Art Prennace, LPC, PLLC

Couples Therapy

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So you might ask yourself "Why, if more than half of all marriages end in divorce, would I want to go through the trouble, agony, and expense of counseling? 

In general, I believe that couples enter into counseling with one of two agendas. Often one partner and sometimes both believe that the marriage is already over and not repairable and they are seeking outside confirmation from a professional. In essence, they are trying to end the relationship and thus ultimately reduce the pain and turmoil that has been happening for an extended period of time. These couples are usually willing to endure one last round of intense pain and can then claim that "at least we gave couple's counseling a shot and it just didn't work out" before they end the relationship. 

Ending the relationship, though painful, is not always a bad situation because living in a hopeless, non-loving, spiteful relationship with no prospect of relief can cause either or both partners to become more adversarial and bring out the worst sides of their personalities doing things they would never have imagined doing to another person. When the relationship degenerates to a point where the primary goal is to hurt the other person, it is usually better to end it altogether unless both members of the partnership really want to work on making the necessary changes to stop inflicting pain and be more loving towards the other.

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The other type of couple that presents for relationship counseling is the type where both people in the partnership are aware that something has changed dramatically in the quality of their interactions. They notice that, through time, the negative disadvantages to staying together appear to be outnumbering the positive benefits of what once was a loving and rewarding experience for both. They arrive searching for tools that they might use to restore hope, love, common goals, non-adversarial interactions, harmony, romance, the return of physical affection, and resolution of differences of opinion about how to deal with relatives, finances, child-rearing etc.


These couples usually say that, although counseling was not always easy, they learned better strategies for coping with their differences and learned ways to address problems before they got so blown out of proportion that they seemed too complex to resolve.

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