While many couples are toasting their love this time of year, others are caught in conflict. Couples in conflict need help improving communication and identifying effective solutions to their problems. Some need to learn when it’s time to call it a day and move on. If you enjoy working with couples, there are a range of specializations and niches you can add to your practice. Consider the following possibilities:
Many couples live together happily and unmarried for decades and like it that way. But others often include one mate who wants to make the bond “official” who sparks conflict and discord when days like Valentine’s Day or the anniversary of the date they got together rolls around and there’s no sign of marriage on the horizon. Consultation with these couples often reveals longstanding misgivings and mistrusts in spite of the love they have for one another. You can guide the resolution of these issues or help them determine if they’re “settling” instead of going their separate ways.
With increased public and legal acknowledgement of their relationships, many lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer/questioning couples have made their relationships “official.” But for some, their bliss has turned to misery. Many problems are typical growing pains that occur as they get used to living together and functioning as a couple. But others are unique to the nature of their relationships as they become a part of family systems, work cultures, social networks, and communities that may exhibit denigrating and discriminatory attitudes and behaviors that cause them problems and great unhappiness. You can help them confront and cope with this, and resolve the conflicts these stresses spark as they take toll on them both.
Even though couples from different racial and ethnic backgrounds are commonplace in society today, they can experience special problems too. In addition to enduring rejection from some because they are dating or married “outside of their race,” these couples often are forced to “choose sides” to determine where they’re going to live, with whom they’re going to socialize, worship, or send their kids to school, for example. You can help them work through these issues and the conflicts they can create within their individual identities as well as between each other. And you can bring to their attention the many helpful resources available today for interracial couples and families and the special clubs and organizations for bi-racial children, since there are still those who are not aware of them.
Couples in conflict can experience particular angst as those around them revel in occasions that celebrate relationships, such as Valentine’s Day, weddings and anniversaries. This motivates some to consider getting help, so be sure they know that your practice can help them now and all year round!
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About the Author:
Dr. E. Carol Webster is a clinical psychologist consultant specializing in Success Psychology.
She is author of the book for those dealing with the stress of success ―
Success Management: How to Get to the Top and Keep Your Sanity Once You Get There,
The Fear of Success: Stop It From Stopping You! ―
the book to help you overcome fears that may be holding you back in your life and career
The Private Practice of Clinical Psychology in: Voices of Historical & Contemporary Black American Pioneers
E. Carol Webster, Ph.D.
Your Success Psychologist!
Clinical Psychology Consulting
Mailing Address: 7027 West Broward Boulevard, #262 Fort Lauderdale, FL 33317