I help people save their relationships by helping them to look at their own behaviors and how this affects their relationship. This may mean any "resentment generating behavior" including over-shopping, alcohol and substance abuse, being manipulative or controlling or any number of other behaviors.
I have a doctorate from Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan and I am a fully licensed psychologist in Michigan. I have been doing couples counseling for over 25 years.
My office is located in Grand Rapids, MI, but I also work with clients on skype and over the phone.
There is no "one size fits all" solution to most couples' problems. However, in 90% of all cases, there is usually emotional disconnection brought on by a buildup of resentment. I help clients to understand where their resentment is coming from and what behaviors derail their arguments. No other therapist will help you with this.
Sessions cost $125.00 for 50 minutes. The average number of sessions that couples need to resolve their marital problems is 5 or 6 sessions.
1. When we find someone especially attractive, our brains produce neurotransmitters. These brain chemicals make us feel like we are "high". We feel infatuation (but we think we are in love).
2. We don't really fall in love with our love interest, but rather their "representative" or part of them they want us to see. If left uninterrupted by reality we start to have feelings for our lover. But the neurotransmitters of love blind us to the true nature of our love interest.
3. If the person that we have these feelings for is at least 80% of the person they passed themselves off as being, there is little if any resentment. If not, there tends to be a sense of disconnection and betrayal once the neurotransmitters wear off (about a year). This means that there can be a sense of "what happened to the guy/girl I fell in love with."
4. We will do almost anything to continue the delivery of these brain chemicals. These chemicals are very powerful, so powerful that they trump even our natural tendencies. If we are private, we become talkative.
5. We marry, we have children, we go on with life. Naturally, there are issues that we have to resolve. Issues like parenting, sex, chores, spending...
6. If we have the ability to argue constructively and "stay in the ring", we resolve our issues without too much resentment being generated. If we can't resolve our issues however, if our partners call us names, interrupt us, bring up stuff from the past or threaten to leave us, what happens to the issue? What happens is we don't resolve the issue, because our arguments get de-railed.
7. When issues are left unresolved they don't go away. We open up the basement door and kick them down in the basement. They build up and become resentment. When the resentment builds up to a critical mass we start to disconnect emotionally.
8. When we disconnect emotionally we no longer feel like our partner is filling our cup emotionally. When this happens we look for things in our lives that do fill our cup. We start to focus on things like our careers, our children, our hobbies. Things that drive us from our partner, not closer.
9. When we feel that the trust and respect for our partners begins to wane, we start to ask ourselves "How much of my heart should I be holding back. How much am I willing to be hurt if this does not work out?" This does not necessarily mean we are leaving, but it may mean we fantasize about it or start to make plans... just in case.
10. We start to become guarded and not allow our partner into our inner world. The very things that drew us to our mate, the laughing, joking, playing, sex and talking dry up, and we feel like roommates. We feel emotionally disconnected.