Your children are healthy, your partner is kind, you have friends and basically there is enough money. You have it all, but yet feel empty, alone and not understood. You feel disconnected; especially from your spouse and wonder, “What am I doing here? Should I be married?” These are thoughts you keep to yourself. You dare not give them voice for fear of starting an emotional avalanche that threatens to overwhelm you and those you love.
Marriage Counseling and Family Therapy in Westchester, NY
Creating a happy marriage is possible, and divorce is too often not the greener pasture that people hope it to be. Although at Gravett & Gravett we make our living helping our clients through the thorny legal issues involved in a divorce, we do not encourage divorce. Therefore, this site is dedicated to providing resources to help couples who want to stay together. By providing information and resources about marriage counseling, we hope to encourage couples to get the help they need. The site also features articles, books and websites which may assist couples in creating happy, lasting marriages.
Emotionally focused couples therapy (EFT) is a short-term, systematic and empirically tested intervention designed to reduce distress and create stronger, more secure attachment bonds in adult love relationships. Formulated in the 1980’s by Dr. Sue Johnson, this highly effective approach to couples therapy focuses on emotion (rather than the content of the specific problem a couple is facing) as the essential transforming element in couples therapy. It is a great option available to couples in which both partners are willing to work on repairing their relationship.
When a client seeking the dissolution of a marriage arrives in a lawyer’s office, it is always the case that emotional tension is high. This is generally problematic for a successful legal solution to the host of problems that present on termination of a relationship. Most lawyers, well-versed in the ramifications of divorce, are not so equally comfortable with the psychological fall-out from these kinds of situations.
As you register your kindergartener for dance or skating lessons, roll up your sleeves to partake in yet another play group with your toddler, and call about registering your puppy for obedience training, ask yourself the following: “what commitment am I making this fall to maintain and strengthen my marriage?” Autumn is a busy time when many families fill their schedules with classes, volunteer opportunities and athletics. Yet few parents take time to assess the wellness of their primary relationship, their connection to their spouse.
Couples who are in a constant state of bickering often start their first meeting with me by asking me how marital therapy can change their situation. I often respond by telling them that while I can give them skills to increase respect, improve communication, and promote intimacy; my hope is that they will become more aware of their intentions and more accepting of whatever they encounter. According to author Jon Kabat-Zinn, “mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way; On purpose, in the present moment, and non-judgmentally.”
So often I am asked "what can we do to help our kids through the divorce?" While this is a wide-open question whose answers range from very simple to quite complex, there are some general do’s and don’ts to seriously consider.
I’d like to begin with the following vignette. It’s fictional, but contains communication snafu’s that, although probably unintentional, can be wounding. How the wound is dealt with can determine if its effects are short-lived or if they become part of the catalog of complaints that one spouse holds and remembers about the other.
The scenario of one spouse recognizing that therapy might be useful to look at a troubled relationship while the other is resistant has several possible explanations.
Couples whom I work with in marital therapy are often surprised by my response to their first question: “how long will we need to work with you to save our marriage?” I often tell them that while they may be coming to sessions with me for as little as three to six months, they will need to work hard at their marriage forever.
When we hear the word splitting in the context of a separation or divorce, most of us probably think of "splitting up". I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce another use of the word that is particularly pertinent to people who are going through a separation or divorce.