A licensed clinical social worker and marriage counselor offers a helpful guide on “attachment-based” couples’ therapy and how to find the right therapist.
In this no-nonsense marriage repair manual, debut author Miller draws on his own marriage and years of counseling others. According to Miller, “Choosing the wrong kind of therapy…is the fastest way to send your relationship into a downward spiral.” However, Miller offers good news: if you choose the right therapist and the best therapy for your needs, “you and your partner stand a good chance of benefitting tremendously.” The author examines the experiences of real couples during counseling via various therapeutic approaches. For example, he discusses Jack and Irene’s frustration during their initial round of counseling. The couple chose a therapist practicing cognitive behavioral therapy, which minimizes the role of feelings in a relationship. But after hitting a wall, Jack and Irene came to Miller and found success with his attachment-based therapy. According to Miller, CBT often fails because it tries to fix aspects of a couple’s relationship without “understanding the root cause of their problems.” Trying to ignore feelings or fake an attachment are poor coping techniques because, he writes, “New science about the brain says that whether we recognize it consciously or not, feelings are always involved in our behavior.” In Chapter 3, Miller lays out the fundamentals of attachment-based couples’ therapy and devotes a chapter each to the three principal methodologies: Imago, Gottman Method, and Emotionally Focused Therapy. The book’s final section addresses practical issues, including the cost of therapy, how to find the right therapist, and the value of premarital counseling, sex therapy, and relationship coaching. Interested readers will find that Miller’s easy-to-read guide is well-organized and practical. Couples looking to hit the ground running will appreciate that his advice is mostly devoid of counseling jargon. He makes it easy to understand the various therapeutic techniques by allowing readers to listen in on dialogue between counselor and couple sprinkled with hopeful notes of encouragement.
A practical blueprint for fixing marriages.