Call Today: 608.236.2880 | Counseling and Therapy are covered by Flex Spending Accounts (FSAs)

Marriage Counseling Services

Understanding Marriage and Relationship Issues

Many couples take their relationship for granted, failing to devote the necessary time and energy required to maintain a healthy, loving relationship. All too often a phone call is made to the marriage counselor when the couple is already polarized in the later stages of marital crises after months or years of disconnection.

Marital counseling today not only deals with couples in crisis but is offered preventatively to help couples learn communication skills and problem solving techniques that promote compromise and commitment.

If a couple has children, they can also become casualties of marital discord. The best way to parent your children is to role model a positive and loving marital relationship. Nothing makes a child feel more insecure than observing conflict and distance between parents.

Many times, affairs, sexual and/or emotional, lead to the final
demise of a relationship. Affairs are one of life’s most painful experiences for the betrayed partner, children and even the wayward spouse. Counseling can help heal the pain and rebuild the trust in a relationship that has been shattered and traumatized.

Virtually all couples are going to disagree on important life issues. Marital counseling can help couples resolve some of these issues, or teach couples how learn to ‘agree to disagree’. In order to achieve a stable and satisfactory relationship, it is critical that couples learn to manage their negative emotions in dealing with disagreements. This is a primary focus of treatment.

Research on marriage over many years has helped identify specific behavioral patterns that result in couples opting to leave their marriage only to see these same dynamics negatively impact future relations if they do not change.

Most couples want to improve their relationship—they do not know the “how”.

The Solution: How to Improve Your Marriage/Relationship

After an initial phone screen is completed to determine whether counseling may be helpful, a joint appointment with both members of the couple is scheduled. During the initial consultation an assessment of the “presenting issues” is completed; a brief history of the couple’s relationship; and a determination and agreement as to whether the couple is motivated to work on their relationship.

If the couple wants to proceed in treatment, each member of the couple is next asked to schedule an individual assessment when a family history and individual issues are explored to determine what impact they may have on their couple relationship. Thereafter, couples attend sessions together with their partner since the focus of treatment is interactive. Relationship techniques that are taught:

  • Communication skills
  • Problem-solving skills

    The approach is straightforward and profound in results, teaching couples strategies to make their relationship more satisfactory, stable and rewarding.

    Skill building requires both time and practice and consultation sessions are scheduled accordingly. An important component of treatment is for couples to read and schedule “practice times” between therapy sessions to further reinforce the consultation.

    Marital consultation is not routinely covered by health insurance. The client is responsible for consultation fees.

    Couples approaching a marital commitment find this process helpful in preparing for marriage (pre-marital counseling).

    Couples, pre-marital and married, are requested to schedule an initial consultation appointment by contacting John Helf, LCSW at Helf Counseling Services, LLC at 608.236.2880 or