Solutions for Couples is forward thinking and works from the perspective of "from now on".  Counseling will often delve into your past before going forward. Counseling is a therapeutic process by which you sit with a trained and certified psychologist or counselor and talk about your feelings as it relates to what is not working with your partner and your relationship. The counselor will help you to deal with those feelings and work through the problems. Counseling tends to go deeper into each person to see what might be underneath the surface that is causing the problems to persist. It will often deal with your past and how it is affecting your life currently. It is a great process and very helpful if that is what you need. 

Solutions for Couples deals more with issues than feelings. We will work on strategic solutions to specific problems. It will be a focused, facilitated session geared toward coming up with here-and-now answers to ongoing friction points. The focus is on agreed upon solutions, not on each other. The idea isn't to face each other and blame the other person for the problem. We will work together and write down solutions to problems. Since you both care about each other and want to stay together, then the brainstorming is about solutions to stay together, not about how the other person is a problem.

Feelings and emotions are not avoided entirely and both sides will be able to hear the concerns of the other side. You can think of Solutions for Couples as being similar to sitting with a CPA to help you do your taxes.  You might be able to get your taxes done on your own, but you are far more likely to get it done right with a professional checking your work and keeping you accurate.

What keeps the process moving and quicker than other methods is that we will stay on track by not allowing the participants to go over the same issues obsessively in a circular fashion without end. It is a linear process with a beginning and end point. We will keep the outcome realistic and not based on a fantasy of either side. The idea is that it is better to have a good relationship rather than an unachievable one.

Below is a table that shows some of the main differences between Solutions for Couples Family Mediation and couples counseling:






Usually 1 or 2 sessions per specified issue


Can be ongoing depending on the needs and desires of the couple


Always future oriented


May explore past as well as future


Feelings are acknowledged and not ignored, but they are not explored in depth


Feelings may be examined in depth to see what is underneath and driving current conflicts


No diagnosis of mental health conditions is done


A diagnosis is sometimes sought and given for insurance purposes and for therapeutic understanding


The practitioner is a neutral Rule 31 Family Mediator


The practitioner is usually a Psychologist or Counselor, who may take an advisory role


Mediation is a structured process that is explained at the beginning and often followed the same with each couple


Counseling is a process that is less structured and may change for each couple


The goal and outcome is a clear actionable written agreement or plan between the people


The outcome is a greater understanding of the people involved in order to improve the relationship