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Why Go To Couples Counseling? Isn't Love Enough?

by Kalie Marino, MSW, Holistic Counselor


You got some kind of education to do your job, but where was the training for how to be in relationships? Or how to raise children? Why don’t they teach that in school? Is there anything more important than our relationships with our partner and our children? We aren’t born knowing how to do it.

We all do the best we can in our relationships. We only have the example our parents set. Were they happy and affectionate or did they just stay married regardless? They were your only teachers. Do you want a marriage like theirs? We assume that is the way marriage is. Even if they did get along, are you and your partner the same kind of people that they are?

One man told me that people fight when they are in love. That’s part of being romantic. Well at least, that’s what his parents did. However, a few years after he got a divorce, he found out that his parents were separated half the time and miserable. They just didn’t tell him that part before. That was a secret. They didn’t talk about things like that in front of the children.

Research shows that couples that fight usually last longer than couples that never fight because at least, they are communicating. The problem is that most fighting does not solve anything, because people don’t reveal their real feelings or get to a solution. People don’t usually express what is really bothering them, because they may not be in touch with their real feelings.

Intimacy is not sex. Intimacy means “In-to-me-see.” Anyone can see what we are doing or hear what we are saying, but we have to tell a person how we are feeling. That is hidden on the inside of us. That is extremely personal. We may only reveal that to a person we trust IF we have an adequate emotional vocabulary. The problem is, many people don’t have an emotional vocabulary. Where would they learn it?

When children are small, we make flash cards for nouns and verbs, but not for emotions. Children feel the emotions of others, but without a parent labeling their emotions by saying what they feel, like: “I feel sad, lonely, hopeless, confused, etc.”, they never learn an emotional vocabulary. Many people only have an emotional vocabulary of three words, “sad, angry, and happy”. How can you be more intimate than your emotional vocabulary?

Criticism is a big destroyer of happiness and relationships, but we grow up in a society that values criticism, so we don’t even recognize when we are doing it. When we tell someone what we think is wrong with them, it gives us a temporary feeling of superiority. However, we criticize others when we are critical of ourselves. We don’t feel good enough. Getting to know and love ourself helps us be better partners.

I am a holistic counselor, and so counseling is tailored to the couple’s needs. However, I usually find that learning couple communication skills is helpful. Some people need help getting in touch with their emotions and expanding their emotional vocabulary. Some have really difficult problems to solve and need some expert advice on how to solve them.

Love is not enough when we want someone else to be the source of the love we have for our self. Most people need to be able to forgive and love themselves more. There are many wonderful holistic tools available to help you do just that.

Kalie Marino, MSW is a holistic counselor, gifted speaker, seminar leader for “A Course in Miracles “and author of “Breaking Free from Critical Addiction: Our #1 Social Disease” with a background in quantum physics and a master’s degree in clinical social work. Kalie has studied with spiritual masters around the world and is an interfaith minister. Her website is www.OpenHeartInstiute.com .

“People enjoy counseling with me. They feel safe and comfortable in my office, knowing I am accepting and non-judgmental and that everything they say is totally confidential. My intuitive insight shows me the strengths and wholesome truth about each person, aspects of them that they may never have recognized. I also see the wounds and misperceptions that block their happiness. I use effective techniques for releasing these blocks, even PTSD. My wealth of resources helps to produce faster results than traditional therapy. I value my clients and care about what happens in their lives.


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