All Christian marriages have their struggles. Trying to navigate the ups and downs of life together can take a toll on any relationship. Sadly, many marriages end because the couples aren’t equipped with the tools to manage their problems. This does not have to be the case for you.
Christian marriage counseling at Rowlett Christian Counseling provides a safe, neutral setting in which you can hash things out, determine what the real issues are and how each of you may have contributed to them. You can work together under the guidance of an impartial, trained marriage counselor to rebuild your relationship by improving your communication skills, healing the wounds you may have inflicted on one another, and learning how to better solve your differences moving forward.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)
Why go for marriage counseling?
Amidst the business of life, marriage counseling creates time for you and your spouse to come together in a safe, neutral place to focus on each other and on your relationship. Seeking the counsel of a trained marriage counselor at Rowlett Christian Counseling can go a long way towards strengthening or even saving a troubled marital relationship.
Your counselor can help you and your spouse develop healthy communication and coping skills that will enable you to successfully navigate through the tough times you are likely to encounter at one time or another during your marriage.
“Happily married couples aren’t smarter, richer, or more psychologically astute than others. But in their day-to-day lives, they’ve hit upon a dynamic that keeps their negative thoughts and feelings about each other (which all couples have) from overwhelming their positive ones.” (John Gottman)
Some typical issues covered in Christian marriage counseling in Rowlett:
- Infidelity issues
- Cultural clashes
- Financial issues
- Issues resulting from changing roles, such as retirement
- Issues stemming from blended families
- Sexual difficulties
- Communication problems
- Conflicts about child rearing
- Issues concerning division of responsibilities
- Unmet emotional needs
- Conflicts concerning in-laws or other family members
What to expect from Christian marriage counseling in Rowlett:
- A therapeutic intervention that is rooted in the Bible.
- A challenge to be open and honest with one another.
- The opportunity to feel heard and to gain a better understanding of each other.
- A safe setting in which you and our spouse can let out difficult emotions you find hard to share, and have your feelings validated.
- An opportunity to strengthen the bonds between you and your spouse.
What do marriage counseling sessions look like?
You and your spouse meet together for joint therapy sessions with a trained marriage counselor who will act as an unbiased mediator as he/she helps you pinpoint and understand the sources of your conflicts, as well as analyze both the strengths and weaknesses of your relationship.
During your first session at Rowlett Christian Counseling, your counselor will want to discuss your individual backgrounds and history, as well as the history of your relationship and the conflict(s) you are currently experiencing that have brought you to therapy, so that he/she can gain an understanding of your specific needs and be able to establish a basis for setting therapy goals.
He/she will then determine a treatment plan that best fits these needs and that will promote healing and positivity in your relationship. The degree to which you allow yourself to open up and be vulnerable and talk about the pain and insecurities you struggle with in your relationship will determine the success of your therapy experience.
Some common techniques for breaking down barriers in communication and developing healthy conflict resolution skills between you and your spouse that your counselor may use include:
- Reflective listening. Reflective listening is an exercise where you and your spouse take turns actively listening to one another. The one speaking uses “I” statements (instead of accusations) to describe his or her feelings and frustrations, and the one listening makes a conscious efforts to stay focused on what is being said and not only hear the words being spoken, but also try to understand the feelings behind them, and retain the complete message being communicated.
- Emotionally focused therapy. Emotionally focused therapy seeks to strengthen the bonds between you and your partner so as to establish a feeling of emotional safety with one another. Your counselor will help you each identify your individual emotional needs and help you meet them for one another by developing emotional awareness, compassion, and acceptance of each other.
- Narrative therapy. Narrative therapy views problems as separate from you and/or your partner, and uses externalization—describing your problems in narrative form—to distinguish this separation and remove any undermining conclusions that have gone unquestioned. The goal is to decrease conflict and increase cooperation between you and your spouse.
- Gottman method. The Gottman method is a technique designed to help you and your spouse better understand one another and learn how to manage your conflicts through positive communication rather than by becoming defensive, critical, condescending or deceptive.
- Imago relationship therapy. Imago relationship therapy emphasizes the connection between adult relationships and childhood experiences, and involves viewing the conflict between you and your spouse as the outcome of a specific circumstance rather than the cause of the disharmony. The technique aims at making you and your spouse more understanding and empathetic towards one another.
- Solution focused couples therapy. Solution focused couples therapy is a short-term, future-oriented technique that focuses on identifying your goals as a couple, and on finding solutions for how to achieve them rather than dwelling on the problems.
- Behavioral couples therapy. Behavioral couples therapy is a technique that focuses on shaping you and your spouse’s behavior towards one another by reinforcing the positive behaviors in your relationship that promote stability and satisfaction, and discouraging behaviors that foster negativity.
- Cognitive behavioral couples therapy (CBCT). CBCT teaches you and your spouse how to identify and change thought patterns that have a negative influence on your behavior.
- Religious cognitive behavioral therapy (RCBT). RCBT is a form of cognitive behavioral couples therapy that in addition to helping you and your spouse learn how to evaluate unhealthy thoughts and negative feelings towards yourself and each other and counter them with optimism and positivity, also enables you to explore your faith and relationship with God in a constructive, non-judgmental way.
- Premarital counseling. Addressing potential areas of conflict before marriage can be an important first step towards building a sound foundation for the future. At Rowlett Christian Counseling in Texas, premarital counseling is a way for you and your partner to really get to know each other and whether or not you’re on the same page as to where you stand on important issues such as managing money, dealing with in-laws, having children, and what your expectations of married life in general are, so as to prevent you and your partner from engaging in negative behavior that could lead to a breakup of your marriage should these issues arise after the knot has been tied. A trained marriage counselor in Rowlett can serve as an unbiased mediator, offering guidance on setting realistic goals, and teaching you how to resolve conflicts in a healthy and positive way.
Christian versus secular marriage counseling
Christian marriage counseling in Rowlett, Texas involves a combination of biblical principles and clinical interventions to help you find healing and wellness in your relationship. Choosing a counselor with a biblical perspective ensures that your Christian values will be supported and that the counsel you receive is in keeping with God’s will.
If you have questions or would like to set up an appointment, please give us a call today at Rowlett Christian Counseling. We would be happy to discuss how we can help you manage the challenges you are facing and walk you through the healing process.
Gottman and Silver (1999), The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.