Marriages commonly suffer difficulties that seem insurmountable. Even good marriages can become burdensome, and couples are often reminded that vows are “for better or worse.” Many times in relationships, one spouse or the other feels that compromises need to be made. Often the pattern of compromise builds resentment, and each person’s deeper needs are never really met. Resentment may build for many other reasons as well.
A few years of marriage may also bring to the surface long buried family-of-origin issues or other difficulties experienced early in life. It might be necessary to supplement marital therapy with individual sessions. These issues can be discussed in a warm atmosphere filled with compassion and understanding. No one is perfect, and nothing makes this reality more clear than marriage. Sacramental marriage, however, provides the added benefit of Sacramental Grace. By Grace, couples are opened up to healing power of God in their individual lives and in their relationship. Relationship Enhancement marital therapy utilizes psychologically sound principles to make this Grace effective.
In the Relationship Enhancement model of therapy, couples will learn to
- establish a constructive, cooperative atmosphere for resolving difficult relationship issues
- foster increased openness and trust
- reduce defensiveness, anger and withdrawal
- express your deepest feelings, concerns and desires openly, honestly and safely
- nurture deepened caring and compassion
- increase love and affection
- create solutions to conflicts at their deepest levels, and
- successfully implement agreed-to solutions and behavioral changes
This model has been consistently tested in numerous reseach studies demonstrating its strong treatment effect. It is a therapy model based on effective communication that eliminates the need for superficial compromise by uncovering each person’s deeper unmet needs. Patterns of communication are established that effectively change unhealthy interactions common in troubled marriages. Relationship Enhancement is beneficial for couples in crisis, couples with growing difficulties, or couples who wish to bring their relationship to a deeper emotional intimacy.