100 Years of Marriage Counseling Theory and Practice
What Do I Do and Why as a Marriage Counseling Professional? In order to be a creative and effective Psychologist, Life coach and Marriage Counseling practitioner (means: help to make a change), I am also required to be a student. Not all wheels should re-invent themselves. What do I do and why as a professional Marriage Counselor has a 100 years of theory history.
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) claimed that the roots of psychological problems are innate motives (sexual and aggressive) and that conscious mental processes have trivial importance compared with the unconscious mind. Since his time, the topics of sexual gratification and the need to control (a form of aggression) are the core issues in most marriage counseling cases.
B.F. Skinner (1904-1999): A strict behaviorist who commanded us to deal only with measurable and overt behaviors and expect behavioral changes as a result of reinforcements or sanctions. His ideas are the core of all structured learning and un-learning tasks of marital communications and role functions. ‘Shaping’ is the name of the game.
Albert Bandura (.. 1925.. ): his Social Learning Theory emphasizes the processes of learned behavior through observation and imitation of significant persons in our environment. Most undesirable behaviors, in regards to marriage harmony, like verbal, physical and substances abuse are well explained by his theory. Understanding the source is many times followed by treating and healing.
Humanistic Psychology (..1950-70..) takes for granted that human being possess an innate tendency to improve and determine their lives by the decisions they make. Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) theorized that we all try to achieve positive self esteem and to search for self actualization. Theses powerful motives explain both wide spread human habit to get married as well as many ‘bad marriage behaviors’, such as infidelity or divorce. Carl Rogers (1902-1987) developed the Unconditional Acceptance therapy method, which helps marriage partners to achieve a ‘second chance’ attitude, both from therapists and spouses.
Virginia Satir (1916-1988) helped to understand the required Change Process Model, which works well for two person’s team as well as for entire organizational change wave. She also trained the profession to pay only little attention to the “presenting issue" or the surface problem, since this is seldom the real problem; rather, to understand, and later change, how people cope with the issue, since their behavior at that point creates the problem.
Dr. Joseph Abraham, Director, Center for Human Growth and Business Insights, Mechanicsburg, PA Tel 717-943.0959 A Psychologist, Online Life Coach, Marriage Counselor and Relationship Advice provider. Psychologist and Life Coach and Marriage Counseling and Small Business Advice