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. A common difficulty that I address is angry words, outbursts or behaviors through individual anger management therapy. 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.
My intent is to help couples understand and change the patterns that have caused their relationship to suffer. I endeavor to help couples stay together and become a happy loving couple. This view is reflected in my membership and profile page in Marriage Friendly Therapists.
Another related service that we provide is Business Partner's Counseling. In some cases, the business partners are also marriage partners.
Note: We do marriage therapy and couples counseling with gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender romantic partners.
* Telephone and video conferencing sessions may be arranged if there is a barrier to meeting face-to-face. Although couples counseling isn't covered by insurance, our rates are affordable. We also have a sliding fee scale with reasonable minimums. We do not ask financial questions to qualify for our sliding fee scale. You simply choose the amount that is comfortable for you and your budget.
* We Welcome & Affirm LGBTQ Individual Clients and Couples.