Assignment Student’s Name Student’s ID Session
Semester Muzamil Kousar 06010611-011 B.S (HONS) 7th
Department Subject Course Code Topic Submitted Date Supervisor’s Name
Psychology Counseling Psychology PSY-401 Marriage Counseling 9th January, 2010
Miss Naila Anwar
UNIVERSITY OF GUJRAT
Introduction Three Danger Stages In Your Marriage Marriage Counseling Development of Specific Area Marriage Counselor Marital Counselor Should Be Able to: Types of Therapists/Marriage Counselors Need for Marital Counseling Types of Marital Counseling
1. Concurrent Marital Counseling 2. Collaborative Marital counseling 3. Conjoint Marital Counseling 4. Couple Group Counseling
The Marital Counseling Process: Stages of Marital Counseling
1) 2) 3) 4) 5) 6)
Stage One: Stage Two: Stage Three: Stage Four: Stage Five: Stage Six:
Relationship building Assessment and diagnosis Formulation of counseling goals Implementation of plan Termination Research and evaluation
Overall and additional stages for marriage counseling: Different Marital Therapy Approaches
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Psychoanalytic Social learning Behavioral Bowen family systems Structural-strategic Rational-emotive
Benefits of Marriage Counseling The Disadvantages of Marriage Therapy:
"We will try our best to take whatever silver lining there is in the cloud and work on it and work on it and help our clients work on it, because the majority of them do not want to break the relationship but they are helpless," Siddiqui.
Marriage is something special-and something that has been part of all human society since the beginning of time, bolstering claims that marriage is an institution generated by God. Marriage may take many forms: For example,
• • •
Monogamous heterosexual marriage is a union between one man and one woman as husband and wife. Polygamy in which a person takes more than one spouse- is common in many societies. Same sex marriage Some jurisdictions and religious denominations recognize, uniting people of the same sex.
Three Danger Stages In Your Marriage
Couples seek counseling at different stages in their marriage. There are many reasons people start marriage counseling and want help with their relationships. For the purpose of this post, we will discuss an overview of the marriage cycle and some of the danger years often seen in marriages. These years encompass from year two until seven. Then again around year twelve to seventeen and years twenty to twenty-five.
Stage One: After the first few years of
marriage, often referred to as the “Honeymoon Phase”, couples start to realize that their dreamy, ideal mate is only human and has many annoying habits. Also resentments about chores, finances and family can begin. So, what is needed at this two to seven year interval of marriage is acceptance and compromise. Basically, acceptance of mates annoying habits and compromise with chores and family obligations. In marriage counseling, the challenge here is to first build a foundation of communication so that things that need to be accepted or compromised about can first be effectively talked about to resolve them. When couples can work through this stage in their marriage, they learn to share and compromise in their marriage and strengthen their commitment to each other until the next danger stage in the marriage cycle sometime between twelve and seventeen years.
Stage Two: Unfortunately during the next stage between 12 and
17 years of marriage is when a lot of divorces occur. During this time, many couples are entering middle age and they start reexamining their life goals. They often start wondering if they are missing out on something being with their partner or if their partner will be able to fulfill all their future goals together with them. This is the time many couples separate from each other, either physically and live separately, or emotionally and stay under the same roof but act detached towards each other. In men, we often see what is termed a “mid-life crisis” which usually encompasses them trying to recapture their youth by buying sport cars or trying to date much younger women. In women, they will often return to school, start a new business or start working out more. If the couple has separated, they may still want to work things out because they still are committed to the marriage and still feel love for each other. So separation does not mean a definite end to the marriage and can actually, in some cases, help each of them to realize how much they still love each other. It sometimes can re-ignite their passion for each other. When couples seek marriage counseling at this stage in their marriage, they are either wanting to reunite or giving it a last effort before divorce. So, the first thing in marriage counseling at this stage is to be on the same page for the marital goals. Often, if the marriage is to survive through this stage, both partners have to agree on a life plan together, accept the change in their passion for each other and agree to go forward in their life together.
Stage Three: The next danger stage occurs
sometime between year 20 and 25. During this time in a couple’s marriage, they often find themselves alone with each other again. Usually the kids are grown and gone or more independent. There may have been a retirement from a long career or a change in physical abilities for one or both of the partners. At this time some people start to think that they have one last squeeze out of life and this would only happen with a divorce and a “new” start. The goal of marriage counseling at this stage is to help the couple find that inner peace and satisfaction with their life and their partner. If this is accomplished, often couples will stay together and enjoy their golden years in harmony. If you find your marriage has entered into one of these stages or there are other issues affecting your marriage, seek marriage counseling with a Licensed Counselor who can help you and your partner resolve these marital issues. Many times, if counseling is sought at the beginning of a stage or problem, the issue may be resolved before resentments and separation occurs. It is rarely too late to get help for your marriage at any stage, so it is better to seek marriage counseling then to do nothing about the problems. Marriages can be saved and rejuvenated with some work and a commitment to each other.
Marriage counseling, also called couples therapy, helps couples and resolves conflicts and improves their relationship. Marriage counseling give couples the tool to communicate better, negotiate differences, problem solve and even argue in a healthier way. It is a tool meant to foster better understanding and communication, and to resolve conflicts. While the period of therapy can sometimes last for months it is often short term, marriage counseling is not meant to be a long-term measure. Typically though, the greater the extent of the problems, the more sessions the couple will undergo.
Development of Specific Area
The idea of marriage counseling was established the American Association of Marriage Counselors in 1942. That fledging organization grew in time to become the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT). The pioneers’ focus on the marriage relationship, rather than just the individuals involved, was important. The new emphasis meant that three entities were considered: two individuals and one couple. Interest in marriage and family counseling had grown rapidly since the 1970s, especially in regard to the number of individuals receiving training in this specialty. Different professional associations attract these specialists. Roughly 49% of marriages have ended in divorce. The rate of marriage also seems to be on the decline.
Marriage counselors are specifically designed as licensed marriage and family therapists (L.M.T.S). Licensing and credentialing requirements can vary by state. But most states require advanced training, including: • • • A master’s or doctoral degree Graduate training in marriage and family therapy And training under the supervision of other experts
Before scheduling sessions with a specific therapist, consider whether the therapist would be a good fit for you and your partner. You might ask questions like these:
• • • •
Education and experience. What is your educational and training background? Are you licensed by the state? Are you credentialed by the AAMFT? What is your experience with my type of issue? Logistics. Where is your office? What are your office hours? Are you available in case of emergency? Treatment plan. How long is each session? How often are sessions scheduled? How many sessions should I expect to have? What is your policy on canceled sessions? Fees and insurance. How much do you charge for each session? Are your services covered by my health insurance plan? Will I need to pay the full fee upfront?
Marital Counselor Should Be Able to:
• • • • • • • • • • • • •
Reason logically Understanding the meaning of the words and ideas Communicate well, both in speech and writing Make decisions based on personal judgment and verifiable data Help couples to develop the ability to plan and make decisions Perform a variety of duties which may change often Realize that clients may blame counselor for their problems
Types of Therapists/Marriage Counselors
Clinical Psychologist Counseling Psychologist Psychiatrist Psychoanalyst Marriage and Family Therapist Licensed Professional Counselor
Need for Marital Counseling
Marriage counseling requires both partners to be successful and to give up, counseling for a marriage is unlikely to be effective if only one partner attends it. That is individual therapy and while couples may undergo individual therapy hand-in-hand with their marriage counseling, the counseling itself requires both of you to be there. Most marriages and other relationships aren’t perfect. Each person brings his or her own ideas, values, opinions and personal history into a relationship, and they don’t always match their partner’s. Those differences don’t necessarily mean your relationship is bound for conflict. These differences can also help people understand, respect and accept opposing views and cultures. Here are typical issues that marriage counseling can help you a spouse or partner cope with: • • • • • • • • • • • Communication problems Sexual difficulties Conflicts about child rearing or blended families Substance abuse Financial problems Physical or mental conditions Cultural clashes Unemployment Anger Infidelity Divorce
Marriage counseling is often short term. You may need only a few sessions to help you weather a crisis. Or you may need marriage counseling for several months, particularly if your relationship has greatly deteriorated. As with individual psychotherapy, you typically see a marriage counselor once a week.
Types of Marital Counseling
There are four types of counseling are used to work with couples. In each type the focus is always on the couple relationship, even if the unit of treatment is the individual.
1) Concurrent Marital Counseling
In concurrent marital counseling the same counselor work effectively with each partner. This method is often used when one partener has major issues of an intrapsychic nature to resolve in addition to a problem with the relationship. Problem with the Approach The major problem with this approach is remembring that has been learned from each partener, remaining imparital, and keeping confidential the seceret on partener does not wish to be reveled to other.
2) Collaborative Marital Counseling
Each partner is seen individually by different counselors, sometimes this occurs one partner prefers working on the relationship, while the other partner prefer dealing with individual problems and concerns. The counselor than collaborative with each other, compares notes, and plans compatible intervention stratigies. Problem With This Approach Problem with this approach include the logistics of finding counselors who would be comfortable with such a relationship and who would be able to arrange regular collaborative sessions, and the fact that each counselor would have only a narrow and limited view of the relationship and no direct relationship. Of the couples interaction.
3) Conjoint Marital Counseling
The couple is seen together by one or more counselors. This approach is often used when both partners are motivated to work on the relationship. The emphases are on understanding and modifying the relationship. This has been popular approach among marriage counselor.
4) Couple Group Counseling
Several couples are seen together by one or more counselors. This approach is some times used to conjoint counseling. It can lessen an intense emotional situation between couples since people generally tend to behave more rationally in groups rather than individually.
The Marital Counseling Process:
While many married couples claim to know each other very well, marriage itself is a process of learning about your partner. The therapist will attempt to impart techniques to the couple that will help them deal with problems more openly, fostering better communication. It is a process of analysis, looking closely at the marriage itself, what the problems are, and how best to resolve them. Following are the stages of marital counseling.
Stages of Marital Counseling
Stage One: Relationship building
Assessment and diagnosis
Stage Three: Formulation of counseling goals Stage Four: Stage Five: Stage Six: Implementation of plan Termination Research and evaluation
Stage One Relationship Building
In order to develop positive helping relationships with client, marital counselor got to be able to connect with them. This can only happen when clients are made to feel like you genuinely care about their well-being and that you understand where they are coming from. Tasks here include…
Laying foundations for trust Establishing the structure and form the relationship will take
Stage Two Assessment and Diagnosis
Assessment is a multifaceted process that involves a variety of functions, and also combines a variety of information into a meaningful pattern reflecting relevant aspects of an individual. The first step in making an assessment is to find out if change is necessary, and if it is what needs to happen for change to take place. If you have determined that change is necessary, then the next step is to figure out what needs to change. Is it a behavior? An attitude? A situation? A good assessment can provide an opportunity for a client’s person to see how his/her behavior or attitude might be contributing to an undesirable or unhealthy situation. Assessment is an ongoing process. Marital counselor need to regularly check in with your clients to see how things are going. Reassessments enable you to ensure that you and the clients are on the right track. How do counselor gather information in order to make an informed assessment? He can gather information in a number of ways: talking with client, observing the client’s behavior and interactions, discussions with other people who are involved in the client’s life, and reading any documented information on the client. Keep in mind that when utilizing someone else’s verbal or written report as a source of background information, you run the risk of subjecting yourself to their biases and assumptions.
For Diagnosis Information about the presenting complaints, the solutions that have already been tried, and the current life situation is gathered. The counselor is searching for a summary statement of client’s problem, a formal diagnosis to describe the general pattern of behavior, and a behavioral label to describe meaningfully and individually what the client is doing, feeling, and thinking. Making these distinctions is important. In the assessment process diagnosis are significant because they have implications for selecting a treatment strategy and because they are often required by the system. Counselor builds hypotheses during this stage.
Stage Three Formulation of Client Goals
Why is it important to establish “mutually agreed” upon goals and objectives? Because if a client is in agreement with the goals then he/she is more likely to follow through on them. When client is actively involved in the goal setting process and is in agreement with the goals, then he/she is more inclined to take ownership of the goals. What are goals? Goals are broad statements that identify what you want to accomplish. Think of goals as the end result that you are trying to achieve. Difference between goals and objectives While goals are broad statements that identify what you want to accomplish overall, objectives are the measurable steps that you take to achieve your goals. For example if you have a goal that states, “Youth will be better able to manage her anger.” One of your objectives might be, “youth will recognize emotional triggers that lead to angry outbursts and use positive, self-talk to calm her down.” Your objectives should always be concrete and measurable. They should also be derived from the overall goal. Goals may change, evolve as therapy progresses. Five Categories Counseling Goals 1. To change an unwanted or unwelcome behavior 2. To better cope 3. To make and implement decisions 4. To enhance relationships 5. To help client’s journey of growth toward achieving potential
Stage Four Implementation Plan:
The implementation plan is a plan that you and the youth work on together. It is designed to prevent, intervene, or address unhealthy behaviors and practices. The implementation plan identifies who will perform the activities, where the activities will occur, how frequently they will occur, how they will be carried out and when they will be carried out. Implementation activities are designed to help individuals re-think risky behavior, work through problematic issues, address unhealthy lifestyles practices, learn new skills and build strengths. Implementation activities can include: counseling, crisis intervention, training and education, supportive services, concrete services and constructive use of free time. As you can see, each stage of the counseling process builds upon the former. As you move through each stage, you will come to realize that it takes patience and practice to counsel youth effectively, but if you are committed to the goal you’ll do just fine. You may not feel completely confident in your ability as a counselor, but as you expand your knowledge base, gain more experience and strengthen your helping skills, you will become a more effective counselor. Characteristics of a good treatment plan…
• • •
Goals are clearly defined and reachable Plan able to be adapted with time Positive and action-oriented focus Essential to an effective plan…is client’s motivation and willingness to follow it
Stage Five: Termination
• • • Counselor always mindful of avoiding fostering dependency and is aware of own needs Preparation for termination begins long before Open door / plan for possibility of future need
Termination considered not just at end of successful relationship, but also is considered when it seems counseling is not being helpful.
Stage Six: Research / Evaluation
Really completed throughout the counseling process – reflected in… • • • Generating hypotheses Trying intervention strategies Determining if/when goal is met
A plan for evaluation
Overall and additional stages for marriage counseling:
There are three main stages in marriage counseling. 1. In the first five to six weekly sessions, the couple openly expresses all negative feelings about each other. They can sometimes be very hostile to each other. 2. The next stage is extremely difficult. As the couple has openly conveyed negative feelings to each other, they are usually very angry with one another. In a number of cases, they may completely end coming to counseling. 3. If the couple survives the second stage and remains in counseling, the counselor asks each of them if they are still committed to maintaining their marriage.
Different Marital Therapy Approaches
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Psychoanalytic Social learning Behavioral Bowen family systems Structural-strategic Rational-emotive
Psychoanalytical based marriage counseling is based on the theory of object relation which addresses how relationships are developed across the generations.
Counseling Process and Techniques:
In the process, the counselor uses the process of transference where each partner restructures internally based perceptions of, expectations of, and reactions to self and others and projects them onto the counselor. • Individual histories of each partner of relationship:
Objects are significant others in one's environment, such as a mother with whom children form an interactive emotional bond. Preferences for certain objects as opposed to others are developed in early childhood in parent-child interactions. Individuals bring these unconscious forces into a marriage relationship. • •
Dream work Analysis of resistance Catharsis: Catharsis, the expression of pent-up emotion, is a must.
The goal of this approach is for individuals and couples to gain new insights into their lives and change their behaviors.
Social Learning Theory
Social learning theory is a form of behaviorism that stresses learning through modeling and imitation. According to this approach, marriage partners-either have -a deficit or excess of needed behaviors. A deficit may be the result of one or both partners' never having witnessed a particular skill, like how to fight fairly. An excess may come as a result of one or both partners thinking that just a little more of a certain behavior will solve problems. For examples, telling every negative or positive feeling to the other partner or what one likes and does not like in the marriage in the hope that honest communication will be beneficial. While such honesty may be admired, research shows that marriages grow more through positive reciprocity than negative feedback. Selective communication and interaction with one's spouse seem to work best. The focus of social learning theory is on skill building in the present. Techniques: Within the treatment process, counselors may use a wide variety of behavioral strategies to help couples change, such as: ○ ○ ○ ○ ○ Self-reports Observations Communication-enhancement training exercises Contracting Homework assignments
Much of social-learning theory is based on linear thinking, that A is the likely cause of B.
Behavioral Marriage Counseling
In behavioral marriage counseling, the behavior is maintained or eliminated by consequences. It is based on direct, careful assessment and intervention. The focus is on presenting problems. Treatment process: The treatment process in Behavioral Marriage Counseling is based on patient training, marriage relationship and couple communication, and the treatment of sexual dysfunctions and the emphasis is on dyadic interactions. Role of Counselor The counselor plays roles as teacher, expert, and reinforcer. Techniques ○ Systematic desensitization ○ Positive reinforcement ○ Generalization ○ Extinction
○ ○ ○ ○
Modeling Reciprocity Punishment Token economies
Bowen Family Systems Marital Theory
The focus of Bowen family system marital theory is on differentiation (distinction) of one's thoughts from one's emotions and of oneself from others. When there is a great deal of friction within a marriage, the less mature partners tend to display a high degree of fusion (undifferentiated emotional togetherness) or cutoff (physical or psychological avoidance). They have not separated themselves from their families of origin in a healthy way nor have they formed a stable self-concept. When they are stressed as persons within the marriage, they tend to triangulate (focus on a third party). The third party can be the marriage itself, a child, or even a somatic complaint. Regardless, it leads to unproductive couple interactions. Techniques • • To differentiate oneself from family of origin Assessment of self and family through Genograms
Structural Strategic Theory
Structural Strategic Theory is based on the belief that when dysfunctional symptoms occur in a marriage, they are an attempt to help couples adapt. The job of a structural-strategic marriage counselor is to help couples try new behaviors because their old behaviors are not working.
How To Learn New Behaviors:
Relabeling: Giving a new perspective to a behavior. Paradoxing: Insisting on the opposite of what one wants. Prescribing the symptoms: Having the couple display voluntarily what they had previously manifested involuntarily, like fighting.
Rational Emotive Therapy (RET)
The premise behind RET is that couples, like other individuals, often become disturbed because of what they think rather than because of specific actions that occur in relationships. That is “highly exaggerated, inappropriately rigid, illogical and absolutist” is what leads to neurosis and relationship disturbance. The focus is on helping individuals first and marriages second. The RET counselor works with them separately and together in the ABC method of RET. Goal:
The goal is to understand the illogical beliefs, otherwise they tend to catastrophize and awfulize and the emphasis is on particular problems like jealousy, sexuality, etc.
Benefits of Marriage Counseling
There are a wide number of marriage counseling benefits that can help a relationship. These include: • • •
• • •
Increasing confidence and self esteem of individuals Working out conflict resolution Improving communication between a couple Providing objective guidance through a trained counselor Identifying the issues that are really affecting the relationship rather than focusing on more superficial problems Teaching couples how to pull together rather than push one another away Providing help and resources to make the marriage stronger and more fulfilling
More and more people have come to appreciate marriage counseling benefits, hence this is a method that is no longer looked upon as unusual. In fact, people are coming to realize that marriage counseling is an effective way to strengthen and enhance their relationship and promote a healthy, lifelong marriage. With an objective counselor that is trained to identify the issues that are affecting both partner individually as well as the issues affecting them as a couple, it is possible to work upon a wealth of relationship problems that may not have even realized were affecting your marriage.
The Disadvantages of Marriage Therapy:
Some couples tend to depend on marriage counseling. There are many instances where people do not exert any effort to resolve their problems on their own because they know that there is a marriage counselor that they can turn to. Sometimes, one partner wants the marriage to work and the other doesn't. When one partner does not want to work on the problems, it can mean the death of the marriage. At that point, no amount of counseling will work, and the partner who wants to make the marriage work gets frustrated and angry.
Marriage is a special commitment between two people. It is an institution in which an interpersonal relationships are acknowledge by the state, by religious authority, or by both. It is often view as a contract. It is also referred to as couples therapy in some circles as it helps couples who are not married as well as those who have tied the knot in a formal ceremony. The
goal of counseling is to save the marriage there will be cases where the marriage is irreparable. Therapist can provide direction, you are responsible for acting on such guidance. By doing so, you will enjoy improved interaction and renewed enthusiasm for your relationship. An
overview of the marriage cycle and some of the danger years often seen in marriages. These years encompass from year two until seven. Then again around year twelve to seventeen and years twenty to twenty-five. Stages of marital counseling
are important for identifying problem and its solution through different therapies.
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I ask You by every name that You have, that You have called Yourself by, that You have taught any of Your Creation, that You have revealed in Your Book, or that You may have kept secret with Yourself. Make the Quran the spring of my heart, the light of my breast, the dispeller of my sorrows, the eraser of my anxieties and worries.