Hiring Your St. Cloud Couples’ Therapy Counselor
In order for you to best choose your St. Cloud couples’ therapy counselor, it is vital to know how he or she works with marriages and committed romantic partnerships. This page answers St Cloud, MN area residents question, “What would if be like to work with Richard Chandler, MA, LPC as our marriage therapist?” Here is my approach to helping engaged, married and unmarried committed couples in the Saint Cloud Central Minnesota area.
You can expect me to be curious and interested in each of you as unique individuals. I ask questions to understand the how to be truly helpful. This includes exploring what brought you together as romantic partners. What unique and attractive qualities caused the two of you to fall in love with each other? At one point, you liked and loved each other enough to become a couple. Perhaps you were married, or even have children together. What changed for you or for your partner? Have there been underlying issues all along that became more problematic over time?
What Caused Your Marriage to Suffer?
What has been getting in the way of living in harmony with each other? For most couples, there are many factors involved – with some quite major and some quite minor (but still frustrating). You may be painfully aware of many of those difficulties. Other contributing factors may be hidden from you and your partner but will become apparent within our marriage therapy sessions.
Until the two of you really understand what is going on internally within yourself and within the mind of your partner, and how this manifests in your communication and interactions together, making your relationship better, long-term, may stay out of reach. My first job, as your couples counselor & therapist, is to help you both gain the insights required to understand what is really happening internally and how your understanding is communicated to your spouse.
The Marriage Counselor Helps the Couple to Better Understand Each Other’s Perspective
Although it is natural for each of you to have your perspective, (and your view makes the most sense to you), your differing viewpoints can lead to relationship discord. You or your spouse may have real difficulty stepping out of your way of seeing things and entering into the perspective of your mate. In marriage counseling, your counselor may invite you to join in your romantic partner’s worldview and encourage your partner to enter into yours more fully. Also, the marriage therapist functions as a neutral party to help both of you refrain from exclusively relying on either logical thinking or emotional intelligence as a justification for your position. So with better understanding and acceptance of each other’s perspective arguing or silent disagreement can decrease.
Couples Counseling Allows and Teaches Mates to Say What Needs Saying Safely
Couples typically find that their relationship is suffering even with both members doing their best to make things better. It is as if each of their attempts to reach out to their partner is not received, at least in the ways that the one reaching out had hoped. Some degree of rejection repeatedly takes place.
Rejection leads to the patterns of discord in their marriage (or committed couple relationship) continuing to repeat. Each person protects themselves by retreating into their perspective. Unfortunately, a private retreat goes in the opposite direction of increased closeness and intimacy. So for couples in this pattern, the risk of vulnerability has become too high. They find themselves unable to escape from patterns of protecting their vulnerability on their own.
Without Professional Help, Negative Relationship Patterns May Be Too Entrenched to Change.
The act of showing up in a marriage therapy session with an experienced couples’ counselor changes the dynamic. The fact that both people have committed their time and money to work on their relationship can begin to move things forward. The marriage therapist creates the setting, the safe space to say what needs saying by each person with much less concern that misunderstanding will arise.
The therapist’s job is to facilitate your conversation so that it is productive rather than destructive. Over time, as you both gain communications skills, you can do this on your own. A skilled marriage counselor will have each of you rephrase your words from time-to-time, so you or your partner can hear these words, and the emotion behind them, with less defensiveness. In summary, without outside professional help, miscommunication patterns can be too entrenched to change.
Learn to Improve Your Marriage, Significant Other, or Fiancee Relationship!
With this understanding you, your partner, fiancée or spouse can try on new ways of thinking and take new actions that will move you both forward to a place of relationship renewal. And this is my second job… to give you remedies for your specific difficulties. In each session, I will teach you communication tools that will enhance how you talk and relate with each other. Those communication tools will be tailored to you and your wife, husband, and mate.
Is Your Marriage Counseling Therapist Staying Neutral?
My last job as your couples’ counselor therapist is to stay neutral and not take sides. Instead, I hope to help you and your husband, wife or married partner to hear, understand, respect and appreciate each other’s perspective. How I remain neutral is not always easy for me. Perhaps you have a healthier perspective on a particular issue. But this is typically balanced out by your partner having a perspective that you may not have been fully aware of. My job is to point out what is important, healthy and healing, but do so without taking sides.
Therefore I will do my best to remain neutral overall, even if at times one of you might have an important point that your husband or wife has not completely understood or fully appreciated. While my role does including weighing in, it is not to judge one of you or to pick sides. Instead, my role is to help you both to raise your insight into yourselves, your partner, your relationship. Part of your work involves learning how your words and actions have contributed to the discontent that you are both experiencing. And in addition to understanding, you will learn more optimal ways to communicate with each other. Doing so can lead to greater happiness with each other and your committed relationship.
In summary, I will do my best to understand your present difficulties within the entire life of your relationship, including the times when you were getting along well together. If you want to again feel kind, attraction to your mate, I will do my best to help you find your way back to happiness with each other.
Is Richard Chandler, MA, LPC, the Best St. Cloud, MN Couples’ Therapy Counselor for You?
This may be hard to know without a little more direct contact with me. That is why we offer a free brief phone consultation. You can simply email, call or text to set this up. Below please find my credentials and other information that may be of help in answering this question for you and your partner:
I Studied Marriage and Family Therapy & Professional Clinical Counseling
Although I am older, I graduated in the spring of 2015 from Adler Graduate School in Bloomington, MN with all of the underlying coursework to be licensed in both Marriage and Family Therapy and in Professional Clinical Counseling.
This took almost another full year to complete, but it gave me very comprehensive training in the psychology of relationships. My schooling is more recent and up to date. It included specific training in Adlerian Psychology, which is a holistic approach in which we learn that our individual mental health is embedded within our relationships with family and with our romantic partner, within our community, our work, our spirituality, and in the ways in which we achieve balance through self-care and our hobbies.
My St. Cloud, MN Practice Focus is Marriage Therapy & Couples Counseling
By far, the majority of my counseling sessions have been with couples or with individuals who need assistance in how they can heal, learn to trust, and grow after a breakdown in their romantic relationship due to an affair, or other forms of infidelity such as inappropriate texting, chatting or even financial infidelity.
Compassionate, Non-judgemental Listening is a Major Counseling Strength
I do my best to give complete attention to St. Cloud couples therapy clients. This can be challenging at times in couples therapy, as sometimes while a wife is talking, her husband will be shaking his head. or the husband may be speaking, but his wife is communicating non-verbally that she is disagreeing with what he is saying. Even so, I do my best to model and teach, kind, active listening, where each person does their best not to interrupt the other by words or distracting non-verbal behavior. In addition to simply hiring me as your marriage therapist, our Chandler Counseling & Consulting Facebook Page is devoted to tips for couples to improve their communications and their love relationship.
You Will Learn, and Be Encouraged to Try Out, New Skills with Each Other
Yes… I give couples homework! It is not enough to gain insight only. To be successful in growing and doing better with your marriage or romantic partnership, you must learn and get better at the skills of compassionate communication. You will be encouraged to dramatically increase your words of kindness and appreciation and your acts of kindness towards each other. I will also encourage you to go on dates, trips and do the kinds of romantic things that perhaps got you together in the first place.
My Personal Background Provides Insights into Marriage & Couples Counseling
My wife of over 2 decades, Bonnett Chandler, MA, is also a psychotherapist who primarily works with children and families. My own children, from a previous marriage, have been adults for many years. I personally and professionally understand the complexities and pain of separation, divorce and the challenges of step-parenting and working with blended families.
Take the 1st Step for Saving Your Marriage or Romantic Partnership
Simply email, text or call me at 320-223-9481 for a complimentary consult. Sometimes it is hard to know if it is best to come in for the first session together, or for you to begin marriage therapy couples counseling without your partner. This may especially be the case if you are uncertain about whether you truly want to stay in the relationship. We can have a short exchange by email, text or by phone to talk about your situation, answer your questions about what it might be like to work together and decide the best way for you to begin. There is no charge for a short discussion about your relationship and how working with me as your St. Cloud couples’ therapy counselor might improve it. After talking, if it does not appear that working together is the best fit for either of us, I will give you the names of other marriage therapists who could be a better match.
Richard Chandler, MA, LPC (Masters in Adlerian Counseling and Psychotherapy, Licensed Professional Counselor)