Couples counseling is useful for couples at any stage of their relationship. We provide expert assistance for couples whether they are determined to stay together, deciding whether or not to stay together or have decided to part and need guidance in doing so. We provide practical guidance that gets to the heart of the matter and promotes real change.
Relationships are difficult and take work to maintain. If you or your partner are unhappy, counseling can help. Couples counseling addresses problems such as a lack of connection, resentment, arguments, and significant traumas such as affairs. We operate from a straight-forward, non-judgmental position and work to help you find real solutions.
Our couples counselors use a variety of techniques and approaches including: The Gottman Method, Harville Hendrix’s Imago Relationship Therapy, and Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Therapy.
Many men have the following questions and concerns:
- “I’m worried that I will be blamed for all of our problems.” At McConaghie Counseling, we take blame out of the conversation and approach couples with respect and solutions. The truth is, problems with relationships are created and maintained on some level by both people in the relationship.
- “Counseling is emotional and touchy-feely and I don’t want to waste my time sitting around and talking about feelings.” Emotions are a big part of relationships and they will be discussed in counseling. However, we believe it is important to do much more than discuss feelings. The real sources of change are new ways of thinking and behaving.
- “It’s too expensive and may not really work.” Although it is true that counseling will cost you time, money, and energy, we feel that most valuable things in life do. We hope that you will find quickly that the benefit to you and your relationship will be worth the cost.
- “Counselors just try to make up problems so they keep you coming forever.” We definitely do not want you to be in counseling forever. We have built our practice and professional reputation on helping people reach their goals. We want to do this as thoroughly and efficiently as possible. In fact, it is common for us to suggest to our clients that they begin coming less often as their situation improves.
- “My partner is just trying to change me and I don’t want to be changed.” We do hope that all people who come to our practice will grow from counseling. Growing is different than changing. We focus on a person’s strengths and encourage them to look at areas to modify in order to have a more satisfying relationship.
- “We should be able to solve our problems on our own.” Men tend to be self-sufficient and have a difficult time asking for help. Remember that most of us seek expert advice from professionals such as accountants, attorneys and car mechanics. If you and your partner were able to solve the issues, you probably would already have done so. It doesn’t mean you are a failure.
Many women have the following questions and concerns:
- “The counselor will join with my spouse to try to get me to do what they want or stay in a relationship where I am not happy.” We respect an individual’s right for self direction. All people want to and deserve to be happy. Our job is to help you clarify and reach your goals.
- “My partner will not tell the truth anyway, so why should we waste our time in counseling.” We realize that not all people in counseling will tell the whole truth all of the time. This often happens because they are concerned about being blamed or judged. We are not in the business of detective work, but will attempt to provide a safe environment where all issues can be addressed in a direct, supportive way.
- “I’m not sure that counseling will actually change things in our relationship.” While it’s true that there are no guarantees that counseling will result in the outcome you want, why not give it a try and find out?
- “My husband is the one that needs the help so why do I need to come?” As stated earlier, problems with relationships are created and maintained on some level by both people in the relationship. You may be participating or even inadvertently encouraging negative behavior without even realizing, so changing some of your responses may help improve your relationship. At the very least, it would be helpful to hear your experience in your relationship, since you and your partner are likely to have very different perspectives.
- “Is counseling just going to turn in to another setting where I am mistreated by my partner?” At McConaghie Counseling, we seek to provide a safe, comfortable environment to assist couples in working through their difficulties. If aIf a conversation becomes abusive or unfair, your counselor will intervene. In addition, if we determine that couples sessions cannot be safe or constructive, we will recommend individual sessions until the situation is more calm and respectful.
- “Is the therapist going to be able to see through my partner’s charm and/or status and/or manipulative behaviors?” At McConaghie Counseling, we have worked with men from many different situations and attempt to approach all people with openness and respect. People have many different defense mechanisms and these can include charm and manipulation. Our therapists are skilled at realizing when this is happening and addressing it directly and respectfully.