Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Marital Counseling Questions

Marital Counseling questions are usually of the following kind;
When should a couple seek marriage counseling or family therapy?
What kinds of skills do couples usually learn in counseling?
How many sessions are usually needed?
What does it cost, and will insurance pay?
Do both spouses come to the first visit or should one of us go first?
What do I do if I want marriage counseling but my spouse refuses to come?
What can we expect to happen in the first session?
What questions should you ask when choosing a marriage counselor?
Before choosing a new marriage counselor, you can ask lots of questions to see if he or she is the right fit for you. Consider asking questions like these:
* Are you a clinical member of the AAMFT or licensed by the state, or both?
* What is your educational and training background?
* What is your experience with my type of problem?
* How much do you charge?
* Are your services covered by my health insurance?
* Where is your office, and what are your hours?
* How long is each session?
* How often are sessions scheduled?
* How many sessions should I expect to have?
* What is your policy on canceled sessions?
* How can I contact you if I have an emergency?
Making the decision to go to marriage counseling can be tough. But marriage counseling can help you cope better with a troubled relationship — rather than trying to ignore it or hoping it gets better on its own.
As a domestic violence educator, I have used the Gottman model, and especially the materials in their home study workshop, The Art and Science of Love, as a model for relationships based on choice rather than power and control, and the Gottman model involves a lot of exploring, getting to know your partners inner world, and there are many questions involved.
In fact the very first section, The Love Map Exercise involves couples answering 62 questions that they ask of each other. I have used tool with couples, and they have all found it to be fun. In fact, I have seen couples who have been fighting moments before become playful as they remember the answers to some of the Love Map questions.
Once it is completed, the question becomes; "How often am I willing to remember my partner's love map, especially when I am irritated?" One of the things that Gottman speaks to quite eloquently is the need to nurture positive emotions and use repair phrases after an argument. You can take a look at the video just below to get a sense of Gottman's take on nurturing positive emotions, and as a bonus, you get mine also.
I teach my anger management clients, and my domestic violence clients that they need to remind themselves on a schedule, if need be, to remember what it is they like about their lives, their mates, themselves, their children, because regular practice like that literally changes the brain, enhances our neuroplastic capacities, and certainly changes the chemistry in the body, eliminating stress hormones and replacing them with DHEA, the antiaging hormone.
We need to maintain an internal sense of contentment, and that follows thoughts, and if those thoughts are of gratitude, then if I am upset about my mate's choices, I will be much more able to discuss that upset cooperatively rather than competitively. You can have some stress hormone producing thoughts, just don't keep them for very long.
Imagine you and your mate each getting internally coherent, then getting coherent together, so that the relationship has a heart beat of its own, and a heart intelligence of its own, a cooperative and affiliative heart intelligence, for those conversations about sex, money, vacations, child rearing, or ambition?
From that kind of physiology, the difficult day to day negotiations about issues that are perhaps gridlocked can move into a solution until the next time we negotiate. What I mean by that is that the tools I used to parent today's child may not work tomorrow because the child has grown, and financial discussions may be impacted by a new investment opportunity. In other words, talk early and talk often to keep your maritial counseling questions out of the marital counselor's office.
Michael S. Logan is a brain fitness expert, a counselor, a student of Chi Gong, and licensed one on one HeartMath provider. I enjoy the spiritual, the mythological, and psychological, and I am a late life father to Shane, 10, and Hannah Marie, 4, whose brains are so amazing.

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