I have worked in the mental health field for over 35 years in both in-patient and out-patient psychiatric settings and have been in private practice since 1979. I began MarriageWorks in 1990 for two main reasons: First, after practicing psychoanalytically-oriented, individual psychotherapy for many years, I came to realize that the state of our primary relationship in adulthood (the relationship with our spouse or significant other) affects our current mood and quality of life more than our early relationships with our mother and father. Moreover, I saw that a healthy marriage or committed, intimate relationship can provide a “corrective emotional experience” that can undo much of the negative effects of unhealthy, early family interactions/relationships. Secondly, I named the practice “MarriageWorks” as an attempt to normalize and re-frame this type of care in the positive way that it deserves, and, hopefully, as a small step toward destigmatizing mental health care.
After all, therapy is fundamentally an educational process that occurs within a very special and unique relationship—one that exists solely for you. Even Sigmund Freud viewed psychotherapy as basically educational, referring to psychoanalysis as an “after-education”. The aim of counseling and psychotherapy, like education, is to illuminate; that is, to make visible what is invisible or only partially visible and to clarify distortions in your perceptions while sensitively attending to your emotions. The more fully and accurately we see and understand ourselves, others, and the situations in our lives, the better we function and the better we feel.
The therapists that I have brought into MarriageWorks share this view and hold that the therapeutic relationship should be a safe, supportive, responsive, and nurturing one, allowing you to address the issues that are so deeply troubling. We are here for you and your relationship. We place your needs first by being sensitively attuned and thoughtfully applying our knowledge and skills in a respectful, kind, and empathic manner. We look forward to helping you.
Arnold Sell, LCSWC