Relationships are necessary for our survival, every bit as much as food, water and shelter. We need contact, touch, encouragement, and fun or else we start to feel isolated, depressed, and anxious. We are wired to be a part of something bigger than ourselves, and relationships like friendship, partnerships and marriage, fit the bill.
While romantic relationships often start out strong and meet all of those aforementioned needs, they don't always stay that way. It can be confusing to figure out why relationships begin to fail. I am trained in what I believe is the most effective modality of couples therapy: emotionally focused couples therapy (EFT). EFT was developed by Sue Johnson, Ph.D. at the University of Ottawa. EFT has robust research base and has been found to be highly effective, even for the most distressed couples.
Couples counseling should work. So many times it does not, and I believe the reason is because therapists are not trained or skilled in the core concepts of EFT. When I was in graduate school 20 years ago, my marriage and family professor flat-out said "nothing is shown in the research to be effective in working with distressed couples." That was true. Counseling couples used to be frustrating and not very fruitful. People didn't get measurably better and relationships remained strained and stressful. That has changed with the advent of Sue Johnson's work and the subsequent research that has been done for many years in both EFT and other modalities.
You can learn more about EFT at http://drsuejohnson.com/emotionally-focused-therapy-2/what-is-eft/#more-2012
While I am proud to be an EFT therapist and to offer couples hope and healing for their relationships, I am not a purist in any one model of treatment. I typically blend what I know to be useful from all areas of my training in my work with couples and individuals. For example, I trained earlier in my career in the Gottman method of couples therapy. I also incorporate skills teaching, ego state work and EMDR principles in couples counseling.