Welcome to The Couples Institute! We’re happy that you’re interested in reading a bit about who we are and what we’ve developed here at the Institute over the years we’ve been working with couples.

You might want to check out our more popular articles from our clinical blog for therapists:

How to Identify Failed Empathy in the Narcissistic Partner
In this post we address the low level of empathy in the narcissistic partner. A narcissistic partner would never start therapy by saying this in an initial interview:  “I wish I could give even when it isn’t convenient for me.”

The 6 Types of Confrontation Video
Watch and listen as Ellyn describes the 6 types of confrontation, the cycle of confrontation, and the value of an indirect confrontation…

An Unexpected Opening for Hypocrisy
Today we’re examining a session with a volatile couple that quickly escalate and change topics. They don’t listen well to each other. They have a long history of…

The Value of Obsessing About An Affair
Last month Pete and I taught a teleseminar course called “Affairs in Couples Therapy.” One topic we covered was the value of ….

Self-Reflection in Chronically Angry Couples
This month I’m writing about the chronically angry couple. These couples often wait too long to go to therapy or may have tried therapy with a therapist who did not….

And finally, the Paper Exercise
The Paper Exercise reveals couples’ dynamics and their ability to differentiate. It can be used either diagnostically or as an intervention into the couples’….

Thanks for reading. You may have some questions about the Developmental Model of Couples Therapy at this point, or just about The Couples Institute itself. You can learn more about us here, and you can sign up on the right of the page for our e-newsletter for therapists.

Thank you for your interest in helping couples,

Ellyn Bader, Ph.D.

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A Glossary of Terms that are sometimes Confusing

Couples Therapy is a counseling procedure that seeks to improve the adjustment of two people who have created an interdependent relationship. There are no standard procedures to help two people improve their adjustments to each other. Generally, a more experienced therapist will offer more perspectives and tools to a couple. Length of treatment will depend on severity of problems, motivation and skills of the therapist. A couple can be dating, living together, married or separating and may be gay, lesbian or heterosexual.

Marriage Therapy is a term often used interchangeably with marriage counseling. The term marriage implies two people have created a union sanctioned by a government or religious institution. The methods used in marriage counseling, marriage therapy and couples therapy are interchangeable and depend more on the specific challenges of each unique couple.

Psychotherapy is one or more processes to help improve psychological and emotional functioning. Examples are psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, Gestalt therapy, Transactional Analysis, Rational-Emotive therapy, or group therapy. Many forms of psychotherapy are blends of different approaches. For example, newer forms of psychotherapy called energy psychology draw upon recent advances in brain and neuroscience. These approaches often build on cognitive behavioral methods.

Clinical Psychologist. After graduating from college, it usually takes about five years of graduate school to get a Ph.D. in Psycholgy. It then requires an additional two years of supervision and passing a written (and often) an oral exam. There are a few states that allow psychologists to prescribe medications (with additional training) but that is uncommon.

Psychiatrist. After graduation from medical school, there is a generally a 4-year psychiatric residency. After the completion of this training, psychiatrists must pass an exam issued by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to obtain certification and legally practice in the field. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications.

Clinical Social Worker. This profession usually requires two years of study after obtaining an undergraduate degree. While specific licensure requirements vary by state, most require clinical social workers to obtain 3,000 hours or 2 years of supervised clinical experience, after obtaining a Masters degree. Social workers can also specialize in diverse fields such as human services management, social welfare analysis, community organizing, social and community development, and social and political research.

Marriage and Family Therapist. Obtaining this license requires a Masters degree which takes approximately two years of post graduate study. The license also requires 3000 hours of supervised work and passing written exams.

The Couples Institute. We have assembled a group of top notch therapists at The Couples Institute. Whatever marriage help or marriage advice you are looking for, we are here to serve you. While most other therapists see only a few couples a week, we specialize in marriage and couples relationships, working to develop and bring you the most current and effective approaches to couples therapy. For more information about couples therapy or marriage counseling, see our couples therapy section.