Marriage and Couples Counseling
with Edie Stone, MA, LPC, in Boulder, Colorado.
Helping couples reconnect and deepen their relationships since 1997.
BoulderCouplesCounseling.com and EdieStone.com
FAQ – What Happens in Couples or Marriage Counseling?
There are several main themes that we may focus on during a course of couples counseling:
- Conflict resolution and mediation.
- Communication skills.
- Private sessions
- Private seminars
- Anger management and self-regulation.
- Healing old wounds.
- Developing deeper emotional and physical connection.
- Reviving curiosity and joy.
- Renewing your commitment and co-creating a new future together.
1. Conflict resolution and mediation.
I am good with this. I was always the kid on the block who could see both my friends’ viewpoints when they were mad at each other. I would play with them on different days until they calmed down. Then we would all play at my house. 🙂
It is a little harder with couples, of course. But if you still hold a basic sense of love and respect for each other, you can learn to play together again.
Often, just following some simple rules for a structured conversation can get you to a place of renewed respect and appreciation. I have instructions and handouts to make this type of conversation easier.
2. Communication skills.
Have you ever heard of “I-Statements”? I will be coaching you in how to speak up for yourself using I-Statements and other tools.
“Active Listening,” “Reflective Listening,” “Empathic Shared Meaning,” or “Mirroring,” will give both of you an equal chance to express what is important to you. You get to feel heard and appreciated. In turn, you have the opportunity to really understand your partner’s concerns so that you can move forward to a mutual solution.
ACTIVE SPEAKING: For some people, speaking up for themselves can be scary. This is particularly true if you came from a family where it wasn’t safe to express yourself. I will be there to support you emotionally, and help you find the words if you are stuck. I will also help you learn to use I-Statements effectively, so that your partner can have an easier time taking in your viewpoint. I will also encourage you to delve a little deeper into the feelings below your thoughts, and encourage your partner to listen to what your heart is saying.
Speaking up for yourself effectively is not easy for some people. But I will support and guide you, and encourage your partner to give you lots of appreciations!
ACTIVE LISTENING: For other people, the listener’s role is the harder part, because you are asked to refrain from going into a natural “Yes, but..” reaction. Instead, your job is to listen as clearly and as undefensively as possible.
Remember, as the listener, you also have the right to ask the speaker to slow down, repeat, or break their long statements into smaller chunks that are easier to remember and digest. I will model this new way of listening if it seems hard at first. I will coach you until you get it and start to reap the benefits of deeper listening.
Active Listening is not easy for some people. But I will support and guide you, and encourage your partner to give you lots of appreciations!
The actual skills in Active Speaking and Active Listening are not complicated. Most people can learn this in one session. The hard part is learning to slow down and use a communication tool when either or both of you are getting upset. For this skill, see #3 below, Anger management and self-regulation. link xxxx
Speaking one’s truth and listening with respect are both acts of love. MAKE THIS A MEME/IMAGE
There are three effective ways to learn Active Listening and other communication skills:
- Private couples sessions link xxx
- Workshops link xxx
- Private relationship seminars link xxx
3. Anger management and self-regulation.
If you are in a relationship that has a high conflict style, I will help you turn down the heat, and learn to fight fairly.
If you get into arguments that escalate into hurtful words or angry outbursts, one of the first things we will work on is establishing an effective time-out, in order to avoid further damage to the relationship.
NOTE: If criticism, sarcasm, contempt, or stonewalling have become chronic patterns in your interactions, please don’t wait. The sooner you learn to stop these patterns, the better chance you have for your relationship to succeed. See my article, How to Rein in the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Your Relationship. LINK
The rest of couples counseling is about healing old wounds and developing deeper emotional and physical connection. It is about reviving curiosity and joy. It is about renewing your commitment and co-creating a new future together.
Please call me at 303-415-3755 to schedule a free consultation and begin renewing your relationship. I look forward to working with you.
Three ways to learn communication skills:
A. Private couples sessions.
Benefits: We will weave all the important communication skills and tools into your sessions as needed. I will give you handouts and we will work with the issues that are most pressing for you. You meet in privacy at times that suit you best. Call my confidential voice mail at 303-415-3755 to schedule a free consultation.
I offer Relationship Skills for Geeks and Secrets for Successful Relationships several times a year.
Benefits: A quick, effective way to get your relationship off to a good start, or to jumpstart your relationship if you are stuck. Four evening sessions, plus a discount on two private sessions included in the package. See more at: link
C. Private relationship seminars
Half-day or full day sessions, scheduled at your convenience. Call me at 303-415-3755 to discuss this option.