Experts/New York (NY)/New York/The Rev. Christopher L. Smith

The Rev. Christopher L. Smith, Marriage and Family Therapist

The Rev. Christopher L. Smith - Marriage and Family Therapist, Author, Clergy, Consultant, Counselor/Therapist, Marriage/Couples Counselor, Mediator, Pastoral Counselor, Speaker/Presenter - New York, NY
Expertise

Marriage and Family Therapist



Location
353 West 48th Street, 3rd Floor
New York, NY
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Contact Information

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Call Me (212)655-9605
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Success Stories

Couples Counseling Has An End

When a couple finally comes to see a couples counselor at Seeking Shalom, or for that matter any other marriage therapist or pastoral counselor, they often are at a stage where they have almost given up and this move is their last hope. In fact in some cases, one or both of them may even have lost hope already. They may be experiencing a lot of conflict between the two partners, one or both of them might have cheated, there might just be silence between them, and they may even have discussed separation or divorce. They may have waited through weeks, months or even years of unpleasantness because of any of many different reasons: shame that they are going through these problems, fear that their relationship or marriage is actually over, lack of wanting to admit that they are having problems even to themselves, or even concern that once they start marriage counseling that they will never be free of couples counseling. But they are now seeking help.

However, there is hope for them individually and as a couple. Seeing a couples counselor can help them change what is currently going on, learn new skills for the future and even transform their relationship. Doing so does not have to mean that couples counseling becomes a permanent appointment in their weekly calendar, just he same as church on Sunday or TGIF celebration on Friday.

They have not been able to address the issues that brought them into the office on their own and couples counseling can help with this. Couples counseling can also help them lay a foundation so that i the future they can better deal with new situations that may come up or develop. Once this work is done, if there are not other things to work on, generally the couple no longer has a need for counseling. When this is the case, neither I nor my staff want to have the couple to keep coming in and we won't. No qualified couples counselor who is acting ethically would continue to work with a couple that doesn’t have goals that they are still working on. For some couples, there may be a time period when they come in less frequently for "maintenance visits". These visits generally focus on checking in to make sure that they are still doing what they have learned, that nothing needs to be reviewed and that nothing else has come up as a problem. Even so, there usually comes a time when the couple should stop coming to see a couples counselor.

If the couple does not come to this conclusion, then the couples counselor working with them needs to do so. This is not always easy to do and the conversation can go different ways. An example of this from my practice would be a married couple that had achieved their goals and were no longer working on anything. When I asked them why they were still coming to therapy, they stated that their marriage had been so much better ever since coming to couples counseling. They expressed that they thought it was because they were seeing a coupels counselor, especially one that addressed issues of their faith. My response was to tell them that there was nothing magical about coming to see me for counseling. As we talked about this, they were able to talk about what they had learned in counseling. They also were clear on how they were applying these things in their lives and in their marriage, even in new things as they came up. I told them that they did not need to come anymore. In fact, as they were paying for sessions every other week, I told them to take the money that they had been paying me biweekly and to go on a nice date every other week. I also assured them that if something came back up or if they starting experincing a new problem in their relationship then I would be more than happy to have them come back to counseling, but when they did not need it they should not be coming. About six months went by and I got an email from one of them. When I went to open it, I hoped and prayed that they wer not having a new problem. What the email said was that they were still doing really well and that they were still enjoying the prescription of the biweekly date night.

My experience is that this pattern repeats itself over and over for different couples. In fact when I reflect on what success is as a couples counselor, this type of outcome is certainly a success. It is a success when the couple is able to experience wholeness and peace in their relationship and when they can contniue to experience this even when I am no longer directly involved. If you have something going on in your relationship, know that you too can find a safe place to talk and address what is going on and that doing so does not have to mean permanently making a couples counselor an additional part of your relationship.

Main SpecialtyCouples/Marital Issues
Forgiveness
Spiritual
CredentialsLAC, LMFT, LMHC, MDiv
Time in Practice10 years +
I practice inMultiple states/provinces, please inquire
Additional ExpertiseAuthor
Clergy
Consultant
Counselor/Therapist
Marriage/Couples Counselor
Mediator
Pastoral Counselor
Speaker/Presenter
I offer my servicesAt my office
Telephone
Via a webcam
Other, please inquire
I am fluent inEnglish
Licence informationExpiration 4/30/17
Number LMFT 000899
Latest Expert Videos
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Why do some relationships last a lifetime and others fail because ...

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HEALING LITURGIES FOR THE SEASONS OF LIFE

Are you looking for a new way to renew your worship, respond to ...

USD $38.21

Buy online

Main SpecialtyCouples/Marital Issues
Forgiveness
Spiritual
CredentialsLAC, LMFT, LMHC, MDiv
Time in Practice10 years +
I practice inMultiple states/provinces, please inquire
Additional ExpertiseAuthor
Clergy
Consultant
Counselor/Therapist
Marriage/Couples Counselor
Mediator
Pastoral Counselor
Speaker/Presenter
I offer my servicesAt my office
Telephone
Via a webcam
Other, please inquire
I am fluent inEnglish
Licence informationExpiration 4/30/17
Number LMFT 000899
Latest Expert Videos
My Store

50 Things Women Hate About Men; And What Men Can Do About It

Why do some relationships last a lifetime and others fail because ...

Buy online

HEALING LITURGIES FOR THE SEASONS OF LIFE

Are you looking for a new way to renew your worship, respond to ...

USD $38.21

Buy online