Entries in counseling (3)


What Does It Matter? Why Depression Is So Important In Troubled Relationships 

Few people would be surprised to hear that couples in troubled relationships can also be depressed -- certainly not those of us who've been in such relationships and know how depressing they can be.

Frequently, the conflict in these relationships and distress that results can become so overwhelming that any other problems, like depression, are typically hidden from view. A couple I'm presently treating, Jim and Stacey (not they’re real names), are engrained in an attack-withdrawal routine (i.e., she criticizes him and then he avoids her and doesn't talk to her for days). This pattern is common in troubled relationships, but their hostility deftly masks, to all but the trained eye, depression’s underlying influence.

But does it really matter if one partner is depressed -- especially when couples like this are constantly at each other's throats? Yes, it does. To understand why, let's look at some research on the effects of depression on partners within troubled relationships.

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How to Choose a (Good) Couple Therapist - Part 2

Editor's note: One of our readers asked about how to find a good couple therapist/counselor, so we contacted our colleague Dr. David A. Sbarra. In Part 1 of this article he discussed the process of choosing a therapist.

You’ve found someone who might be good, but what treatments will they provide? There are many different forms of couple treatment, but only a handful have good scientific support. In my opinion, you want a therapist who is up-to-date on the best scientific treatments available to you. Here’s a brief description of three basic forms of therapy: 

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How to Choose a (Good) Couple Therapist - Part 1

Editor's note: One of our readers asked about how to find a good couple therapist/counselor, so we contacted our colleague Dr. David A. Sbarra:

First, let me say that if your relationship is struggling and you’re thinking about couple therapy, you are not alone. Recent research indicates that approximately 3 of 10 marriages may be classified as experiencing severe “marital distress” that is qualitatively distinct from the way more happily couples experience their relationship satisfaction. Said differently, 30% of our marriages are in serious, high-risk territory for being really bad.

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