Couples Counseling Can Come Down to One Partner

By Gormly, Kellie B | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, April 2, 2012 | Go to article overview

Couples Counseling Can Come Down to One Partner


Gormly, Kellie B, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


When Courtney Ezzo was engaged to her now-husband -- Jamal Smith, whom she married on Jan. 21 -- she told him that premarital counseling was mandatory.

As a substance-abuse counselor herself, Ezzo, 27, wanted to make sure her relationship was as healthy as it could be. Smith, she says, at first felt was reluctant to attend, and said it wasn't necessary. But after a few sessions, Ezzo's fiance got into it.

"He saw it was more than just going and complaining about each other and talking about our problems," says Ezzo of Wilkinsburg. "We were brainstorming and talking about anything."

If Smith had not agreed to counseling, Ezzo says, she would not have married him yet. "Our communication is absolutely better, 100 percent."

Ezzo's situation presents the best prognosis for a healthy, lasting marriage, according to mental-health therapists who work with couples. However, many people -- most often, women -- get couples counseling without the other half of the couple. Is couples therapy for one a contradiction in terms? Maybe, therapists say. Yet people struggling with relationship issues benefit from solo counseling: They can focus on getting themselves healthy.

"The most effective treatment is when they can both come in together," says DeMarquis Clarke, director of the marriage and family-therapy program at Seton Hill University in Greensburg. "However, we do know that if one partner changes in the couple, the whole couple dynamic shifts. The thought is, regardless of what is going on in the relationship, both parties have some responsibility in it. .... Counseling makes them more accountable for their piece."

One example: A wife who is enabling harmful behavior from her husband can learn to stop, and the dynamics of the relationship will shift with the new boundaries. Chances are, that woman also enables friends and family members and can benefit from counseling, Clarke says. Once an enabling partner starts to change, the other spouse knows the situation is serious and agrees to come to counseling.

Clarke estimates that 75 percent of people seeking couples therapy from him come with their partner -- but of those, maybe 15 percent of spouses will quit the counseling, leaving their mates to go it alone.

According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, unpublished results from a study of 300 couples at the University of Denver found that after a month or so of solo relationship training, people saw as much improvement as those who sought help as a couple. A year and a half after the training, the women who attended sessions alone reported feeling happier than men who attended alone. …

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Couples Counseling Can Come Down to One Partner
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.