Hiring the Best St. Cloud Couples' Therapy Counselor for You
© 2018-2020 Richard Chandler, MA, LPC, Masters in Psychotherapy, Licensed Professional Counselor
How do you choose the best Central Minnesota marriage therapy counselor for you? This page answers the question, “What would it be like to work with me as your marriage therapist?” In addition to reading this webpage, you may also call or text on my confidential counseling cellphone to have your questions answered: 320-223-9481
My Approach for Working with Couples in Marriage Counseling
I help engaged, married, and unmarried committed couples in the Saint Cloud Central Minnesota area with this approach:
- You can expect me to be curious and interested in each of you as unique individuals.
- I ask questions to understand how to be truly helpful.
- We explore 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.
- I will ask: "What changed for you or your partner?"
- And ask: "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 problem 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.
We will candidly explore your thoughts and your partner’s thoughts about your relationship. How have your thoughts impacted your communications? As each of your insight increases, your way of relating to each other is likely to improve.
Your Best Marriage Counselor Helps You 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 St Cloud area couples’ 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.
The Best 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 may feel as if each of their attempts to reach out to their partner was 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.
Suddenly after forty years of marriage we found ourselves "happily" retired but quickly discovered that the same old dysfunctional communication patterns had followed us to our happy place. 🙁 Try as we might we just could not shake the old, familiar feelings of being dissatisfied and lonely with one another and now we couldn't escape those feelings by fleeing to a workplace for some reprieve. We needed help and we both wanted it. Richard had all of the skills necessary to help us to identify just exactly what we were each doing to impede the effective, loving & compassionate communication we both so desperately wanted.It hasn't been easy. We've both had to face some tough truths about ourselves that we had spent years either ignoring, pretending weren't there or just didn't have the time to deal with. But Richard has a way of making you look at those very scary & very raw moments as simply necessary opportunities to get to the place you want to be. It has been so, so worth it! We are well on our way and feel confident that our retirement years together can be all that we ever dreamed of. We highly recommend Richard.
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. My intent is to be the best marriage therapist in the St Cloud, MN area for you.
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.
* You may schedule Telephone and video conferencing sessions 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 choose the amount that is comfortable for you and your budget.
* We Welcome & Affirm LGBTQ Individual Clients and Couples.
* We respectfully serve African-American Clients
Call, or Text 320-223-9481 for a no-cost consult or to schedule Click Here for Driving Directions
1204 7th St S
St Cloud, MN 56301
Our office building is just south of Tech High School and overlooks Lake George. Parking is very near our building for clients both in the back and the side of our building.
This is also the office of our business consulting service, Strategic Leadership Consultants of MN