Initiator Inquirer

Working with Early Trauma in the Initiator-Inquirer

When you are doing Initiator-Inquirer sessions, be sure to watch how partners function in their assigned roles. The combination of the role and each partner's functioning will give you a clear insight into each partner's level of differentiation. You will see where each person breaks down and you will also be able to locate past or early trauma that is being re-enacted in the current relationship. Today's blog post is a continuation of the session with Vicky and Tom. If you missed the beginning of the series you can read the first section here and the second section here. This session originally began with a blaming initiation from Tom.… Read more...

Helplessness Underlies Many Control Struggles

I am pleased that many readers took the time to think about the last transcript I posted. I enjoyed reading your perspectives and seeing your comments about my interventions.… Read more...

Managing Control Issues in Couples Therapy

For this blog post, I am giving you part of a transcript from an Initiator-Inquirer session. It is about working with control struggles, improving couple’s communication, and what that means on a deeper level. This session was very rich in learning, so I am going to break it down into several posts. I’d like you to comment on what you see me doing and on anything you learn from reading this portion of the session. Then in a later mailing I will give you the next section. Vicky and Tom have been married for eight years and in business together for two years. He is 36 and she is 37. They came to therapy because they had been fighting, power struggling and getting nowhere on their own.… Read more...

Better Communication Now

…Transferring Initiator-Inquirer Skills Learned in Therapy Sessions to Home We love getting questions and comments from our readers. This month we will answer a wonderful question that came from Heather in San Diego about helping couples achieve better communication between sessions. Heather asked: “I am successful in getting couples to do the Initiator-Inquirer in sessions, but not as successful at getting them to do the Initiator-Inquirer outside the four walls of my office. Do you have any thoughts/suggestions about how I am contributing to this and what I can do to help them push forward?”… Read more...

How to Talk More Successfully About Household Clutter

… By Emphasizing 4 Quandrants of Effective Communication   The most common presenting problem couples report is…. Communication. But what does that really mean? If you ask couples what they mean, the responses are typically disappointingly vague. Often they think just one new skill is needed. Some believe it is a skill like archery, as if with the right technique they can hit one conversational bull's eye after another. Survey a large group of therapists and it's doubtful you could get a clear consensus what communication is or how to teach it. And yet, it is one of the most commonly used words in marital therapy and in couples' self help books.… Read more...

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.