Marriage coach or therapy, which one is right for you?

Marriage coaching is the primary focus of The Power of Two Online program. So what does a marriage coach do? Marriage coaching is all about education. Many people come to romantic relationships in life with a roseate glow. Hoping that the love and affection felt today will last through the years. Eventually, many couples find that the strain of daily life together, combined with a lack of relationship skills and bad communication habits lead to discontent. Anger and contempt develop towards your partner and you find yourself wondering what happened.

Couples that do thrive in the long run are couples who either bring with them relationship skills or (more likely) they learn them along the way. At Power of Two this is what marriage coaching is all about. Most people learn about relationships from the families they grow up in. Unhealthy patterns and a lack of knowledge about what a healthy relationship is can lead to relationship problems.

marriage coach
A marriage coach is a teacher

A good marriage coach will empower a couple (or just one partner looking for help) with the tools and skills to communicate effectively and resolve conflict. It is possible to stay calm in the midst of a storm and develop and maintain that loving feeling that started it all.

A marriage coach is:

A trained educator. The Power of Two program is based on actual skills. You won’t hear advice about how you need to be a better communicator, you will learn HOW to be a better communicator. Skills for communication, collaborative decision making, keeping anger in check and out of your marriage and staying intimately connected are all part of the program. Think of it like a boot camp for your marriage. Continue reading Marriage coach or therapy, which one is right for you?

Save your marriage over dinner.

Have you heard of the term “dining dead”? In the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Joel asks “Are we like those bored couples you feel sorry for in restaurants?” Joel muses to himself. “Are we the dining dead?”

Can you save your marriage over dinner?

A recent New York Times article described this state as one in which a couple stops talking after many years of marriage finding themselves sitting across the table, wordless, with a vast distance between one another.

save your marriage
Image credit: Andre Slob

How does this happen?

So many couples are bursting with conversational energy when they first meet. There is much to discover; many evenings are spent talking into the wee hours. As time goes on the enthusiasm and excitement lessens and the day to day of life takes hold on conversations. Continue reading Save your marriage over dinner.

Marriage in trouble? Your health may be too.

There is plenty of evidence that a healthy marriage, one in which couples practice good communication, resolve conflict with relationship skills and create an atmosphere of warmth and positivity can have potential health benefits. Those may include, better heart health, lower mortality rates and lower rates of chronic illnesses like heart disease, cancer and surgeries. If this is true can it also be true that with a marriage in trouble, health problems may follow?

marriage in trouble
Is chronic martial stress leading you to health problems?

There is evidence that a marriage in trouble, one that carries with it chronic stress, may lead to health problems. Here are some of the potential health problems relating to chronic marital stress.

Depression

Continue reading Marriage in trouble? Your health may be too.

Relationship Counseling: How to jump in when you’re ready and they’re not.

In an ideal world when there is strife in a marriage both partners will recognize the need to make some changes and be ready and willing to do that. Unfortunately this is not always (or often) the case.  You and your partner may both recognize there is a problem, however you may be on your own when it comes to seeking help.  Or you may be the only one who feels a change is needed. Either way you are on your own when it comes to relationship counseling. So where do you turn?

On your own when it comes to seeking relationship counseling?
On your own when it comes to seeking relationship counseling? Photo by Allesandro Valli

Finding the right relationship counseling is critical when you are flying solo. Here are some ideas for where to begin…

Continue reading Relationship Counseling: How to jump in when you’re ready and they’re not.

Relationship burnout got you down. Here are some tips for getting the spark back!

relationship burnout
Are you burned out on your partner? Get back on track together with reflection and action.

Burnout is a term often used to describe the feeling of exhaustion and boredom related to dissatisfaction at work. Even when you really love your job it is possible to experience burnout, can the same be true for relationships? Perhaps you have recently been through a stressful time, a job loss, an illness or another major life event that rocked the boat a bit. Or maybe the opposite is true, you’ve just been sailing along managing the daily tasks and have lost inspiration about your marriage. Relationship burnout can be a significant problem for couples who have been married for a number of years.  It is not usually because of outright conflict, more often it is a slow separation of interests, time spent apart, lack of positive input into the relationship and a lack of skills necessary to keep the love alive.

You may be feeling some sense of disenchantment with your partner, the truth is though that relationship burnout doesn’t happen overnight. It is cumulative like a bucket getting filled over time, eventually one more drop in the bucket is enough to spill over and you have a mess on your hands.

Either way, relationship burnout can be a major red flag that you are headed for trouble. Take action now so you can get back on the right path forward together!

Here are 5 ways to nip relationship burnout in the bud!

Continue reading Relationship burnout got you down. Here are some tips for getting the spark back!

Empower Yourself: 5 reasons to seek online relationship help

When you are struggling to change negative patterns and turn your relationship around for the better it is often hard to know where to start. Online relationship help can be a really helpful place to begin. One of the best parts of online relationship help is that you are in the drivers seat. You are giving yourself the tools and the power to change your relationship. When your relationship is strained and you are ready to seek counseling it is not usually because one day you woke up and were unhappy.  More likely there is a pattern of broken communication, negativity, anger and resentment that has been building for some time. Looking for help can feel overwhelming, the internet is often the first place folks turn.  Online relationship help is becoming more available as therapists are offering skype and online sessions, unfortunately these options still don’t solve several other major road blocks to getting help: time and money.  Finding time to sit down with a therapist or counselor (even via skype) can be difficult.  In addition, therapists who offer online counseling options often still charge high hourly rates for sessions held online.

online relationship help

Programs like Power of Two offer an alternative way to address both those concerns and there is one other key difference.  Power of Two is a skill based learning experience.  While traditional counseling can be very effective in understanding how your childhood and past experience are contributing to your current relationship challenges as well as looking at deeper issues, most couples can benefit greatly from learning relationship skills. When a couple or an individual seeks online relationship help it’s important to look for a program that teaches skills. Online relationship help can be an incredible tool for change.

 Here are 5 good reasons for a couple (or one partner) to seek help in the form of online relationship help

Continue reading Empower Yourself: 5 reasons to seek online relationship help

Announcing our partnership with Ladies Home Journal!

I am thrilled to announce the soft launch of a partnership with Ladies Home Journal magazine! Dr. Heitler has been a contributor to the popular “Can this marriage be saved” column for years. As LHJ is going through transition with that feature, they reached out to Power of Two Online as a partner. Instead of just answering specific marriage counseling questions of a few women each week, Ladies Home Journal readers are now being offered Power of Two Online–where each individual is given the power to save a marriage.

Power of Two Online was founded in 2005 by a federal grant from the Department of Health and Human Services with curriculum based on the writings of mother-daughter therapist team Dr. Susan Heitler and Dr. Abigail Hirsch. PO2 offers a unique skills-based approach to marriage counseling online, combining worksheets, multimedia interactive games and videos, and more. Torque Interactive Media designed the PO2 coaching platform to let users communicate with a real live marriage coach (usually Dr. Hirsch herself), resulting in a degree of personalization and intimacy seldom found in online marriage education. Dr. Hirsch is excited to announce that a Marriage Resources Education study proving the efficacy Power of Two was recently published in the Journal of Family Psychology.

Over the next few months LHJ will be promoting the partnership with online ads, editorials and tweets. You can check out our customized Ladies Home Journal landing page. This partnership is a wonderful opportunity to spread marriage health and empowerment. The Ladies Home Journal has a readership of over 11.6 million, 7 million of which are married. The magazine’s interactive online companion, www.lhj.com, has 1.8 million unique visitors and 20 million page views each month.

Happier marriages mean happier, healthier people. Why not sign up today? It’s never to late to start your happily-ever-after!

Being laid off may take a toll on your marriage.

From Can This Marriage Be Saved?

In this issue of Ladies’ Home Journal, Margery D. Rosen profiles a couple who turned to Dr. Heitler when tough economic times took their toll on the couple’s marriage.

Her husband had an MBA in finance, the drive to work for a start-up company, and confidence. But, after being laid off from one job, and fired from another, he was unrecognizable. His new found negativism and pessimism was about to take a big toll on their marriage.

It’s a good thing the sought the help of Power of Two‘s very own Dr. HeitlerRead the story in Ladies’ Home Journal, and see if this marriage was saved.

via “He Lost His Job”.

Our Kids Drove Us Crazy: Did They Succeed?

Power of Two absolutely loves the article, “Our Kids Drove Us Crazy” from Ladie’s Home Journal.  Annette and Michael Feinstein have, what they like to call, “boomerang kids.”  Their two children, then 25 and 26, had both returned home after college.  As parents, Michael and Annette found themselves on opposite sides of the table when it came to the children moving on — and out.

After two years of a full house, Annette had had enough.  She moved out.

Curious how this story ends? Read the rest of the article online at LHJ.com

source: http://www.lhj.com/relationships/marriage/challenges/our-kids-drove-us-crazy/;jsessionid=NEYYF5ZTGS41ICQCEARSCZQ?page=1

Can This Marriage Be Saved? They Fought Over Chores and Decisions

Power of Two is excited to see Dr. Heitler as a contributor to one of the longest running segments in Ladies’ Home Journal: Can this Marriage Be Saved?

So, what happens when LHJ catches up with a couple who, eight years ago, were on the brink of divorce?

Great News! The couple just celebrated their 31st anniversary and have welcomed 3 grandchildren to the family. How did they do it? The couple consulted Power of Two’s Dr. Heitler. With her help, they were able to forge a new path based on mutual respect and communication.

Read the whole story at LHJ.com

source: http://www.lhj.com/relationships/marriage/challenges/they-fought-over-chores-and-decisions/