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Couples Counseling Recipe

Article by Lori J Collins MS MFT

When I thought about the question, what is couples counseling? The analogy of baking a chocolate cake came to mind. Now, I’m not a baker, my husband and daughter are the chefs of the house. Regardless, I’m sticking with my recipe for couples counseling.

My recipe for couples counseling

Pre-heat the oven = Assessing Motivation – do both parties have the energy to work on their relationship? If you don’t have this then you’re going to end up with a gooey mess. I’ve seen couples and cakes that have turned out like this.

Flour = Substance and base – vision of what each person wants their relationship to be like, and do they have the commitment, substance, perseverance to stick to their goals?

Baking Powder = I think of it as adding the oomph to the cake, without it you end up with a flat cake or a flat relationship.

Milk = Honesty and Courage

Butter = Skills to smooth things out, like good communication skills.

Salt = Understanding that each person has the power to trigger the others family history, and to not rub salt in the wound, but . . .

Sugar = Appreciation, Gratitude, Kindness and Support. Without a consistent dose of genuine sweetness things can taste bitter over time.

Chocolate = The rewards along the way. The ability for the therapist to help couples create chocolate like moments, or soothing/intimate moments where the couple can relish in each other.

Ingredients: Two people who want to work on their relationship, a Couples’ therapist whose willing to take risks, trust their intuition, teach skills, model, practice timing of interventions, give creative assignments that are going to augment the process, use humor to lighten things up when appropriate.


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