Marriage Counselling

A romantic relationship is one of the closet you will ever experience.  When the most important relationship in our lives starts to falters, everything is affected. According to John Gottman every relationship has 19 perpetual issues, and no matter who you are married to, there will still be 19 perpetual issues.  Some of the issues, such as: in laws, might be more of an issue in one relationship while not an issue in an other relationship.   

Gottman's 19 Perpetual Issues Are:

Emotional distance; Handling stress, Handling disagreements, Romance and passion, Sex, Handling major external events, Problems with children, Problems with in-laws, Flirtation, attracted to others, Recent affair, Unpleasant fights, Basic values and life style, Problems with hard life events (drugs, alcohol, gambling, violence), Working as a team, Coping with issues of power, Handling finances, Having fun toether, Building community together, and Spiritual issues.

Gottman's four Divorce Predictors

  • First sign:  Harsh start-up:  Discussions lead off with criticism and/or sarcasm.
  • Second sign:  Criticism - always have some complaints about the person you live with.
  • Contempt -  Sarcasm and cynicism are types of contempt:  name calling, eye-rolling, sneering, mockery and hostile humor.
  • Defensiveness -   heart rate goes up body goes into 'fight or flight'.
  • Stonewalling - walking out of the room, hiding behind the newspaper. 

When these events happen in your relationship, it is time to see a counsellor.  In some instances, I have had only one of the partners come in to see me, and more often than not, shortly after a couple of sessions on your own, the other partner joins.  Most of the time we work as a team, however, there are times when one of the partners may be struggling with PSTD, Anxiety, Depression, etc.  If that is the case,  I work with the that person for a couple of sessions, then return to couples counselling. 

The Role of a Marriage Counsellor

Firstly, my job is NOT to suggest whether or not you should stay married.  My job is to help you communicate better with each other.  To hear each other's story without interrupting and judgment.  You will learn conflict management skills, better communication skills, understand what men want in their marriage and men will learn what women want in their marriage, as well you will start to develop long-term plans together. My fees are $90.00 for 2 hour sessions and if I need to work with one of the couples, I reduce my fee to $60.00.

What to look for in a marriage counsellor

In addition to a Master's Degree in Clinical Counselling Psychology, the counsellor should have invested time and money into extra Certification specifically for Marriage Therapy.  Ask about their credentials, experience, and have they ever worked with couples with similar issues to yours.  I have a Certificate in Marriage Counselling from the Gottman's Institute of Marriage Therapy. In addition, I have incorporated into the marriage therapy, the work of William Harley, John Bradshaw, Cater and McGoldrick, and Family Systems. In addition, while you are in active therapy, I receive at no charge 10 minutes phone calls.  If the phone calls run into 20 to 30 minutes then there is a nominal fee.  If there is a crisis during our treatment, I try to get you in the same or next day.  I am available for day, evenings and weekend appointments.

Having been married for many years, I describe marriage as a "range of mountains - you cannot have the peeks without the valleys."  Call for an appointment at 778-420-2400.




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