples counseling may seem daunting.  According to Purdue University’s Couple and Family Therapy Center, getting your partner to agree to go is the most difficult part of couples counseling.  Once you get over the first hurdle, you can start down the road to real healing.  There are quite a few things that will likely come up in couples therapy that you and your partner may want to discuss beforehand.  If they are difficult or quite possibly the reason that you are seeking couples therapy in the first place, then you may want to give your partner this list of questions so that he or she can think about them.  You will want to take some time to think about them as well.

1. What are our biggest issues?

The things that are important to one member of a couple may not be the same as the things that are important to the other member of the couple.  There is always going to some conflict when you are in a relationship, but agreeing on major points or being able to compromise on major points mitigates some of the potential conflict.  During counseling, you will explore the biggest issues that the two of you have and try to find ways to work through them.  In order to find solutions to your problems, you and your therapist will need to know what the problems are.

2. Are you going through a bad phase?

All relationships have good phases and bad phases.  Sometimes both partners are having a difficult time or sometimes it is just one.  Either way, think about the issues behind what you are currently going through.  Are these issues that can be overcome or are they bigger than the relationship can handle?

3. How do you really feel about the relationship?

Dig deep and think hard on how you feel about your relationship.  You may feel like it is too late and nothing can be done to save it, but your partner may feel like it is worth saving.  Since you and your partner have made it to counseling, there is likely enough of a relationship left to work on.  But you have to think about what you really want and you have to find out what your partner really wants out of the relationship.  If you are on the same page, then there is something there to work on.

4. Do you trust your partner?

The strongest relationships are built on trust.  It is one of the most important factors for being able to stay together in the long term.  If you feel that you cannot trust your partner, or he or she feels that you cannot be trusted, there still may be hope.  Whatever has causes this mistrust may need to be forgiven.   If you cannot immediately say that you trust your partner, take some time to think about why.  Think about what your partner may be able to do to win back your trust.

5. What are your couples therapy expectations?

Take the time to think about what you want to get out of counseling and encourage you partner to do the same.  If you both go into counseling with the same hopes of making your marriage stronger and learning to connect on a different level then there is a good chance that you will come away with those things.

6. Are there past conflicts that need to be worked out?

It is nearly impossible to move forward if one or both of you carry anger and resentment toward the other one.  The past will continue to come up in future arguments.  It is very difficult to remain close to someone if you are still angry about something that happened in the past.  Bring up these past unresolved angers in counseling.  They will need to be worked out before you can move forward.

7. Do you feel accepted for the person that you are?

There are going to be things about you that you partner does not like. There are going to be things about your partner that you do not like.  There is not rule saying that you have to like everything about someone all the time.  However, to be in a solid relationship, you do have to accept your partner as the person that he or she is.  Thinking that you are going to be able to control and manipulate him or her into being what you want is unrealistic.  If your partner is an introvert, he or she is going to have different needs than if he or she were an extrovert.  You do not have to completely understand his or her behavior or requests, but you do need to be accepting, loving, and supportive of the things that are in his or her nature.

How to Find a Couples Therapist in Boca Raton

Every type of couple, regardless of age, race, religion, length of relationship, etc., has experienced some degree of stress in their relationship.  Many of these couples attempt to cope with this stress on their own and find a great deal of success, strengthening their relationships in the process and moving forward.  Others find difficulty due to the type or intensity of the stressor.   It is often at this time that they seek the guidance of a Couples Therapist in Boca Raton to help.

Finding a Couples Therapist in Boca Raton can be a daunting task.  How will a couple know if the Couples Therapist in Boca Raton they choose will actually help?  Where should the search begin?  Should they ask family or other trusted resources for recommendations or would they prefer to keep their decision to seek counseling confidential?  Well, there are a few ways to stack the odds in your favor and make the most educated choice possible.

Ideally, couples should search for a Couples Therapist in Boca Raton together, using a “team effort.”  This way, each partner feels they have a say in the decision and therefore, will be less likely to feel as if their therapy experience will be unbalanced in some way.  Next, couples should consider the education, credentials, background and experience of their chosen Couples Therapist in Boca Raton.  This can usually be found on the therapist’s website or simply by calling the Couples Therapist in Boca Raton and directly asking them to provide this information.  Your therapist should have a minimum of a master’s degree within the discipline of mental health and be state licensed, but a Ph.D., might be preferred.  It is also important to determine if your chosen therapist has significant experience in the type of therapy you are seeking.

These days, the simplest place to start your search for a Couples Therapist in Boca Raton is the Internet.  You can easily search for the type of Couples Therapist in Boca Raton you are seeking, visit professional websites, read patient and peer reviews, and be able to make a decent assessment of the therapist before ever calling their office.  Recommendations from trusted friends, family members or professionals are always beneficial as well.  Finally, the best way to know for sure if the Couples Therapist in Boca Raton you choose will be the right match is to meet them.  At Proliance Center in Boca Raton, our Couples Therapist in Boca Raton is more than qualified to treat a wide variety of relationship issues and is always available to discuss your goals and work with you to create a plan that will best meet the needs of you and your partner.

Tips for Finding a Couples Therapist

When considering tips for finding a couples therapist, keep in mind that many couples seek the help of a couples therapist to enhance their existing healthy relationship or to address issues creating a negative impact.  We often see couples in therapy on TV or in movies, hear about couples therapy experiences through friends and family, or even wonder about what it would be like to have our own therapeutic experience.  What often stops us from taking the step to beginning couples therapy is that we don’t know where to start or the tips for finding a couples therapist.  How do you find the right couples therapist for you and your partner, especially if this is your first time in couples therapy?  Well, hopefully we can give you some tips for finding a couples therapist that will help you make an educated decision.

When searching for a couples therapist, there are a variety of factors to consider.  One of the first tips for finding a couples therapist is that you want to research the educational background and amount of experience that your potential couples therapist has attained.  This one of the tips for finding a couples therapist takes into consideration that a couples therapist should have a minimum of a master’s degree in Marriage & Family Therapy, Mental Healthy Counseling, Psychology, Social Work, or a comparable degree within the field of mental health.  This one of the tips for finding a couples therapist also considers they should be licensed in their field of practice within the state and preferably be members of the professional organizations in their field on a local, state, and/or national level.

Another one of the tips for finding a couples therapist is that it is also important to consider the therapist’s level of experience.  In considering this one of the tips for finding a couples therapist you want to ensure that your therapist has completed a variety of practicums, internships, and work experiences that have given them a general and comprehensive background of practice.   An additional factor of this one of the tips for finding a couples therapist is that you also want to know that your therapist has worked extensively, not just with individuals, but specifically with couples and is prepared to work effectively with you and your partner to address your unique needs.

Another of the tips for finding a couples therapist is that oftentimes, the best way to find a quality professional is to ask the trusted sources in your life for personal recommendations.  Family members, friends, spiritual leaders, teachers, and physicians may be ready and willing to share their experiences and referrals with you if you feel comfortable enough to ask.  If not, the internet can be a comprehensive resource for not only finding names and locations of potential couples therapists, but also for filtering through the information they present online to evaluate whether or not they are the professional for you.  If you have any questions about any of these tips for finding a couples therapist or would like to speak to a Proliance Couples therapist about your needs and goals, we are always here to provide support and information.

How Long Should I Expect Couples Counseling to Last?

Couples counseling is a type of counseling, or psychotherapy, that helps couples recognize and resolve conflicts to improve their relationships.  It is typically guided by a therapist with an educational background in couple and family counseling with extensive experience working with couples and a variety of presenting issues.  At Proliance Center in Boca Raton, FL, we are often asked a variety of questions about the process of couples counseling.  One of the most common questions is about the amount of time a couple should expect to be in couples counseling before their problems are resolved.

It is important for couples to recognize the unique nature of the couples counseling experience.  The couples counseling you can expect at Proliance Center, and at most well-respected therapeutic settings with educated and experienced practitioners, is specifically catered to your individual needs.  Therefore, there is no set number of couples counseling sessions that will solve your particular need.  The number of sessions are based entirely upon your needs, goals and commitment to the process.

What we can tell you is that typically, couples counseling is often a short-term form of counseling.  Couples generally present to counseling with specific needs and goals in mind.  Often, if they are unable to identify these needs and goals prior to beginning counseling, they may be discovered as early on in the process as the initial session.  Once the needs have been addressed and a treatment plan is developed with your couples counselor, you will begin working toward the goals to which you’ve agreed.  Once these goals are completed, the couple is generally able to reduce the frequency of sessions or complete treatment.  Therefore it is important to recognize that the length of treatment is very much linked to the severity of the issues presented and the commitment of each partner to the experience.

If you feel couples counseling could benefit you and your partner, but have hesitations about the process, a Proliance Center couples counselor is available to answer your questions and help guide you to a solution that will work best for you.

How Couples Therapy Can Save Your Relationship

Do you feel like you and your partner have drifted apart?  Are you frustrated by having the same arguments again and again?  Do you feel misunderstood or unappreciated by your partner?  Have you or your partner had a physical or emotional affair?  Have you suffered through a crisis together that has placed a divide between you?  There are a multitude of reasons for our relationships to become strained.  The good news is couples therapy can save your relationship!  By taking advantage of couples counseling at Proliance Center in Boca Raton, you can identify the problems in your relationship, work through them, and move forward to a more happy and satisfying relationship with your partner.

Couples therapy can save your relationship because it is a type of psychotherapy that helps couples of all types recognize and resolve their existing conflicts to improve their relationships. Couples therapy can save your relationship by helping the couple make thoughtful decisions in order to rebuild and strengthen their relationship.  We often seek the help of a couple’s counselor when our existing methods of managing problems have failed us.  Couples therapy can save your relationship through a therapist that will help you to develop new skills and behaviors to solidify your relationship.  Often, these skills include open and effective communication skills, problem solving techniques, and collaborative decision-making. Couples therapy can save your relationship by providing needed focus to increase the bond between you through better understanding of one another’s needs and desires.  Couples therapy can save your relationship by teaching you how your words or behaviors affect each other and identify what is working well and what is not.  Additionally, couples therapy can save your relationship by teaching you how to put your relationship first and devote the time and energy into making your relationship a positive priority in your life.

Many of us feel that we already know what we should be doing to improve our relationship, but feel unable to follow through with the necessary actions.  This is the point at which couples usually begin to drift apart and couples therapy can save your relationship.  Though making the decision to go to couples counseling can be tough, couples therapy can save your relationship and is more effective than ignoring the problem or hoping it gets better on its own.  It is important to remember that in many cases couples therapy can save your relationship and things will only get worse if it goes unaddressed.

At Proliance Center, we believe that most problems within a relationship can be repaired with a combination of an effective approach and the commitment you and your partner have so that couples therapy can save your relationship.  We will work with you and your partner in a comfortable and private environment and act as a mediator to help you work through the presenting issues so that couples therapy can save your relationship.  If you have questions about the process of couples counseling or are wondering if couples counseling is right for you, a Proliance therapist is here to help!

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