By Stephanie Camins – MA, LPC
Sometimes coming in to see a therapist for relationship counseling can feel overwhelming, intimidating and scary. I know that committing the time, money and energy involved in therapy for an unhappy marriage can be a roadblock. Being a counselor, I will say, counseling isn’t for everyone. And for those that are very uncomfortable or oppositional, counseling may not be successful. Marriage counseling requires two parties to be willing to walk into the counseling office. Often, one party wants counseling and the other doesn’t.
That is the main reason I spent time researching a program to offer on the website that specifically addresses how to improve relationship skills. I found one that I like, and think is very well put together. The concepts in the Marriage Fitness program by Mort Fertel are solid and will benefit you and your spouse in your journey to reconnect.
The program offers effective options that teach skills in a coaching format rather than a more process-oriented counseling approach. For some people and issues, process-oriented counseling is the best option and the only option that will get to the root of the problem. For others, skill-building is a better fit or a better way to start the process. This program works very well in conjunction with counseling.
You will learn a relationship-building skill set you can start at home. You may find this program alone helps you and your partner get back on track. It can even be used if your partner isn’t committed to the process of therapy or couples counseling. Or you may find that doing the program and sharing the work with a counselor will help you cut to the core of the issue and efficiently use therapy sessions to get additional direction and support with specific marriage counseling questions.
Marriage Fitness Program
Created by Mort Fertel, B.A, Psychology, author, speaker
The Marriage Fitness program is a solution-focused approach to fixing your relationship. Rather than dig into the past, you learn new habits that shift the momentum of your relationship. This program gives practical straight forward simple solutions and is very solution-focused rather than process-focused. The theory is that when you put the problems aside to build connection, some problems go away and those left can be worked through in couple’s therapy.
This program offers two tracts, the lone ranger, and the duo. The lone ranger tract addresses the “I don’t want to go to counseling, you go to counseling” issue often present in couple’s work. Or the “my spouse doesn’t really read books especially, self-help books”
There are 3 programs to choose from with varying price tags to fit different budgets and different needs from learning and applying the program yourself to live telehealth Q and A’s.
The system includes:
- Teleseminars – scheduled, call in 7 weeks
- Extensive Solutions audio library
- Audio learning system
- Personal journal and workbook – hardcopy or digital, assessments, assignments and to do exercises
- Implementation schedule
- Homework assignments
- Two tracts – duo and lone ranger
Tackling marriage problems can stress out a relationship and make a bad marriage worse. When counseling becomes, rehashing the same problem it’s a fight from the get-go. This makes it very difficult to process a problem.
This program is based on using a coach approach to teach people skills to neutralize your problems and implement a program of positive relationship habits that change the way you and your spouse relate. The theory is that this then changes the momentum from negative to positive and restores connection so that you can effectively tackle problems.
Who is this program for?
This system addresses money conflicts, silent treatment, infidelity, cheating, boredom, resentment, rejection, poor communication, anger, depression, emotional infidelity, broken trust, addictive behavior, threat of divorce and more.
A sample of what the program addresses:
- How to snap out of destructive patterns of behavior
- How to stop dwelling on the past and start moving forward
- How to get over old hurt
- How to rebuild love in your marriage
- How to restore romance
- How to get your spouse to change
- How to become a team rather than 2 individuals
- How to make decisions together
- How to get YOUR needs met
- How to connect with an emotionally absent spouse
- How to keep the small things small
- How to tickle your spouse’s soul
- How to deal with a spouse who won’t listen
- How to break the silence
- What to do if you’re not spending enough time together
- How to get and give the right affection
- What to do if you find yourself attracted to another man/woman
- What to do if your spouse has intimate online friends
- What to do if your spouse is friends with their X
- How to restore honor to your marriage
- How to talk so your spouse will listen
- How to listen so your spouse will talk
- How to bring your past to its knees
- When NOT deciding is the best decision
- How to replace efficiency with intimacy
There is an audio option as well, but the tele-boot camp is extensive and interactive with hardcopy options! I like to have a paper copy for notes and such.
This program also presents all the options up front rather than the “salesy” upsells that pop up at you. Live Q and A’s are included not an upsell!
I like the coach approach Mort presents. You can’t do counseling in seminar format whether audio or video and he doesn’t present the program as such. This is a skill building class. With the right tools, some couples can absolutely find resolution. For others this program is a great head start in counseling.
The audio library is a great resource. You can have a more personalized approach by going to the library and listening to those topics that are directly impacting your relationship and skip the ones that don’t pertain to you.