Here is another short article about Why Do I Do What I Do as a Marriage Counseling Professional?
An effective Psychologist, Relationship Advice provider, Life coach and Marriage Counseling practitioner (which means: help to bring a change), should always remember the first year in college, where the basic psychological principles were presented. Not all wheels could and should re-invent themselves. What do I do and why as a Marriage Counseling professional has a sound foundation, once basic Principles of Learning are applied.
Stage One - How It All Began:
Most human emotion and sex related interactions start due to an environmental condition that elicits a reflex response. A reflex is a simple unlearned response to a stimulus. In psychological textbook terms: once upon a time, when the two first met, there were: (1) an unconditioned stimulus—a stimulus that elicits a response without any prior learning, and (2) an unconditioned response—an unlearned reflexive reaction to that unconditioned stimulus. Using Psych 101 terms: everything started with a Classical Conditioning event: a neutral stimulus (i.e.: smell) that elicited an unlearned natural response (i.e.: attention and erotic sensation) was paired with a new stimulus (i.e.: her or his real face). As a result, the new face came to elicit a new response (i.e.: attraction, dating, sexual fantasies) that is identical or very similar to the natural reflex.
The best Marriage Counseling mission therefore is to lead the couple back into such a stage.
Stage Two - The Building Blocks:
Positive reinforcement is any of your behavior that leads to an increase of your partner’s behaviors. Marriage Counseling therefore has a lot to do with inventory check: what are the actions of each of you that lead to an increase of your partner’s behaviors that are desirable by you? Are they positive (i.e.: you ask something and your spouse razes some difficulty about it; you smile and ask again, so eventually your spouse accepts it) or problematic (i.e.: you ask something and get your spouse’ reservations; you then use loud and abusive tone so your spouse agrees with you, hoping to calm you down)?
Using Psych 101 terms: Marriage Counseling has a lot to do with Operant Conditioning:
learning from the consequences of our behavior. Many times the counseling meeting takes a form of a study session, as the counselor teaches the concept of Timing: reinforcements should be given within a short amount of time following the desired response. The greater the delay between the response and the reinforcement, the slower the learning of your partner would be.
Another basic concept within any Marriage Counseling process that involves sexual difficulties is Shaping: the method of successive approximations. Behaviors that are successively more similar to the desired behavior are reinforced.
Stage three - Targeting The Marriage Counseling Long Term Goals:
Classical conditioning usually involves reflexive, involuntary behavior that is controlled by the spinal cord or autonomic nervous system. This is how the Chemistry of Love is constructed. The more therefore you blend your life with erotic features that fit your spouse’s taste, the more you increase your chance to get to the promised land of continuous mutual attraction.
Operant conditioning usually involves more complex, voluntary behaviors that are mediated by our cognitive system. The more you identify appropriate reinforcements and link them to your spouse’s behaviors which you like, the more you increase the likelihood of achieving a pleasurable marriage life for yourself.
Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 Online Counseling on Behavioral issues and Small Business Advice Provider regarding efficiency and effectiveness. http://www.dr-joseph.com/