Relationship Counseling and Coaching
What’s the difference between counseling and coaching? Although there is no hard and fast line, counseling usually involves sitting down with a couple who is having significant difficulties in their relationship. The intensity of problems tends to dictate which approach is taken. Like everything else in life, the intensity of the issues tends to vary along a continuum from healthy to highly dysfunctional. Most counseling is done sitting together in an office. Coaching can be done in person, by video chat, phone, email or text. In each case, there will be assignments that couples or individuals will need to work on in between sessions to grow or maintain the progress they are making in session.
If you are having trouble communicating with each other, have frequent conflicts about money, sexuality, intimacy, child rearing or have gotten to a point where you are living parallel lives, then it would be helpful, if not absolutely necessary, to reach out for assistance. There are certain times in life where we just can’t solve our own issues despite our best efforts. Perhaps too much resentment has built up, there is too much conflict, you are dealing with a narcissistic partner or don’t have the tools to be able to convey your feelings in a clear, non-judgmental, non-attacking way. That’s the time to seek help. I have 3o years of helping couples find ways to improve and enhance their relationships. Sometimes I help couples who have intractable problems leave the relationship as painlessly as possible, as well as helping them find ways to minimize the damage to children that can accompany separation and divorce. I often refer to the work of John Gottman in helping couples identify the problem areas in their relationships. I also have an extensive background in Structural and Strategic Family Therapy.
Of all the kinds of counseling I do, relationship counseling is perhaps the most difficult. Why is that? It’s because each person in the relationship brings with them all the past unresolved issues they have from their family of origin and in one way or the other, attempts to resolve them with their partner. Each has expectations and beliefs about the nature of intimacy and is likely to consciously or unconsciously impose that pattern on the relationship. The more dysfunctional the family of origin they were exposed to growing up, the more likely there will be significant problems in the marriage. The unconscious mind of each person often is to blame for those difficulties. That’s why it’s so hard for couples to solve their own problems. If it’s not conscious, you can’t work on it. It affects your behavior in significant ways but without your knowledge. That’s where my life and work expertise come in. In 30 years I have seen hundreds of couples and can pinpoint the problems and help couple’s come to grips with them.
As a coach I help individuals who have trouble finding, evolving or maintaining a dating relationship .I also assist couples who basically have a pretty solid relationship but are having difficulties negotiating the normal developmental stages that couples frequently encounter, like marriage, having children, problems with work/family/intimacy balance, taking care of older parents while raising a family, empty nest, issues of sexuality and intimacy, retirement and dealing with partners who are now at home with each other all the time. Coaching can be done in person, by video chat, text and by phone.
What client says:
“I have seen Dr, Doug for both personal work and couples therapy for several months. I have found Dr. Doug to be a very caring, flexible and knowledgeable therapist. Our family has had many experiences with different therapists through the years. I feel like Dr. Doug has a wide range of knowledge, brings all of it to the table and uses it skillfully. Dr. Doug also was able to see us after regular hours when very few others would (my husband works out of town and is only home on the weekends). I would not hesitate to recommend Dr. Doug to anyone and have already done so to many of my friends! ”