215-672-1599 KalieMarino@gmail.com

Couples Counseling

Reasons for Marriage or Couples Counseling

Relationships are the most important aspects of our lives, and yet, we receive no special school training in how to be in relationship. We copy what we have seen our parents or other role models do, which isn’t always the greatest. We usually spend time and money for education to hold a job, but few people have even read a book on how to be in relationship, how to parent, or how to communicate successfully, let alone taken a class in the subject or had counseling.

We don’t intuitively know how to parent or how to be a good partner. We go into relationships with no real understanding and expect to have a really great relationship. Later, we don’t even know what went wrong. Being in relationship is an art and takes skill. Good relationships don’t just happen. They take practice and understanding, but they are worth it. Some people value their relationship so much that they come for counseling before they get married to work out the issues that they can already see emerging. Wise couples see me at the first sign of problems, but most wait until they have to go to counseling or lose their partner.

When you first come to therapy, we will discuss what brings you there, the problems you are experiencing and the goals you have for therapy. Then we will create a plan together that fits your needs. Therapy usually includes learning good communication skills and how to be intimate with one another. If you want an intimate relationship, you need some advance communication skills. Some people need some individual therapy to overcome traumas that are interfering with their ability to trust and be close with their partner. Sometimes both partners learn skills like EFT to deal with anxiety and trauma. Therapy is customized to fit your needs.

Sex is not intimacy. The word intimacy is “in-to-me-see” and means just that. In a real intimate relationship, partners know and understand what is going on inside their partner, not just how they look and what they are doing. They know how he or she is feeling and they feel safe enough to be vulnerable and honest as they share their own feelings. Without intimacy, people have sex to try and get love, but with real intimacy, sex is an expression of the love they feel for each other. Sex is better when it is an expression of the closeness they already feel.

I see couples make dramatic changes when I teach them good communication skills. Most problems turn out to be caused by not feeling heard or not knowing how to talk to their partner. For some, it means developing an emotional vocabulary, words we seldom use if we were not raised in a family that expressed their feelings. This is called developing a high EQ, which is considered more important to success than a high IQ.

Some people like to come together for counseling, but for others, it works better when they each come separately at first. This gives each a time to be heard and seen as an individual with their own needs in the relationship. Later, we come together for sessions. Each person is given total confidentiality, which means that I do not share what either person has told me and they feel safe to share everything, knowing I will not tell their partner what they said. Couples feel safe in counseling, knowing that I am loving and accepting of each person just as they are and usually help each person to discover good qualities in themselves that they didn’t even know they had. My job is to empower you to live a happier, more fulfilling life.