For couples going through a rough patch, here’s a short video sampling of Getting the Love You Want author Harville Hendrix’s take on what draws people to each other and how to make a relationship work (short version: “be nice”). Lots more detail in the book.
Couples Therapy through the eyes of couples therapists in the New York Times.
“For starters, there’s an ever-present risk of winning one spouse’s allegiance at the expense of the other spouse’s,” explains William J. Doherty, the University of Minnesota professor of family social science, in his groundbreaking 2002 article on the topic of awkward couples counseling in the Networker, titled “Bad Couples Therapy.” “All your wonderful joining skills from individual therapy can backfire within seconds with a couple. A brilliant therapeutic observation can blow up in your face when one spouse thinks you’re a genius and the other thinks you’re clueless — or worse, allied with the enemy.”
Extra motivation for figuring out how to get along better?: The way you relate to your partner can affect your long-term mental and physical health, study shows (Science Daily).
“We already know from prior research that people in stable, happy marriages experience better overall health than do those in more conflicted relationships,” said Professor Hicks. “We can now further conclude from our current research that individuals who are in insecure relationships are more vulnerable to longer-term health risks from conflict than are others.”
Free marital therapy for couples over the age of 55
Hello all, We are providing free marital therapy for adults over the age of 55 as part of a research study at UCLA. Couples will receive up to 16 sessions of IBCT, supervised by Andrew Christensen, Ph.D. If you have clients in the Los Angeles area that may benefit from this service, please contact Meghan McGinn at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
What’s IBCT? “Integrative Behavior Couple Therapy.” Explanation here.
There are people who stay in an unhappy marriage until the resentment builds and they feel they have no choice but to divorce. They don’t voice their unhappiness, they go with the flow hoping something will change and the problems will be instantly solved. Then there are those who “try” with everything they have to make the marriage work before they leave. These people are problem solvers who feel they owe it to the marriage to try to find solutions to the problems before they throw in the towel.
The one thing both have in common is that they rarely go to marriage counseling.
Looking for couples therapy in L.A.? Call or write to discuss what you’re going through and arrange an appointment: (323) 610-0112.
From WebMD: Is Your Marriage Toxic?
Give it time. Don’t expect the walls of resentment to come down right away. Rivkin suggests allowing at least three months to see if working with a therapist or using the advice from a relationship book is helping your marriage. Change may come slowly. But don’t be afraid of taking baby steps. “One little change can be huge to begin to change a pattern.”
Revisiting the conventional wisdom about getting along.
[A]lthough a lot of modern relationship advice boils down to keeping positive, this isn’t always the best way to go. When things are dreamy, being positive is probably good advice. But this research suggests that rocky relationships can benefit from negative processes.
Studies have couples checking in annually about their marriages, online.
“You don’t wait to see the dentist until something hurts — you go for checkups on a regular basis…If people were to bring their marriages in for a checkup on an annual basis, would that provide the same sort of benefit that a physical health checkup would provide?”
You probably have a pretty good idea why you fight as a couple. But here’s a study to tell you all about it.
[The study] identified the first type of underlying concern as perceived threat, which involves a perception that one’s partner is being hostile, critical, blaming or controlling.
The second type of concern is called perceived neglect, which involves a perception that one’s partner is failing to make a desired contribution or failing to demonstrate an ideal level of commitment or investment in the relationship.
A study shows couples therapy edging out individual therapy for women working to recover from alcoholism:
A new research effort assessed the benefit of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) for alcohol-dependent women. The innovative research design also investigated if CBT was more effective if delivered as couples therapy rather than individual therapy [and found] that both treatment methods worked well, but women treated in couples therapy maintained their gains a bit better than those in individual therapy.