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Couples Therapy

Couple Walking Into Sunset

Strengthen Your Bond with Expert Couples Therapy

Are you searching for highly qualified couples counseling services? As an experienced relationship therapist, I have seen firsthand the transformative power of couples therapy in helping couples overcome relationship challenges and build stronger, healthier connections.

I offer professional and compassionate couples therapy in Manhasset, NY and have worked with many couples who have sought weekly therapy sessions to address various relationship issues, such as infidelity, financial disagreements, parenting conflicts, or relationship anxiety.

Both in-person couples therapy and online couples therapy are available to accommodate the needs of the couples I work with.

Couples Counseling: Enhance Communication and Understanding

Couples counseling, often known as marital therapy or couples therapy, is a kind of therapy that helps couples—whether they are married or just dating—improve their relationships. It has been shown that couples therapy fosters intimacy, communication, and comprehension of one another’s needs and aspirations.

Couples therapy may also help couples deal with more specific issues like infidelity, financial disagreements, or parenting difficulties. Couples who get therapy may also forge stronger, more enduring ties that are better suited to withstand the challenges of life. Couples therapy may help couples work through problems and create happier, healthier relationships in general.

One of the most rewarding aspects of my work as a couples therapist is witnessing the authentic and visceral experience couples therapy provides. By delving into the hidden world of their relationship, couples can gain a deeper understanding of their feelings, emotions, and communication patterns. My goal is not only to help couples address and resolve problems but also to enhance the positive aspects of their relationship, ultimately fostering a healthier and more satisfying partnership.

It is essential to acknowledge that some couples may initially feel vulnerable or exposed during therapy sessions, especially when discussing sensitive topics. As a skilled couples therapist, I strive to create a safe and supportive environment that encourages open communication and personal growth. In my experience, the potential benefits of couples therapy, such as improved communication and a healthier relationship, often outweigh any initial discomfort.

When couples seek therapy, it is crucial to find an experienced therapist who specializes in couples counseling and relationship issues. I have dedicated my professional life to guiding couples through the therapy process, helping them identify the root causes of their problems and develop effective strategies for overcoming them.

Is therapy worth it for couples? I firmly believe that it is. Many of the couples I have worked with report experiencing improved relationship satisfaction and a stronger connection with their partner after engaging in couples therapy. By addressing and resolving issues, couples can build a solid foundation for a happy, healthy future together.

If you and your partner are looking for couples therapy,
please contact me at (516) 627-1145

Premarital Therapy – Are You Ready To Commit?

I also offer premarital therapy, which helps couples address and resolve potential areas of conflict before tying the knot. Premarital counseling can help you improve your relationship before you marry. It will give you the opportunity to examine topics that need discussion, clarification and compromise. In the quiet moments of your life have you had concerns over finances; communication, beliefs and values; affection, loyalty and sex; roles and responsibilities in the marriage; children and parenting; extended family relationships; decision-making and compromise; anger management; free time spent together/apart. Many people in relationships have similar concerns. What is important is that they are addressed not ignored!

Couples Therapy

Discussing your differences and expectations before you marry helps you better to understand and emotionally to support one another. Did you know that the risk of divorce is highest early in a marriage, but it is lessened through early intervention, such as engagement and premarital counseling?

Speaking with your partner in the presence of a professionally trained counselor will help to prepare you for marriage. As you learn to communicate more effectively, to establish realistic expectations for your marriage, and to develop conflict-resolution skills, you will have a better chance of a stable and satisfying marriage. In addition this can help you to identify weaknesses that can become problematic during your marriage.

Each of you brings your own values, perspectives and life experiences into your relationship. However, it is important to remember that they do not always align in spite of this fact you can actively strengthen this relationship! When you focus on improving communication through respectful interactions and a willingness to compromise you are doing this.

Have you been thinking of the following issues and been hesitant to address them:

  • Preoccupied that everything is “wonderful” until there is a fight?
  • Have no idea how to disagree in a fair, productive way?
  • Feeling unappreciated too often?
  • Worried that you came from a broken home?
  • Fearful that “recreational” substances have crept seductively into your lives?
  • Stressed that you and your partner had poor role models for marriage, commitment and compromise?
  • Fearful you are going to repeat the very patterns that caused you pain?
  • Uncertain how you will resolve your differences over finances, communication, values?

If your answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” I encourage you to break the cycle of negativity and learn what it takes to have a successful marriage. The good news is that historically negative repetitions can be replaced by patterns of behavior supportive of healthy marital relationships. Through pre-marital counseling you will learn how to identify your strengths, weaknesses and potential areas of conflict. You will be helped to understand how each of you contributes to the difficulties, what you can do to respond in a productive, rather than customary, way. You will be guided to discuss your unique visions and concerns for your marriage and learn how to work proactively from there.

A survey published in the Journal of Family Psychology found that couples who participated in premarital education reported higher levels of satisfaction in addition to a thirty percent decline in the probability of divorce over five years. Are things sounding more hopeful? I hope so.

Many people entering into marriage feel that love is the most important factor impacting on marital happiness. They often think that love will be instrumental in resolving most problems. However, as many of us have seen, this is not the most important determinant in marital happiness.

A successful marriage or relationship depends upon each partner’s making the union of primary importance in his/her life. Despite disagreements, respect, kindness and compromise need to be central to their interactions. Familiarity often results in partners taking one another for granted with their thoughts and feelings aligning in the direction of “This is what she/he does! “ Unfortunately, what generally ensues is an atmosphere of expectation and entitlement, rather than one of appreciation. This is a recipe for resentment, strained communication and disappointment. If you haven not noticed, the only thing that resentment begets is more of the same!

Premarital counseling will help you to establish a stronger, healthier foundation upon which to build your future. Through this experience you can move from a place of being stuck to one where together you have created an atmosphere characterized by loving commitment, compromise and the promise of a more satisfying life.

Marriage Counseling

Couple TalkingMarriage counseling can help couples address emotional roadblocks and patterns that may be preventing them from enjoying a fulfilling relationship. While many people long for a relationship and connections to others, few realize how difficult it can be to find and maintain a loving, bonded relationship. The vast majority of men and women experience frustration and distress. They repeat the patterns that bring them into unfulfilling relationships with those who are wrong for them, even though they may feel right. Have you wondered how this all began? Have you questioned how an intelligent person who is successful in all other areas of life continues to make poor choices of a mate?

Look back on the parenting style which guided your upbringing. Were your parents supportive, nurturing and providing of an emotionally stable environment? Were they autocratic, controlling and unable to deal with feelings, yours or their own? Was conflict ad upheaval synonymous with your surname? Was abuse-physical, emotional or sexual-part of your childhood or adolescent landscape? Your answers to these questions and their emotional fallout have had a profound effect on your emotional resilience and the personality type you seek out as a partner or spouse.

Your choice of a mate is rooted in these earliest bonding experiences or lack thereof. If your adult attractions are based on compromised bonding, you constantly will be drawn to those who cannot bond or connect. The patterns of your upbringing create the boilerplate for those you will be drawn to in adulthood. The ensuing difficulties with intimacy are expressed in a variety of ways. If you make the same mistakes over and over again with your spouse or your children, your co-workers or your friends, you may be emotionally stuck in a cycle of repetition rooted in these early feelings and experiences.

There is no parent who can meet all of the emotional needs of a child. All of us are less than perfect. As difficult as this may be to accept, it is highly probable that you have been exposed to feelings and patterns of behavior that have compromised your ability to be emotionally intimate. Despite the best intentions of your parents, these earliest experiences effect your decisions today. They prompt you to gravitate toward what is emotionally familiar, rather than what is best for you.

Do you find yourself disregarding or minimizing the warning signs? Do you ignore the dissonance that occurs between what you think and feel and what you sense in the core of your being? Do you push away from what is best for you, rather than pursue it? Do you react to what is good for you as if it were intolerable? Your responses to these questions are indicators of what you need to learn regarding emotional intimacy and making optimal choices.

Feeling hopeless or confused? Having difficulty seeing a light at the end of the tunnel? I will keep my sights on the light at the end of the tunnel for the two of us until you can see it for yourself! My work focuses on a unique combination of experiences. Emotional relearning will facilitate your ability to access feelings, regardless of their positive or negative valence, and utilize them constructively. An increased awareness of the subtleties of your autonomic nervous system will potentiate your ability to respond to those old self-defeating triggers in a constructive manner. Through this process you will learn how to change your interaction with others both socially and emotionally and process life more effectively.

A Trusted Relationship Therapist in Manhasset, Long Island

Have some questions, concerns or worries? This is a good thing since they do not magically disappear! Be proactive and protect the love that brought you together. Make decisions that are good for you and your future, not ones that are made by default!

I am a Manhasset therapist, call me at (516) 627-1145 for a complimentary consultation to discuss any of these or related topics.

Dr. Maryann B Schaefer

Ph.D. – Counseling, Concentration in Psychology
NYS Licensed Mental Health Counselor
Fellow of American Psychotherapy Association

Phone: (516) 627-1145


5 Travers Street  Manhasset, NY 11030

Office Hours: By appointment only.

american psychotherapy association