Is Three Really A Crowd? Dr. Bonnie Explores the Role of Couples Therapy in Relationships

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An article in the New York Times (http://nyti.ms/A32lVs) has people wondering if it's necessary to have a therapist at all. If "three's a crowd" as the article states, can people simply work on their relationship themselves, without the help of a third party? "After I wrote my book, Make Up Don't Break Up," says Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, "my patients that read it said the same thing - 'it's not that hard to stay in love and be a team' - the problem is, most people don't have the road map for how to get there."

An article in the New York Times (http://nyti.ms/A32lVs) has people wondering if it's necessary to have a therapist at all. If "three's a crowd" as the article states, can people simply work on their relationship themselves, without the help of a third party? "After I wrote my book, Make Up Don't Break Up," says Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, "my patients that read it said the same thing - 'it's not that hard to stay in love and be a team' - the problem is, most people don't have the road map for how to get there."

Working on a relationship isn't about being right - which is how things often fall apart with out someone to help couples through the rocky parts - but it's about what works, it's about learning the tools, skills, and dialogues that will get couples through those rocky parts says Dr. Bonnie. She does agree with the article on some points - people wait six years struggling with an unmanageable problem before they see a therapist, and they often come to her about six months prior to a divorce.

Dr. Bonnie tells her patients: "You don't want to pay me to do what you could do at home - yelling and arguing -so let's learn how to fight fair so you can get rid of me and do it without me." This is very important, because refusing to walk in each others' shoes, or invalidation, is the main reason couples divorce.

Fortunately, Dr. Bonnie notes, most couples do marry for the right reasons, but they often come to a point where they've lost their way and don't have the tools to get back on track. "What I teach is how to find that path back to each other again, back to the reasons they first got married," she says. While they're learning to do this, Dr. Bonnie explains that couples need accountability - even after they've completed therapy, as well as in between sessions - which is why she recommends "tune ups" every three months, six months, or a year after therapy to stay on the straight and narrow. "When couples don't come back for these check-ups, I usually see them again in about two years," she says.

To make these sessions - both check-ups and regular meetings - work, Dr. Bonnie says therapists need to be action oriented and structured: "I say to patients 'I want you to get rid of me as soon as you can and do it without me!' I use the strength of the couple to work as a team, so they learn how to manage the issues they face on their own." If couples are committed they can do almost anything as long as they don't have one foot out the door.

For therapists, they often see two parts of one person - the wounded child that needs nurturing and the mature adult who wants behavior changes. To move past the wounded child, couples must commit to using Dr. Bonnie's Smart Heart Skills and Dialogue, not destructive blame and shame. "It's very important to hold a partner with warmth and respect," points out Dr. Bonnie, "instead of with anger, contempt, revenge, and retaliation. Couples need to learn how to cherish each other."

To get couples on the road to working on their relationships independently, Dr. Bonnie says she has each part of the couple play out the therapist's role in their relationship, with the permission of the other person. This "keeps in what they learned in between sessions."

As the article says, Dr. Bonnie believes in using structure and action as couples that seek therapy are often out of control. "And it's important for therapists to remember, they can only take patients as far as they themselves have gone. Like I mention in Make Up Don't Break Up, this is why family of origin work is crucial not just for patients but for therapist to have gone through. Then the therapist can deal with the couple without taking sides and both therapist and couple can be the best they can be!

To see Dr. Bonnie talk more about how relationships can rebound, click here: http://youtu.be/nmEShUlejj8
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Text ADULTERY to 82257 to find out from Dr Bonnie if adultery may be looming in your relationship!

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Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil's best-selling book, Adultery the Forgivable Sin is being re-released under a new distributor and making its appearance available in eBook format and print on Amazon.com (http://www.amazon.com/Adultery-Forgivable-Bonnie-Eaker-Weil/dp/1587768151/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1321019076&sr=8-1). Adultery the Forgivable Sin was also made into a Lifetime Original Movie starring Kate Jackson.

Dr. Bonnie Eaker Weil, PhD, is also author of the 2010 New York Times Reader’s Choice Award-winning book Make Up Don’t Break Up with accompanying DVD. Dr. Bonnie counsels couples, singles, and step families. She works with those considering breaking up, people who have committed adultery, and couples who want to strengthen their relationships damaged by resentment or unresolved anger, teaching people to “fight” to increase passion, bring back magic and restore the sizzle. Dr. Bonnie teaches Smart Heart Dialogue along with communication and connection tools, and counsel’s families and children.

Named the Best Local Therapist in 2011 by the US Commerce Association and known as “The Adultery Buster” and the “No. 1 Love Expert,” she is the best-selling author of other books like Can We Cure and Forgive Adultery?, How Not to (S)mother Your Man and Keep a Woman Happy, and Financial Infidelity: Making Money Sexy.

Dr. Bonnie was named by Psychology Today and NY Magazine as one of America's Best Therapists and is presently featured and available now on the Discovery Health/Oprah Winfrey Network documentary titled "Unfaithful" and A&E on addictions. Find her on Good Morning America's three-day series on NBC’s The Today Show, The Oprah Winfrey Show five times, and a four day series on Fox TV regarding dating. She appears frequently on ABC, Fox, CBS and NBC News, The View, 20/20, and CNN; and is often featured in USA Today and the New York Times. Visit Dr. Bonnie at http://www.DoctorBonnie.com.

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