Is free online marriage counseling possible?

You can find just about anything online these days, what about free online marriage counseling?  There are no shortages of articles, forums, advice columns and chats to read and participate in. While there is a lot of great information to be found, there’s also much misinformation from folks who have no place giving it out. So how do you separate the good, bad and the ugly?

Focus on marriage education programs, these kinds of programs offer real, practical skills for making changes in your relationship. Look for articles written by professionals associated with the program to give you a sense for whether or not they are reputable, trained and can teach you something. Marriage education programs often offer some amount of material for free and then if you want to continue you can pay a small fee.

free online marriage counseling

Understand that the most important thing you can do to fix a relationship is to fix yourself. There is a “fundamental law of relational theory” according to Psychiatrist Marina Benjamin “that when any part of a system changes, the entire system will be forced to change.” What this means is that the more you are able to effect positive change on yourself, the more your relationship will move in that direction. Marriage education programs are perfect for situations where one spouse is interested in working and the other is resistant. Continue reading Is free online marriage counseling possible?

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!

Laugh your way to a better marriage!

It turns out you really can laugh your way to a better marriage. A new study highlighted on abcNews.com reveals that relationships benefit when wives regularly let their husbands know when they are feeling happy. While open communication about problems is a key part of good marriage problem solving, it is equally important to let your spouse know when things are going well.

The findings “suggest that men may be more satisfied in their relationships when they can accurately read their partners’ positive emotions, while women’s relationship satisfaction may uniquely benefit when they can accurately read their partners’ negative emotions.” Both partners benefit when the other can accurately read their unhappiness or distress.

So why do women like to know when their husbands are unhappy and men like to know when their wives are happy? Dr. Heitler, who was interviewed for the article, believes that it has to do with the fact that most women get a feeling of satisfaction from nurturing and “fixing” emotional problems. Men tend to absorb the emotions of their spouse.

“We get a serotonin fix from it, a spurt of well-being from having been nurturing in that way,” said Heitler.  ”On the other hand, men find that happiness in knowing their woman is happy. It goes with the saying, ‘happy wife, happy life.’”

These findings provide some food for thought about repairing marriages. Many couples seek out couples counseling because the joy in their marriage has withered. They believe that there are certain problems that, once worked through, will allow their marriage to blossom. While solving the cause negative emotions is important for marriage repair, consciously introducing more positive emotions is equally essential. Marriages are fixed by addition of the positive as well as subtraction of the negative. Expressing positivity is an important part of how to rekindle a relationship and you might even laugh your way to a better marriage. Let your spouse know when things are working–that happiness will provide fuel for your relationship to grow.

Read the whole article at abcNews.com