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MARITAL THERAPY BROCHURE

Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D. is a clinical psychologist in private practice in
Chicago, Illinois and Northfield, Illinois.

You can contact Dr. Frisch, Psy.D. at
(847) 498-5611.

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Marital Therapy Brochure
Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D

I appreciate the opportunity to be of help to you. Because marital therapy is a large commitment of time, money, and energy, a therapist should be carefully chosen. With this in mind, I have created this Marital Therapy Brochure to provide you with an overview of my approach to marital therapy. I will be happy to discuss the information contained in this pamphlet in whatever detail you would like at our next meeting.

As you review the information contained in this pamphlet, please consider the following questions. Are you comfortable with my approach to marital therapy? Is my approach to marital therapy relevant to the concerns that you’ve discussed with me? Will my approach to marital therapy likely address the issues that you’ve discussed with me? Are there issues that you’ve discussed with me that my approach to marital therapy may not sufficiently address? Will my approach to marital therapy sufficiently address those issues that you have not discussed with me?

Please note that when I do marital therapy I focus exclusively on the issues of the marriage without any detailed attention paid to the individual issues of either partner. Let me emphasize that I do NOT use marital therapy to deal in any depth with the individual issues of each partner. If the therapeutic needs of either one of you exceed the focus of the marital therapy, I will make the recommendation that you do individual therapy along with or instead of marital therapy (with either a therapist of your own choosing or myself).

I am often asked by a couple how long marital therapy will last. My simple answer that I offer to everybody is that that I do not know how long your marital therapy might last if you were to choose to do marital therapy with me. If you have concerns about doing an open-ended therapy, my recommendation is that you and your partner discuss how long you want to do marital therapy, commit to that period of time, and once that time elapses, review your progress and either terminate or continue treatment at that time.
 
Please be mindful of the fact that this pamphlet is not a syllabus for a course that I teach about how to enrich your relationship. Marital therapy does not unfold in such a neat, precise order. Don’t read anything into the order in which the information has been presented to you.

G.B.U.

Steve

 


Focus of Marital Therapy

The first focus of marital therapy is skill development. Each partner will develop and learn how to apply:
1.) Safe here-and-now self-disclosure that combines an empathic understanding of one’s partner and a more open, honest, and less guarded revelation of Self
2.) Conflict resolution
3.) Identification and application of mechanisms that make a relationship emotionally and spiritually safe
4.) Expression of support, validation, and affirmation of each partner
5.) Identification and expression of emotional needs
6.) Identification and expression of emotions
7.) Safe expression and acceptance of the expression of negative emotions such as hostility, jealousy, aggression, insecurity, disappointment, disapproval, contempt

The second focus of marital therapy is self-awareness. Each partner will expand and deepen their understanding of who they are emotionally, behaviorally, psychologically, interpersonally, and spiritually in the context of their marriage and family.

1.) Emotional
a.) The feelings that are stimulated by the interactions that each partner has with the other
b.) The feelings that are stimulated by the circumstances of the life that each partner shares with the other
c.) How each partner’s actions and inactions affect the other partner

d.) How each partner is affected by the actions and inactions of the other partner

2.) Behavioral
a.) Behaviors that create emotional distance and closeness
b.) Behaviors that paralyze and stimulate the growth of the relationship
c.) Behaviors that emotionally shut down and open up each partner and the relationship
d.) Behaviors that punish and reward each partner
e.) Behaviors that shame and celebrate each partner

3.) Psychological
a.) What psychologically motivates each partner’s actions and inactions towards each other
b.) What life experiences shape each partner’s actions and inactions towards each other
c.) What family of origin experiences shape each partner’s actions and inactions towards each other
d.) What attitudes and beliefs about Self are destructive and/or constructive to the relationship
e.) What attitudes and beliefs about Others are destructive and/or constructive to the relationship

4.) Interpersonal
a.) The emotions that are stimulated by the demands of emotional intimacy
b.) The internal conflict and ambivalence stimulated by the demands of emotional intimacy
c.) The tensions stimulated by the competing desires to preserve one’s individual autonomy and wanting to be part of a relationship
d.) The avoidance strategies employed to mitigate or diminish the demands of emotional intimacy
e.) Mechanisms employed to walk the fine line between one’s desire to preserve one’s individual autonomy and wanting to be part of a relationship

5.) Spiritual
a.) Forgiveness vs. blame
b.) Surrender vs. willfulness
c.) Tolerance vs. judgmentalness
d.) Entitlement vs. humility


The third focus of marital therapy is safe self-disclosure. All couples consciously and unconsciously develop patterns of communication whose sole purpose is to inhibit, censure, and/or prevent the emergence of emotionally provocative conversation. This creates a backup of unresolved emotional issues that are toxic to the emotional and spiritual well-being of each partner and the relationship. The bigger the inventory of unacknowledged and unresolved emotions and circumstances that exist between a couple, the more emotional and psychological energy the couple must invest in the suppression and/or denial of those unresolved issues and emotions. Although the couple may successfully sanitize and/or censor their conversations, the need for that material to emerge, be discussed, and worked through remains. Marital therapy offers a safe environment for such material to be both openly and safely acknowledged, discussed, understood, and worked through where it may otherwise not be discussed at all if the couple is left to their own devices.   

The fourth focus of marital therapy is restructuring the relationship by:
1.) Changing the pattern of communication from defending one’s position to making oneself understood as well as striving to understand one’s partner. Such communication flows in an open, honest, and respectful way so that each individual can safely reveal themselves to their partner as well as resolve emotions, circumstances, and issues rather than intimidate, frustrate, and stalemate their partner.
2.) Shifting the time focus of the relationship from the past and future into the here-and-now
3.) Rebalancing the power structure of the relationship so that both individuals participate in the relationship as empowered equals rather than as domineering or passive tyrants
4.) Changing the decision making process from abdicating and/or dictating to co-participation
5.) Redefining how emotional needs are expressed and met
6.) Replacing victimology with the notion that your relationship is made up of two adults who take responsibility for what they do, think, feel, say, and act

 


Objectives of Marital Therapy

1.) Develop a process of communication that enables a couple to emotionally feed each other.

2.) Develop a process of self-examination that enables a couple to develop a relationship that emphasizes cooperativeness rather than competitiveness.

3.) Develop a process of self-examination that enables a couple to nurture each other’s growth rather than try to change each other.

4.) Develop a process of self-examination that enables a couple to reveal rather than describe themselves to each other.

5.) Develop a process of communication that supports a couple’s efforts to heal the wounds that each has suffered at the hands of the other.

6.) Develop a process of communication that enhances a couple’s ability to hear what is important to each other.

7.) Develop a process of communication that enables a couple to get beyond circumstantial disagreements in order to find common ground.

8.) Identify those qualities that a couple cling to despite the fact that these qualities sabotage the emotional and spiritual well-being of the relationship.

9.) Develop a mindset of tolerance and forgiveness for those areas in which no common ground can be established.
10.) Transform the meaning of what harmony is and how harmony is created.




If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me by e-mail at
drfrisch@aliveandwellnews.com    

Professional Services Available
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Free Online Books Available

Building Better Bridges: Creating Great Relationships With the People Who Matter Most
By Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.

Making Molehills Out of Mountains: Reclaiming
Your Personal Power in Your Relationships

By Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.

Entering The World of Your Child:
How to Nurture the Spirit of Your Child

By Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.

Free Online Special Reports Available

The Art of Living Consciously: How to
Create A Life of Love, Joy, and Authenticity

By Dr. Steve Frisch, Psy.D.



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