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Find the Right Couples Therapist
Couples therapy, also referred to as couples counseling, is a specialty – probably the most complex form of therapy there is.
Searching for a therapist can be daunting. Most of the time, couples just choose one randomly and hope they get lucky. Getting two people who inevitably have some different priorities, interests, values, beliefs, sensitivities, and goals to work as a strong and loving team is no simple task. Especially if partners have trouble communicating, negotiating, and compromising.
The effective couple’s therapist needs to know how to skillfully call out your partner when they are spinning in their self-protective defensive bubble and blaming, shaming, guilting, or disengaging. They need to see the big picture of how you got stuck in this place and guide you to a future that brings out the best.
This is your most important relationship we’re talking about. So let’s take some of the chance out of this decision.
Let’s take a careful look at what makes a good couples therapist. They are not all created equal, so we’ll talk about the kind of training, mentoring, and experience you should expect your practitioner to have and what you can anticipate when you work with one of our professionals.
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What To Expect From Working With A Developmental Model Practitioner
How soon do the improvements begin if you choose a Developmental Model therapist?
How about BEFORE the first meeting?
After you schedule an appointment, you and your partner will receive a document about how to get the most from your couples work. It describes the qualities of relationships that flourish, what you can expect from your therapist, and what is expected of you.
Yes, that’s right. They expect you and your partner will do more than complain about each other and then hope for the miracle of “happily ever after.”
The end of the document has three questions which will focus your efforts in a positive direction. These questions help keep each of you from mentally rehearsing bad behavior stories about each other to being really prepared for your first meeting.
After your sessions end, the Developmental Model therapist will often suggest homework, readings, exercises, or inspired brief videos that are all designed to keep the momentum going.
They will provide support, encouragement, and guidance. They will also challenge certain beliefs and attitudes that have become nasty detours on your journey to relationship fulfillment.
Nobody can promise success in this endeavor. But if both of you can follow directions and apply what you learn, you will have a good experience.
THE DEVELOPMENTAL MODEL
Developmental Model therapists train for at least a year in an international community, in addition to their graduate degree and licensing requirements. They get a series of lessons that build on each other so they get a deeper and broader understanding of couples’ issues. They learn to recognize common stuck places and then learn tools to help you address them. They get video training and interactions with trainers for maximum acquisition of knowledge and principles. They profit from collective group wisdom, experience, and support.
Developmental Model therapists learn about the parts of the brain that want a great relationship without emotional risk or sustained effort. Yes, this is a form of self-protection, but it keeps relationships strained and distant. Knowing how to deal with these primitive, reactive survival instincts is crucial to improved outcomes for couples.
Most couple’s therapists are problem solvers. So is the Developmental Model therapist. But that is not enough. Because solving problems brings relief – not happiness.
Solving problems is talking about what happened yesterday and today.
Happiness is becoming a strong team joining forces toward an inspired future. And creating a plan to bring it about. The Developmental Model therapist becomes a great resource for you.
We’ll also give you a little secret described below – a surprise ingredient that’s part of every couple’s significant improvement in their relationship.
The Developmental Model Approach to Couples Counseling
The Developmental Model is a tested approach to couples counseling. Created by Dr. Ellyn Bader and Dr. Peter Pearson more than 30 years ago, the Developmental Model encourages you and your partner to view your relationship challenges as part of a natural and normal struggle for psychological growth and wholeness. Rather than seeing conflict between you and your partner as a problem or illness, this method motivates you to focus on the strengths of your relationship and encourages growth, change, and forward momentum.
This internationally recognized method has benefitted tens of thousands of couples across the U.S. and worldwide, and draws hundreds of couples counselors and coaches each year to its acclaimed training programs sponsored by The Couples Institute based in Menlo Park, California. Many therapists trained in the Developmental Model can be found listed in Psychology Today and the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) as skilled therapists for adult relationships. Drawing in part on the research of Margaret Mahler, Fred Pine, Anni Bergman, and John Bowlby, the method holds that life is a developmental process in which we as humans are constantly challenged and continually growing.
Take a look at the Developmental Model stages below:
Just as individuals evolve through normal developmental stages, so do couples. Maybe you and your partner are stuck in a particular developmental stage and have become focused on each other’s flaws. A counselor trained in the Developmental Model knows how to refocus you and your partner on the strengths that you have. The counselor will help you both build the motivation to do hard work on the relationship, not just in the room during the therapy session, but especially in your daily life together. This work is designed to help you develop the skills to move you both toward self-improvement and greater relationship satisfaction.
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Now For the Secret That Was Mentioned Above – the Surprise Ingredient In the Recipe for Success.
Your relationship pivots toward greater satisfaction when you find the courage to move towards what you want.
It takes courage to leave the illusions of self-protection.
Courage is the sustained action you take when you judge something is more important than your fears, insecurities, self-protection and lazy habits. It takes courage to see and believe in working as a team toward an inspired future.
Most couples want the rewards of courageous actions with minimal emotional risk and little sustained effort – just like you might want to lose weight by skipping one desert or get into good shape with one five- minute walk a week. It’s normal to want a lot while exerting a little.
Much of good couples therapy is identifying and clarifying the motivation and desire to work as a team towards an inspired future. Then, with the courage that emerges, plans are applied, milestones are met, connections are increased.
Courage is the foundation for communication, curiosity, compassion, and commitment. Courage allows you to persist when you stumble or falter. Acting from courage will renew your faith in your future. Although progress is tenuous at first, it becomes solid and significant with courage.
And then you may discover that your “Mythical Mate” has been at your side all the time.
HOW COUPLES COUNSELING WORKS
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How To Find Your Couples Therapist
It can be difficult and time consuming to find a highly skilled, well-trained therapist who is a good match for you and your partner. We make finding a therapist easy! All of our practitioners are vetted through our training program, and are experienced in helping couples navigate many challenges. Whether you’re looking for premarital counseling, marriage counseling, discernment counseling, family therapy, relationship coaching, or other forms of couples work, we can connect you with skilled practitioners to help you on your journey to a better relationship.
Our counseling approach is different from others since our therapists are trained in the acclaimed Developmental Model approach, which helps couples move through different developmental stages of their relationship. Our practitioners will help you to set goals and to move at your own pace through this important work.
Change begins before the first couples therapy session. Utilizing the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy, you will learn the key steps towards creating happiness and rebuilding trust for today and tomorrow. Choosing a couples counselor is an important decision. Contact us for couples therapy, couples counseling, or coaching and restart your future today.
Expectations Of Couples Counseling
During your sessions, your couples counselor or relationship coach will work with you both to set goals for how to address problems in your partnership. You’ll both need to remain open-minded and optimistic, with a commitment to learning new skills and seeing things from each other’s perspective. It’s crucial for a couple to take responsibility for their individual actions within the relationship, and to make necessary behavior changes in order to work toward the happy and healthy relationship they desire.
Set the goals that you want to achieve during your initial session. Remember that you are only one person in the relationship, and your partner needs to be heard as well. Pay close attention to small changes and shifts in behavior and in each other’s feelings. Even the tiniest progress is a step toward bigger improvement—both self improvement and in your relationship together!
Productive Couples Counseling For Your Relationship
Strengthen Your Relationship Bond
Improve Your Relationship Communication
Get On The Same Page
Finding Your Intimacy & Passion
Enjoy Your Relationship Again
Get Your Dream Relationship
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Find A Counselor, Therapist, Or Coach Skilled To Help You With:
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About Grow My Relationship
We have put together a roster of highly-trained Developmental Model practitioners so that couples in crisis have a convenient and discreet way to get help.
Facing relationship challenges can seem daunting, and often it’s difficult to receive the help you need and deserve. We try to make this easier for you at Grow My Relationship. Support and guidance from a licensed professional therapist or a skilled relationship coach are just one click away.
Couples therapy is a specific type of therapy that requires specialized credentials and training. Our practitioners are licensed, trained, experienced, and accredited psychologists, licensed marriage and family therapists, and/or licensed clinical social workers. There are also a limited number of coaches. Each person listed in our directory is required to possess specific credentials (licenses, educational degrees, training, practice, specific experience for couples therapy, family therapy, etc.) and they each go through extensive training and mentoring before they can be included on our platform.
Our vision is to provide the most comprehensive and very best couples work available today. Our passion is to help identify, address, and offer proven solutions for relationship challenges so that couples can increase intimacy and develop the loving bond they deserve.
You do not have to be a “conventional” couple to seek therapy. As long as you are facing relationship challenges or asking yourself, “How can I make our relationship better?”, our practitioners are here to help you get to a healthy and happy relationship.
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Frequently Asked Questions
Simply Click Here To Get Started and enter your information into the form fields. We will match you with a counselor, therapist, or relationship coach in your area and set up your first session.
It turns out that there will be too many therapists to predict what will happen for any given client – there are no standard protocols for initial meetings so describing what to expect w/o a standard protocol is basically impossible.
This is a common question and the answer is really quite subjective because most couples have different ideas of what makes for a good first meeting.
It is determined by emotional comfort level and does this person seem like an able guide for us. It boils down to: Do I want to or am I willing to return for another meeting? Imagine having a personal trainer after being out of shape for too long. If the trainer never made you sweat or exert yourself – just a nice slow easy workout where you didn’t stretch any unused muscles or break into even a mild sweat. And you thought all future workouts would be like this, you probably would question the long term benefits of such an approach.
Basically it’s “Are we willing to step up for another meeting?”
We have hundreds of practitioners specializing in the Developmental Model of Couples Counseling around the world. This makes it easier for you to find a qualified couples professional in your area who will be a good fit for you and your partner.
Couples therapy is a speciality that requires specialized training. If you needed heart surgery, it’s doubtful you would utilize a general practitioner who also does allergies, bunions, hip pain and a host of other human afflictions.
The fees for each session will vary based on where your therapist is located as well as other factors, including their years of experience.They don’t mind a bit when couples inquire about fees. You can also ask if they accept insurance.
This is our most frequently asked question. And there is no standard answer. It is like asking how long it will take to become rich. Or asking a physical trainer how long it will take for BOTH of us to get into shape.
Probably it’s no surprise that the timeline depends on motivation, how rapidly you apply what you learn and the magnitude of your relationship vision.
The key is that all three of you work as a team to create a flourishing relationship.
Many couples searching for help ask for the difference between these different types of professionals. As the field of helping couples create a better future evolves, so has the training available evolved.
Today the lines between the different categories of professionals are becoming more and more blurred. You can decide whether you prefer a coach, counselor, or therapist. Your choice might stem from their credentials, their location, or something from their bio that speaks to you.
All well-trained relationship specialists seek to offer advice, feedback, observations, and homework to help your relationship evolve. Therapists and counselors have mandatory educational and licensing requirements that are determined by the state or country in which they practice. Coaches do not.
Counselors and therapists may make situational determinations about how deep to go into the personal history of each partner. They may seek to help you see where certain unhelpful patterns of behavior originated.
No one can change the past, but you can change the impact it has on you. You can learn to free up more of your energy, talents, skills and gifts. Even better, when you harvest the lessons of the past, they can become wisdoms to guide your future – individually and together. Coaches, on the other hand, tend to focus on the present and creating an inspired future.
Our site will enable you to choose a professional who has invested time, energy, and money into learning how to help couples evolve. They have completed at least a 12-month training program in the Developmental Model, a comprehensive program taught by respected pioneers and leaders in this field. They also have a minimum of three years of experience working with couples.
Our professionals can guide you to clarify your individual goals as well as enable you to develop mutually agreed upon and supported relationship goals. As you know, this is not an easy task when you and your partner are struggling to communicate, cooperate, and connect. This is where a highly trained guide is especially valuable.
Appointments can be done with both of you present or can be done individually, depending on your situation. And they can be done with the coach, counselor, or therapist of your choice, given your location.
Things to know about insurance coverage:As a general rule, our practitioners do not accept payment from insurance companies. However, they may be happy to provide you with a super bill or receipt to submit to your insurance for a possible reimbursement. We recommend that you check with your insurance provider first to inquire what services are covered. We also advise that you speak with your practitioner directly regarding their policy on insurance.
- Health records may not be confidential once insurance is involved.
- Before any services are covered, someone needs a mental health disorder diagnosis and in most cases, this diagnosis can be used against you when getting certain jobs, future health insurance or life insurance benefits, as well as possible legal/court issues.
- You will need to pay the full session fee. You may obtain reimbursement if the practitioner is willing to provide a receipt of services, but any reimbursement you receive is between you and your provider.
- Flexible spending accounts and flex cards are an alternative option. If you have tax-free money deducted from your paycheck for Medical Savings, you can use that towards your session expense.