Can you recommend a therapist who can help me and my wife with problems? Ours are in the bedroom, mainly around low sex drive and sexual addiction. Someone with a counselling component who’ll give us some recommendations?
I cannot recommend a particular professional counsellor, but I can help you make that choice.
We live in an unparalleled information age with vast research capacity at our fingers’ touch on a keyboard.
Yet many people with troubled relationships turn hopeless and helpless in response.
So, here’s a brief synopsis of different approaches promoted by three US-based highly regarded relationship helpers.
Read, then search online together, looking locally (usually more affordable), to find someone who practices what you both consider the “right fit” for your needs as a couple.
- Coaching. Lee Wilson is a “relationship expert and breakup coach” who started in the marriage-coaching business 20 years ago.
“As a coach, I can be more outcome-driven and help people achieve specific goals.”
The approach is to be “more direct with my clients and even hard on them if they’re being lazy... or falling back into bad habits.”
A coach, he says, is an educator, “helping people understand why they aren't achieving what they want to achieve in their life or relationship” by his reminding clients of what’s holding them back and reverting to old behaviours.
Another coaching benefit: Rather than just listen to a couple’s story, “I can hold them accountable as individuals and as a couple to what they should be doing to have the relationship they want.”
- Emotion-based therapy: Terrence Real has been a practicing family therapist for 20-plus years. His approach is apparent and easily understandable in his book, How Can I Get Through to You? Reconnecting Men and Women.
There are many followers of his method within marriage counsellor associations. With a quick search, you may find several such counsellors in your area.
Some may’ve attended the Relational Life Institute (RLI) that Real founded, with professional training programs for clinicians wanting to learn his methodology.
Two of his videos online are easily instructive: “How to Deal With A Partner Who Is Being A Jerk” (one of 5 essential skills), and “How To Apologize” (equally essential).
- Clinical Psychology - John Gottman, a psychological researcher and clinician has worked for over four decades on divorce prediction and marital stability.
He discovered four negative behaviors, dubbed unforgettably “The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse,” that spell disaster for any relationship:
Criticism, Contempt, Defensiveness and Stonewalling.
The “Horsemen” are a metaphor for communication styles that can predict the end of a relationship.
The ability to identify the Four Horsemen in your own marital-conflict discussions is a necessary first step to eliminating them. And replacing them with healthy, productive communication patterns.
The goals of this method of couples’ therapy? To increase intimacy, respect, and affection. To remove barriers that create stagnancy in conflict situations. To create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the relationship.
There’s your primer. Now, search your computer for the names/backgrounds/methods of accessible marriage counsellors, social work therapists, relationship coaches, and clinical psychologists.
Too much work? You’ve probably done far more research in the past into buying a new computer - a purchase you’re likely to re-think in a handful of years.
Compare to reviving a couple relationship - especially one with a gulf of difference regarding sexual appetites. It deserves even more focus on learning who’s using what methods to help you and your spouse improve your life together.
My teenage son was recently disrespectful/rude to my husband. His punishment: His use of the family gaming device was banned. He was remorseful but also whiny. I stayed quiet.
By the weekend, he confided that he was going to sneakily play after my husband goes to sleep. I said it’s better to ask permission, especially during lockdown, since it was his only means of socialization.
He stated that doing it sneakily, then getting caught, would be better than his asking, being told No, and then sneaking his chance.
I love that he’s so open with me. But he sometimes puts me in a VERY awkward position!
Get out of the middle. You cannot support his trying to dupe his father. Teenagers are deft at manipulating parents.
Model what it means to be a partner to your husband. Be an understanding mother, but not on undeserved issues when he’s shown disrespect.
Tip of the day:
Relationship counselling’s available online during the pandemic. Find the “right fit.”