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It’s more than fixing what is broken. Most couples seek therapy when experiencing difficulties that they have been struggling to resolve on their own, though this is certainly not required! Any couple can benefit from couples therapy as it provides expert guidance and effective tools for learning and enhancing key communication and relational skills. Put simply, couples therapy can help to mend what is broken or problematic and can also help to maintain and enhance already healthy relationships.
When it comes to couples therapy, it is very important to work with a seasoned mental health professional who has expertise and confidence in treating couples. This can, however, be difficult to find. There are many, many therapists out there who say they offer couples & marriage therapy. But couples counseling is a specialized field. It’s different than individual counseling. And you need a marriage counselor who understands those difference. Someone who knows couples, relationships & the nuances of helping high conflict couples find healing.
As a therapist with nearly 20 years of experience working with couples, including a doctoral degree in couples and family therapy, I am highly qualified to assist you and am passionate about helping all types of couples (e.g., married, partnered, LGBT, polyamorous).
One of the modalities that I utilize pervasively in my work with couples is the work of John Gottman. For the past thirty-five years, Gottman’s research has been internationally recognized for its unprecedented ability to precisely measure interactive processes in couples and to predict the long-term success or failure of relationships.
One major takeaway from Gottman’s research is The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The Four Horsemen, otherwise known as criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling, are communication styles that, when present, indicate a relationship is in real danger. If you have noticed any of The Four Horsemen in your relationship, it may be time to seek professional help.
Many couples have shared that they were initially hesitant to try couple therapy due to concerns that they would feel judged, criticized and blamed by the therapist, that the therapist would take their partner’s side, or that they would just be having the same arguments, but in front of a therapist. In my work with couples, I create a space wherein both partners feel heard, respected and valued, in which each partner’s perspective is honored, and where arguments, rather than simply repeating the past, are used as tools for solving problems. You can expect that with each couple session, you will walk away with new insights, solutions, and homework for practicing skills in the real world.
Don’t wait before it’s too late. There is no better time than the present to begin working with a couples therapist. Whether your relationship simply feels a bit stale or is need of big changes, a couples therapist such as myself can help you to rediscover hope, joy, and love with your partner.
Dr. Jennifer Self holds a doctorate in couples and marriage therapy and is also a Licensed Mental Health Counselor. She is passionate about providing mental health counseling and couples therapy for over 15 years now. She sees adult clients (college-age) and up for couples therapy and welcomes all types of couples, including married, partnered, LGBTQ, and polyamorous. Dr. Jenn also enjoys helping individuals with anxiety disorders, depression, and gender identity issues. If you are looking for a couple’s therapist, give us a call to see if you and your partner are a good fit for therapy, 727-344-9867!