Tracy Barrand Counseling
Reach the Peak of Your Marriage Potential with Marriage Counseling

Meditating couple at summit
You are probably not surprised to hear that every marriage takes work. If your marriage is full of frustration and pain, it’s possible you’re ready to start the building or repair work.

An LDS Marriage Counseling Toolkit

Measuring Tape = Evaluation

In marriage counseling we’ll measure your marriage to see which needs aren’t being met. The book, “His Needs, Her Needs” by Willard F. Harley has an evaluation to help you recognize just that. Harley proposes that men have six needs and women have six different needs. After evaluation, the couple and will work together to fill the six needs for each.

Glue = Attachment theory.

During the first year a baby needs to attach first to its mother, then to its father and this happens if both parents are consistent, appropriate and available. As you can imagine, this best-case scenario doesn’t always materialize. Insecure attachment develops in about 33% of the US population. The three types of insecure attachment, anxious, avoidant and disorganized carry through from childhood into adult life. Securely attached adults tend to have trusting, long-term relationships. They exhibit high self-esteem, close intimate relationships, strong social support skills, and an ability to share feelings with others. If a child is unable to attach to his or her parents, the effects can manifest themselves in the adult work and family relationships. Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT) is the glue we use to help heal attachment wounds in marital therapy. Clinical studies of EFT show marked and lasting improvement after thirteen sessions. Even using EFT for fewer sessions can help spouses heal attachment wounds and work toward secure attachment.

marriagecounselingtoolbox

Timer = Couple time.

If the husband and the wife are both willing to spend the absolutely essential time in building and repairing, progress can be made, pain can dissipate and happiness can return. Recreation! Communication! Fun!

Variable Speed Screwdriver = Sexual Fulfillment.

Okay, you knew this one was coming. With our gospel based understanding of sexuality as both healthy and holy, sexual fulfillment is a big need for both men and women, yet, so many things can go wrong. For example, recent statistics suggest that a third of all women have low libido. To combat this issue, I work with a list of twenty strategies known to help increase desire in women. Emotionally mature women need conversation and emotional intimacy to truly enjoy sex. Emotionally mature men want sexual fulfillment—a wife who is interested, willing to explore and even initiate. This is one of the tools that can help your marriage attain intimacy that is mutually fulfilling.

Vise Grip Pliers = Conflict Resolution.

This time tested strategy has been employed by businesses for years with much success. With this tool we can work towards getting the big problems resolved and never bringing them up again. Isn’t it time to put the squeeze on those unresolved issues that pull your relationship apart?

Hanging Work Light = Faith and Inspiration.

In addition to professional couple’s therapy training, I have had my own marital crisis and have experienced a miracle and healing though the atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ. For this reason, I believe God wants marriages to reach their full and eternal potential and He will help us to do that.

Circular Saw = Gratitude.

Two separate studies showed that when people kept a daily gratitude journal their happiness levels increased as compared to a control group who didn’t keep a gratitude journal. This concept is so essential in marriage. President Thomas S. Monson, our current Prophet, is always reminding us to have “an attitude of gratitude”. Marriage is significantly improved by being grateful for all the little as well as the big things your spouse does. A circular saw of gratitude cuts off criticism and negativity in marriage.

Hammer = Language of Reproof.

Criticism is hard on a marriage. What if your spouse leaves popcorn, pop cans and pizza boxes all over the room from last nights game and you open the door and there are two of your friends standing, waiting to come in. If you blast your spouse with “you are such a pig”, you hurt the relationship. Better to describe what he or she did, describe how you felt and tell how that affected you. “When you left a mess in the living room I was embarrassed because my visiting teachers came over.”

Can this marriage be saved?

Fighting and unexplained tension had always been
parts of Brandon and Charleen’s marriage, but when Charleen learned about Brandon’s addiction to pornography, as well as his affair with a co-worker she decided to ask for a divorce. Brandon was very humble and sorry about his weakness and promised to go for counseling.

They both wanted to preserve the marriage for the children. For three years Charleen felt so betrayed, unloved and depressed that she would go jogging where she hoped she’d be bitten by a rattlesnake, because she desperately desired an end to the pain. Brandon meanwhile was willing to do anything to fix his problems and attended the addictions group in his stake. In counseling we met off and on and we tried to use the tools in the LDS toolbox.

After six years of couple’s therapy, group therapy, individual therapy, self-help books, meeting with priesthood leaders, trying everything the couple could think of, Charleen’s feelings of betrayal and despair hadn’t changed much and she filed for divorce. Just before the divorce went through, Charleen was praying and was blessed to finally be able to use the tool of gratitude and have a mighty change of heart. It was a spiritual gift and she realized Brandon had worked to be a good person, that he’d been forgiven and changed by the Lord and that she should forgive him and be grateful as well. Charleen now says, thinking back, all the tools were helping all along, it just took time and a little crisis for the whole thing to come together so she could actually feel the gratitude and the forgiveness. The marriage, which was a weakness, has become a strength.

Have A Question? Just Ask.

If you have any questions about services or how I can help you, please let me know. Call me at 720-243-3512 for additional information.