Couples therapy, often called marital therapy or marriage counseling, may be the most challenging of all forms of psychotherapy. Many therapists prefer not to work with couples. Most aren’t effective at it. To go one step further, most psychotherapists are not adequately trained to work with couples. They tend to view each partner as individuals rather than equal parts of a dysfunctional system.
Most people are not aware that the ‘rules’ for a committed, long-term relationship have changed. Committed relationships were very different for our parents and grandparents. For them, marriage was defined as a legal relationship and it was reserved for a bond between a man and a woman. Further, the main purpose of marriage was to create a union in order to better endure hardship. Indeed, until the latter part of the 20 century, people married to forge a common front against traumatic events, such as war, persecution, economic depressions, and disease. Marriage—defined as a intimate, committed long-term relationship— is quite different today. No longer do we just come together for economic, sociological, educational, health or religious reasons. Today’s intimate committed relationships are centered on deep emotional connection. Healthy intimacy is the foundation of a satisfying relationship in the 21 century. Patriarchy is dead. Relationships are primarily egalitarian.
To be effective with couples, a therapist must be coach, counselor and therapist. He or she teaches each partner how to be authentic in an open, honest and sharing relationship. There are skills which are critical for each partner to learn if they are going to bond in a healthy and intimate relationship. Few of us learned in our early years the skills necessary for intimate 21 century bonding. However, just because we didn’t learn these skills growing updoesn’t meanone can’t learn them now. You can, and I am ready, willing and able to show you how. I am fortunate; I have received outstanding training in systems, self-psychology and object relations theory. In addition, I am one of the few therapists in Northern New England to be trained in Relational Life Therapy. I am grateful that I am possess the necessary skills to serve my clients well. I’d like the opportunity to do the same for you. Please call me at 207-576-8580, and let’s get started. I look forward to hearing from you.
 Couples Therapist William Dougherty quoted by Laurie Abraham in The Husbands and Wives Club,New York Times Book Review, March 28, 2010.
Clinical Counseling Associates – Providing Couples, Relationship, and Marriage Counseling and Therapy to the greater Portland-South Portland-Biddeford metropolitan area, including Portland, Biddeford, Brunswick, Saco, Cumberland, Falmouth, Yarmouth, Freeport, Gray, New Gloucester, and Windham