Counseling Therapy

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Marriagesdo not succeed all the time and the end of a marriage for some can bea relief, but it can be a stressful event too. Couples or one of thecouple seek therapy to guide them in deciding whether to leave or tostay in a marriage. A good counselor is one who slows down theproceeding of a divorce long enough to mend the marriage (Harway,2005). In the case study, a thirty-seven-year-old woman iscontemplating divorcing her husband. The couple has been married forfive years currently the husband no longer want sex the wife hashad three miscarriages and the husband does not take therapyseriously. My role as the therapist in this scenario is to help thecouple cope with their situation together, help them solve ifpossible or train them to accept difficulties if a solution can’tbe reached. I would approach this case using couple’s systemtherapy framework. Couple system framework seems effective because itaddresses the thinking and behavior of the couples and recognizesthat it is possible to recondition, change, individuals behavior orthoughts to overcome a particular problem.

Frommy interpretation the couple is suffering from the unresolved griefover the death of their unborn children. The couples do not mourn forthem when the death occurs, and this is what might be causing theproblems they are currently facing. The couple needs to let out theheld up emotions by talking about the deaths and in the process finda means to grieve and go on living. The therapy is founded on theidea that satisfaction of couples is determined by the negative andpositive nature of the interaction between the two spouses. The twodistressed couples feel unable to communicate or solve the problemsthey are facing thus leading them feeling frustrated and unhappy witheach other (Gurman, 2008). As a result, of the negative interactionsrewards such as sex that couples gain from their relationship havedeclined. For a couple to overcome their problem, the focus ought tobe directed towards increasing the positive behavior ratio to thenegative behavior. On the other hand, training the couples tocommunicate effectively would help to surmount the difficulties intheir marriage.

Solutionto marriage issues includes teaching the couple to increase thepositive behavior they do for each other for instance the wife cantry fixing breakfast for the husband while as the man can try havingsex with his wife. Encouraging communication between the couples willfurther help in defining the problem existing between the partners.In this study paper, I opted for Gottman as the strategic approach.The reason for choosing Gottman method is because it helps couples toidentify natural defenses and address them in order to remove thebarrier for effective bonding and communication. As an interventiontechnique, Gottman method applies couples counseling techniques toimprove affection, respect and closeness. The intervention shows acouple such as the one in our case study how to build love maps. Itinvolves mapping your partner history, hopes, joy, worries and stressand in doing so strengthen each other through expressing appreciationand respect. This intervention would be useful because each partnerwould learn to state they need honestly.

Thegoals of the Gottman approach are to disarm the conflicting verbalcommunication, address hindrance that create stagnancy feeling duringconflicting situations and increase intimacy, affection, and respect.The benefit of this approach is that it realizes that maritalconflicts can be resolved, or couples have to learn to live with themforever also referred to as perpetual problems. The Gottman approachis designed for couples who are emotionally distanced and planning toseparate or divorce just like the couple in our case study. As aresult, the Gottman strategic approach helps couples to have strongand healthy relationships and come up with ways of coping with issuesas they occur (Vernon, 2012). For the couple in the case study, thisstrategic approach would help in opening up communication betweenthem.

Psychoeducationwould make it easier to identify the information and skills thatcould be used in solving the problem being faced by the couples.Identifying the problem as poor communication would aid in giving thepartners training on problem solving and communication skills. Teachthe couples how to listen rather than react or ask questions wherethings are not clear. Psychoeducation element is applied in allcouple therapy approach.

Thetheory that would apply in this case is the structural-strategictheory that focuses more on the present issues rather than the pastissues and provides the practical steps needed for attaining thenecessary changes. The goal of this theory is to offer brief, focusedtherapy in which the counselor guides the clients towards newinteractions and behavior. With this theory I would examine thereason the difficulties continued in the couple marriage. Forinstance, why the husband was reluctant to have sex and be in thefront line to see a marriage counselor to save they marriage bysaying a marriage counselor.

Thestructural theory would be adequate in evaluating the familiarrelationship invisible framework. This comprises of the qualities andrules of relationship between the couples. For instance, the husbandfeels distant from the wife for failing to share with him what shefeels about the loss of their unborn children. The fact that sheprefers to talk to a therapist rather than address her family issueswith her husband means that they family structure is unhealthy andrequire correction so as to achieve optimal functioning. Thetreatment for this couple would include changing the relationshipstructures, goals setting and use of outside resources to create ahealthier couple.

Tosum up, the inability for couples to communicate in a marriage is theprimary cause of unhealthy relationship between couples. In marriagethe skill communication requires conscious effort because what isapparent to one partner may not be for the other partner. In thisregard I would advise the couple to speak they mind and not expectone another to read body language or moods that are open tomisinterpretation. The goal of therapy is to help couples repairtheir relationship. As with most couples am sure this couple does notunderstand how each of them contributes to the conflict they are nowfacing. Having noted that communication is what affecting theirrelationship, my goal would be to teach them communication skills andleave them to resolve the conflict. Another thing I would do for thecouple is to help them develop trust with each other, set boundariesduring therapy to ensure each partner feels secure to expressthemselves.


Harway,M. (2005). Handbookof couples therapy.Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley.

Gurman,A. S. (2008). Clinicalhandbook of couple therapy.New York: Guilford Press.

Vernon,A. (2012). Cognitiveand rational-emotive behavior therapy with couples: Theory andpractice.New York, NY: Springer.

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