Marriage Counselors in Schaumburg Illinois: “Should couples see the same therapist?”
Dr. Ray and Jean Kadkhodaian are the founders of The Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center, and the creators of “Couples Synergy” a Marriage Counseling program in Schaumburg Illinois. “Couples Synergy” is a 90 day program designed by married couple Dr. Ray and Jean Kadkhodaian to help couples take their relationship to the next level.
One of the questions they are often asked is, “Should couples see the same therapist”? Dr. Ray and Jean both started in the mental and behavioral health field as solo therapists. The agencies which employed them only allowed one therapist to work with a couple or family. “I remember doing a session with my client’s family, she had eight adult children…how can anyone be effective trying to manage nine different people with different ideas and passions about what their mother needs?”. said Jean. Dr. Ray was so interested in the study of the effectiveness of one therapist working with a couple that it was the focus of his doctoral dissertation. What he learned is that a single therapist can be effective in “teaching” a couple skills such as communication or short term solution focused techniques like putting sex on the calendar. However, when it comes to really helping a couple understand their own unique patterns and the history that each person brings to a relationship the work becomes more complex. The most difficult thing a single therapist faces is how to remain neutral and support both spouses without bias. What Dr. Ray discovered is gender is the first bias that needs to be overcome.
The current statistics in the counseling field are, 2.1 female therapists to every male therapist, so there is a 66% chance a couple will end up working with a female therapist. “Couples who research ‘Couples Synergy’ and learn about our model, specifically seek us out because they are looking for support and balance for both spouses and they often have had an experience with a single therapist that one felt more connected to than the other, which lead to early termination of counseling” said Dr. Ray. Dr Ray and Jean have eliminated the potential for this bias simply by having both genders represented. Interestingly, even if they are working with same gender clients the relationship dynamics mimic, to some degree, opposite gender couples and they have found their model to also be effective with each person in the relationship having their own therapist.
If someone searches, “Marriage Counseling Schaumburg Illinois”, they will see hundreds of practicing therapist who advertise that they specialize in working with couples. The truth is that most counselors are self-taught, or go to weekend continuing education workshops to learn more about how to work with couples. There is not much specific training in Masters and Doctoral programs for couples work, and even though a clinician may have a degree, there is little information as to how trained they truly are.
Before deciding on whether to work with a solo therapist or with co-therapists, ask how many couples the counselors have worked with. Ask if they follow any particular method. Ask how long they work with couples and what you can expect from them. To learn more about “Couples Synergy”, Dr. Ray and Jean Kadkhodaian or The Lighthouse Emotional Wellness Center, go to www.LighthouseEmotionalWellness.com, or follow us on facebook, @LighthouseEmotionalWellness, @DrRayandRevJean, @HikeWithRayandJean. Also, look for them on twitter, @LighthouseCntr and @DrRayandJean