Marriage Counseling Builds
on the Concept of Personal Liberty
Marriage Counseling is an important part of Central Carolina counseling's program. As in the case with individual therapy, marriage counseling rests on a framework of personal identity. However, couples form an intimate partnership by creating a third identity rather than joining their two individual identities. This third identity is referred to as the "We" identity. Just as our individual identities can be defined by our individual passions, our "We" identity is defined by those unique experiences both individuals want with one another.
The Process of Marriage Counseling:
A Stort Term Approach
The process of marital counseling begins with both members in an initial session. During this initial visit, the couple and therapist schedule one or more individual sessions where the partners can clarify their issues that have to do with the relationship and issues that have to do with themselves as individuals. Following the individual sessions, the couple come in together for one or more sessions to make decisions about goals for their counseling. This initial phase of marriage counseling usually involves four to six appointments and occurs over a perior of three or four weeks. Most couples complete the marriage counseling in twelve to fourteen sessions over a period of four months.
Requirements for Success
A basic requirement for counseling to work is communication. Communicaton in a session requires one person to speak while the other two in the room listen, i.e. the therapist and the other partner. The therapist is not an arbitrator or a judge who listens to both sides and makes a judgement about who is right and wrong. Rather, the role of the therapist is to increase understanding of the roadblocks to communication, and to assist the couple in transforming conflict from a harmful, toxic force into energy with the power to bring life to the relationship. The ultimate goal of marriage counseling is for the couple to understand better their individual identities and their identity as a couple, and to be able to communicate well enough to stay informed about these identities as they change over time.