MARITAL THERAPY, COUPLE THERAPY
For eight years, I have worked with couples in various institutions providing psychological assistance and in psychological practices. I have conducted marital therapy (couple therapy) with very young people, recently established couples, middle-age and elder couples married for many years. I have worked as a psychotherapist with couples and marriages where the partners came from different cultures and were speaking different languages. I have also worked with couples having serious problems with their children, couples trying to get pregnant and with couples that have lost children. My clients include the unemployed, physical workers, students, homemakers, artists, government officials, employees of corporations, owners of large companies or public persons.
Conducting marital therapy, I use not only my experience as a psychologist and psychotherapist, but also my private experience: a wife for 15 years now, mother of two teenagers, a daughter, a sister, a granddaughter, a friend as well as my professional non-psychological experience as an employee, a manager, a client, an owner.
How I conduct marital (couple) therapy
After one or two initial consultations, usually we set up for a marital (couple) therapy, which is a process with clearly defined goals, covering a defined number of therapeutic sessions held on a regular schedule.
Planning a marital therapy, we also discuss such details as rescheduling and cancelling sessions, terms of payment, invoices. As a rule, we meet once in two weeks. A marital therapy session lasts 90 minutes. In special cases, for example during a turbulent marriage crisis, we may change the schedule of meetings and hold them once a week or even more frequently. Both partners must be present for the session to be held. After completing the therapy, we summarise the whole process. The clients may always return for marital therapy or schedule a single consultation with me after completing the therapy, if they decide they need it.
Duration of a couple therapy
Usually, after several meetings of the marital therapy, the partners can see the first positive changes in their relationship. Intensive work with a psychologist helps them to better understand each other. They can see signals of arising conflicts and slowly learn to solve them at an early stage. They can see small changes in their own and their partner’s behaviour. They take efforts to introduce new solutions into their life, better ways of communicating with their partner as well as refrain from reactions destructive for their relationship. Gradually, those changes become deep and permanent.
During the following sessions of marital therapy, the partners look into what is currently happening. They better understand the patterns that govern their actions, emotions and thoughts and learn new methods of functioning. With my support, using my knowledge and experience as a psychotherapist and a psychologist, they discover emotions and needs hidden beneath the superficial, almost automatic reactions. They learn empathy and understanding for each other, they learn to set boundaries where needed and to name the problems to be solved and to solve them together.
Usually, after 12 to 15 sessions of marital therapy, positive changes in the relationship can be clearly seen and then together with my clients we begin to discuss progress in the process of couple therapy: we come back to the goals they had set, we verify to what extent they have achieved them, what still needs to be done and whether there is anything additional to be accomplished that had not been taken into account earlier.
The following meetings of the marital therapy are used to reinforce the changes, monitor the situation and introduce minor corrections, if needed. Often, at this point, we schedule the marital therapy sessions less often, for example once a month. Finally, when the partners feel confident and comfortable in their relationship and are prepared to solve issues that might arise in the future on their own, we summarise the couple therapy and close it.
The couple therapy that I conduct is a proven and efficient method to improve relations in a relationship. My clients appreciate my discretion and empathy as well as understanding of the solutions for issues arising in a relationship between the partners.
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