What Do I Do and Why as a Marriage Counseling Professional?
100 Years of Marriage Counseling Theory and Practice:
Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) claimed that the roots of the psychological problems are innate motives (sex and aggression); the conscious mental processes have trivial importance compared with the unconscious mind; the psychoanalysis is the technique of helping persons with emotional problems.
Since his time, the topics of sexual gratification and the need to control (a form of aggression) are the core issues in most Marriage Counseling cases.
B.F. Skinner (1904-1999): Strict behaviorist that command us to deal only with measurable and overt behaviors and its changes as a response to reinforcement or sanctions. After the attitude change processes, couples need to reach behavioral changes. That is the source for all behavioral pattern change plans.
Albert Bandura (.. 1925.. ): his Social Learning Theory emphasizes the processes of learned behavior through observation and imitation of significant persons in our environment. Most undesirable behaviors, in regards to marriage harmony, like verbal, physical and substances abuse are well explained by his theory.
Humanistic Psychology (..1950-70..): Unconscious mind do often defeats efforts to make good decisions, but human being possess an innate tendency to improve and determine their lives by the decisions they make. Abraham Maslow (1908-1970) theorized that we all try to achieve positive self esteem and to search for self actualization. Theses powerful motives explain many 'bad marriage behaviors', such as infidelity. Carl Rogers (1902-1987) developed the Unconditional Acceptance therapy method, which helps marriage partners to achieve a 'second chance' attitude, both from therapists and spouses.
Virginia Satir (1916-1988) helped to understand the required Change Process Model, which work well for two person's team as well as for entire organizational change wave. She also trained the profession to pay only little attention to the "presenting issue" or the surface problem, since this is seldom the real problem; rather, to understand, and later change, how people cope with the issue, since their behavior at that point creates the problem.