Welcome to my Couples Counseling page.
I will answer frequently asked questions about Couples Counseling. If you have any questions, or would like to schedule a free phone consultation, please don’t hesitate to call me: (973) 610-1972.
What is couples counseling?
Couples counseling is therapy for couples at any stage of their relationship outside of marriage: dating couples, engaged couples, and domestic partners. Much of the same techniques for marriage therapy or pre-marital therapy are applied.
What makes couples counseling different from other types of counseling?
Couples counseling can help ease couples in transitional periods and assist couples to gain clarity and trust. Couples learn techniques to empower them to make major life change decisions, or simply to make improvements on their long-term partnerships.
In couples counseling, we’ll apply practical relationship tools, including problem solving, conflict management and communication improvement.
We will also address deeper yearnings for attachment, and the creation of a safe haven within your relationship. We will explore the patterns and built up feelings that may be blocking your connection, and strive to restore your loving relationship.
When is the time to seek couples counseling?
Transitional periods, such as marriage, a birth, a death or an illness, are all times you and your partner may need extra support. However, don’t wait for a tragedy to enter couples counseling. Couples who enter couples therapy at the first signs of relationship decline are able to restore back more easily than couples who wait until the conflict has escalated to a painful degree.
Professor Bradbury, a UCLA psychotherapy professor, compares couples therapy to a man with a broken leg: "Seek help straight away and you’ll heal up just fine. Hobble around injured for months or years, and a full recovery becomes nearly impossible. By then, you have the psychological equivalent of a broken bone, but also to the swelling and bruising, the sore hip and foot, and the infection that ensued."
What happens in a couples counseling session?
Our first few sessions will include my learning the story of your relationship, and your reasons for coming into therapy. I will inquire and listen, and together we will decide on what the relationship most needs for improvement.
First, I will create a safe space for both members of the couple. Over the course of our sessions, I will track your emotions, explore the triggers behind them, and assign tools based on the patterns we uncover. To improve communication, I will teach you both to frame and clarify the way that you respond to each other. With practice, you will be able to communicate in ways that make you both feel safe, loved and a priority. During treatment, you may find yourself experiencing heightened emotions to unclog old patterns and create new ones. I will be here to support you in every step of your journey.
WHEN TO CHOOSE COUPLES COUNSELING
You may be feeling that something is not right in your relationship. You are feeling misunderstood, sad, and lonely. You long for the time when you felt in love, sparks flying and had great sex. No matter what you do, you seem to be stuck in the same patterns and same arguments. You feel like there is nobody to talk to because you feel ashamed and embarrassed. You begin to feel like a failure.
You have heard about Couples Therapy, but you don't know what it is all about. You don't know who to call and what to ask if you were to find someone.
You are not alone.
Couples Therapy is a pro active measure to diagnose and treat symptoms of an unhappy marriage.
If you had a heart problem, you would have no problem going to a cardiologist. You should feel the same way when you have Marriage problems. You need to seek out a specialist who will help you specifically with your relationship problem.
First realize, that having a great relationship takes time and energy. It is a slow process. After the honeymoon period, which can last about 2 years, it is not uncommon to feel disillusion with your marriage. This is the time that the real work should begin. If it is not attended to, things only get worse. That is why the divorce rate is about 50%. Perfectly nice, loving people are opting for divorce because they do not see any other way.
Couples Therapy is for those smart, committed pro active couples that want to work on their marriage. They both realize that with help, they can turn around a hostile disconnected relationship into a loving supported marriage. This is what we want and desire.
Who is the best couples therapist for my marriage?
All Couples Therapists are not the same. True Couples therapist have been trained in very specific courses for couples work. It is the hardest of all psychotherapy treatment because you are treating 3 different situations, 2 individuals and a couple. General psychotherapists who are trained to work with individuals or children do not have the training to provide the skills necessary to work with couples. When interviewing Therapists about their work, it is important to ask about their treatment philosophies and training. Some of the well known couples training includes Esther Perel, on infidelity, Gottman Method, Sue Johnson, Emotionally Focused Therapy, Imago Therapy, Terry Real, Ellyn Bader, Peggy Papp, Janis Abrahms, and William Doherty to list a few. The therapist you choose should be familiar with at least some of these training programs and have had supervision specifically with couples therapy.
Just so you know, although I have been a licensed psychotherapist since 1998, I have devoted myself for the last 10 years working exclusively with and being trained specifically in Couples Therapy. Sex issues can negatively impact on a couples relationship. There are many therapists who find sexual dysfunction awkward to discuss. I am in the process of becoming a Certified Sex Therapist through AASECT, the only certified Sex Therapy organization. I am comfortable discussing all areas of sexual health. Please call me for a free consult to see if I am a right fit for you.
Please feel free to call me or email me with any question. I am here to help.
Contact Beverly Zagofsky to schedule a free, confidential phone consultation.
Email [email protected] or call (973) 610-1972.