When A Couple Enters Into Marital Counseling

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When a couple enters into marital counseling, they are often seeking help to resolve differences or problems that either one or both of them are struggling to overcome. Steve and Cindy have recently embarked on this journey by seeking help with their marriage from a counselor who uses Olson’s PREPARE/ENRICH program (2009). They have both taken the program’s online assessments, which cover a multitude of key areas such as the couple’s background, relationship dynamics, and personalities. This paper addresses three main areas including the identification of the couple’s key strengths and weaknesses, a discussion of potential issues with the couple’s personality, and the development of a plan to counsel and support them through counseling. …show more content…

The assessment shows the couple lacks emotional and physical intimacy, and do not enjoy being in each other’s company, particularly when alone. Background Both Steve and Cindy share similar backgrounds, they are in the same age group, of the same race; both came from non-abusive, connected, flexible families and are both the first-born child. Furthermore, they share the same religious beliefs. There are some differences in them that could be contributing to some of the problems they are facing. Those are having different education levels, the husband being the sole breadwinner, and the wife’s two failed marriages. Although they both rated as average under overall satisfaction, their later answers challenge this result. An example of this would be under the relationship dynamics category, when they answered that neither of them feels understood by their partner. Moreover, both lack assertiveness, tend to avoid their problems, and sometimes feel as if their partner is trying to control them. After studying Cindy’s answers to some questions it becomes quite evident that she struggles with self-esteem and identity issues resulting from the difference in education levels between her and Steve, her two failed marriages, and her lack of income. Her low self-esteem could also be the cause of her lack of assertiveness and tendency to stuff her feelings. It could also explain why she feels as if Steve is controlling her financially, experiences more

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