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Relationship Tune-Up: Couples Counseling

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“Most couples wait much too long to reach out for help repairing their marriage… an average of six years of being unhappy before getting help.”

– Dr. John Gottman

A Catalyst for Counseling

“We were not getting any sleep. We were tired, so tired. I didn’t feel like he was doing enough. He probably felt the same. We were fighting a ton.” One night over a diaper change, it reached a head . . . voices raised, pleas for help unheard, a door slammed. ‘We’re going to counseling!’”

– Marilyn (name changed), a Vancouver-based counselor, wife and mother.

“Most couples are in distress when they seek counseling,” confirms Lemecia Lindsey, licensed clinical social worker (LCSW), a Vancouver-based counselor with more than 10 years of couples therapy experience. “They are feeling disconnected and distant from each other. They might be arguing more. One or more may be threatening divorce. They may have completely withdrawn and pulled away from their relationship. Sometimes couples therapy is driven by a suspicion or disclosure of infidelity.”

Before trying counseling, Marilyn and her husband tried a book; they tried sharing more. Neither worked, “We just needed someone to help us,” she says. Marilyn called around to see who was available and accepted her health insurance. She focused on finding a therapist who specialized specifically in couples counseling.

Can Counseling Save a Relationship?

To read the rest of this article, pick up a copy of the February 2020 issue at any of these locations, or view the digital archive copy below.

Find a Counselor/Support

Check with your health insurance or EAP for in-network referrals. Most counselors list their specialties in www.psychologytoday.com and www.findatherapist.com.

Local Referral & Assistance Resources
Clark County Crisis Services – 800-626-8137
Catholic Community Services – 360-567-2211
Columbia River Mental Health Services – 360-993-3000
National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) – 360-695-2823
Sea Mar Community Health Center – 360-566-4432
• Free/low cost counseling: www.opencounseling.com

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About Author

Recently returned to the Pacific Northwest, Dana Greyson is a freelance writer, former mediator and world traveler. When she’s not exploring, she’s usually writing. She blogs about her sailing adventures on Galley Wench Tales.

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