Dr.Button is a Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor, and has certification from the Samaritan Counseling Center in Marriage and Family Therapy having completed their 3 year post graduate training program. He has been doing a lot of marriage and couples therapy for the past 18 years. He has a masters and doctorate degrees in Pastoral Counseling as well.
Marital and Couples Counseling:
Dr. Button prefers to see a couple together for their initial consultation if that is possible but then separately for a couple of session in order to diagnose what is causing the marital difficulties. The biggest shock to most in marital counseling is that both persons are a part of the problem. It is not just the other person who has the problem.
Couples usually ask how many sessions it takes to resolve their issues. I answer that it depends on how hard they work at it and much they really want to get the issues solved. I have noticed that 10 sessions seem to be a number that most counseling runs, but nothing is guaranteed until their problems are resolved.
I find that most of the marital problems that I deal with as a therapist are communication issues. Each person is speaking a different language. They are different types, and as soon as they learn to see and appreciate their differences their relationship begins to improve. It does take a while for the couple to listen, understand and appreciate their differences. The conclusion is that they either learn to deal with each other, live with the tension of their differences without dealing with them, or they choose to end their relationship. It does not take many sessions to find out if the couple really wants to work on themselves and their communication and listening skills.
The symbol of the wonderful relationship is the mandala pictured above. It is two circles intertwined with an almond shape in the middle. Each circle represents a different perspective. Where they overlap, is the area that they have in common. Coming in touch with that common area is what is crucial in good communication and true love. Each must be appreciative of the other’s perspective so that they can listen to each other and resolve problems that are calling to be faced.
Some couples come for premarital counseling and find it most helpful. This gives them a big head start in dealing with life’s problems so that they can really find more joy and fulfillment in their marriage. After learning so much from therapy it is not unusual for them to request that I do their marriage as I am an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and served as a pastor in the denomination for 25 years. I am very open minded and do not push any particular religion on any of my clients. Those sessions last for 4 sessions unless of course they ask me to do their wedding.