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What Are the Secrets for Successful Marriage Therapy?

By Leslie Fineberg on April 25, 2013

The last resort for many married couples who are thinking of divorce may be couples therapy.  According to Susan Heitler, a Harvard graduate with a doctorate in clinical psychology from NYU, in order to decide if couples counseling will help in your situation, you need to know the secrets for helping the therapy succeed.

Secrets marriage therapists know include the following:

    • Effective therapy can only occur if the couples’ therapist has a firm hold on the reins.  If one partner begins to speak in a way that is controlling or critical, an accomplished therapist must intervene to put the dialogue back on track.
    • Therapy teaches couples to learn to speak to one another with tact, to listen, and to resolve differences.

  • Effective couples therapy involves teaching anger management skills.  If tempers get hot, dialogue becomes unproductive.  Couples who understand anger management learn to remove themselves from the situation in order to try to reach mutual understanding.
  • Proper counseling places the focus on growth and learning, not on forcing the spouses to change.
  • Couples need to learn to resolve their own problems away from the therapy session.
  • Focus needs to not be on the past, but on resolution of current conflicts and putting in place interaction skills which will help to resolve future conflicts.
  • One partner should not attempt to come up with solutions for the couple or to serve as a judge when arguments occur.

When couples’ therapy does not succeed in saving the marriage, the Illinois family law attorneys at Nottage and Ward can step in to help facilitate the divorce.  Child custody matters may be difficult to solve, and financial matters can be complex to deal with.  You will need the help of an experienced divorce attorney.  At Nottage and Ward, our experience has enabled us to be ready to answer your family law questions.  Please call (312) 332-2915 to learn more.

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