Marriage and Relationship Counseling

Many therapists employ a communication model for couples work that assumes that most couples’ problems derive from dysfunctional communication. The assumption seems to be that teaching better communication should resolve their difficulties. Unfortunately, most well-controlled studies show that only about one-third of the couples going through marital therapy are reporting significant post-treatment benefits. Those are not impressive statistics and they do not give much support for a simplistic communication therapy model. A couple’s communication usually breaks down because of more complex emotional dynamics. Those dynamics can involve historical shame issues, personality deficits, knowledge deficits, and boundary interactions. These issues can be quite complex but are still understandable.  At Allied Psychological Services, teaching effective communication is only one small piece of a more comprehensive strategy. Even more emphasis is placed upon teaching a couple principles of effective emotional regulation. This may involve learning how to influence one’s own emotional state before projecting rage or behaving in a way that is toxic to the relationship. Old shame issues are clarified so that they do not unconsciously disrupt the relationship. Principles of “tact” are taught so that both partners experience less threat to their psychological boundaries while negotiating their needs. Couples are also taught about how “ego states” are often critical to getting their needs met and how to anticipate and schedule getting together so that both parties are receptive to each other. Sometimes, other forms of therapy will be a necessary first step in couple’s work. For example, sometimes group therapy or individual therapy is necessary to change a person’s internal emotional responses before the couple’s external interactions can constructively become the main focus.

While teaching is often employed in good couple’s work, an emphasis is also placed on homework between sessions. The therapist often assigns homework in the form of communication or behavioral exercises. For example, a couple may be assigned homework to re-enact a recent argument but to do it in a newly agreed upon way. An individual may also be given homework to practice self-talk or guided imagery to deal with irrational beliefs or old feelings of shame that are intruding into the relationship. There are many other forms of homework that are too numerous to list here. The main point is that Allied Psychological Services therapists place an emphasis on practice and implementation in addition to insight.


Even without counseling The Marriage First Aid Kit can help your marriage.


Read how to help your relationship with our Marriage Problems First Aid Kit .



Adjustment Counseling

This type of individual therapy is the most simple and entails what people refer to as “counseling.” It usually involves a lot of teaching and prescribed exercises at home. A significant part of counseling is to teach clients about human nature so that they have realistic expectations of themselves. Clients are often taught how to more effectively relax, how to fashion realistic goals from their own needs and desires, how to journal to promote emotional growth, how to compartmentalize grief, how to confront and replace automatic irrational beliefs, how to use autosuggestion for shifting emotions, how to manage situational cues to influence their emotional states, and many other self-management strategies. Our style of counseling has a reputation for being very direct and friendly.


Individual Psychotherapy

Currently, individual psychotherapy for adults is being offered by Dr. Bryce Kaye.  Check his staff profile to read about his style of psychotherapy.


EMDR Psychotherapy

“EMDR” is an acronym for “Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing”. This is a technique of therapy invented by a superb clinician Dr. Francine Shapiro in 1989. Dr. Shapiro discovered that the brain seems to metabolize and reduce the emotional pain from traumatic memory if a patient can simultaneously recall the memories while attending to bilateral sensory stimulation. The term “bilateral” here refers to a sensory stimulus that alternately arouses the right and left hemispheres of the brain. In the form of EMDR practiced by Dr. Kaye, a moving dot of light on a screen is used to provide the sensory stimulation while various components of the troubling memory are requested by the therapist. Brain scan research in the last 10 years has suggested that the amygdala and hypocampus areas of the brain are very involved in preventing and later resolving traumatic memory. EMDR therapy is thought to possibly stimulate this mechanism. Whatever the mechanism, there are more controlled effectiveness studies on EMDR than for any other form of treatment for Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Many of the Oklahoma bombing survivors were treated using this technique. If interested, more background information on EMDR comparison studies can be mailed to you.


Anger Management Training

This is a special treatment module designed and provided by Dr. Bryce Kaye.

Read about Anger Management Training


Strengthening Self-Esteem and Assertiveness

This is a special treatment module designed and provided by Dr. Bryce Kaye.

 Read about Strengthening Self-Esteem and Assertiveness


Marriage Retreats

Marriage counseling is available on Dr. Kaye's 7 day nautical retreats.


Read about Dr. Kaye’s marriage counseling  retreats on a 7-day nautical odyssey.