The Science of Couples Relationships
Over more than half a century of research and scholarly interest in couples relationships, there has never been a more hopeful moment than the present one. Studies on relationship distress and neuroscience are converging to reveal that the human brain is hardwired to need secure emotional attachment in our primary love relationships in order to function optimally.
When such security is not present, vital brain systems, notably the amygdala and our sympathetic “fight-or-flight” circuits, experience panic and typically drive us into one of two adaptive patterns. One is a pattern of active protest of the absence of secure connection characterized by anger, blame, and criticism. The other is a self-protective withdrawal pattern, in which a partner shuts down emotionally and distances himself or herself from the relationship.
The end result is disconnection and feelings of insecurity, distrust, and despair in the relationship. As research beginning in 1980s has validated conclusively, the remedy is something more than simply learning new communication and negotiation skills in couples therapy. What brings healing and health to all relationships is building secure attachment through openness, attunement, and responsiveness. Contemporary couples therapy— led notably by Emotionally Focused Therapy created by Dr. Sue Johnson—charts a hopeful pathway for couples to achieve this security of attachment and to enjoy the many benefits to health and well-being that accompany it.
Services of Merritt Mental Health
Merritt Mental Health provides diverse services for couples experiencing relationship problems. One is a seven-session exploratory course of couples therapy with Dr. Merritt. The first six sessions focus intently on identifying 1) current relationship patterns 2) challenges to effective communication and 3) remedies and solutions. During the seventh session the couple and Dr. Merritt assess progress, recap learning, and determine what further steps might be beneficial.
Merritt Mental Health also offers extensive care navigation services for couples. The various pathways to wellness include 1) weekly or twice weekly ongoing couples counseling 2) individual therapy and 3) daylong and multiple-day couples’ retreats and couples’ programs. After determining specific client preferences and needs in a Health Services Consultation, Dr. Merritt makes the best recommendations possible and/or conducts research and care navigation. per client request.
Contact Us for more information
Schedule an initial consultation by clicking here
Research & NewsWe search for the best ideas in the world for helping patients and family members achieve mental health and well-being.
Read More »
- 28 March, 2014
What Makes Merritt Mental Health Unique?
Merritt Mental Health is a first-of-its-kind consulting practice that serves not only patients but, uniquely, concerned family members seeking advice and direction in mental health care. Merritt Mental Health recognizes the challenges experienced by a patient’s family and opens its doors gladly to your questions and requests through its Health Services Consultations.
We provide individualized guidance that assures patients and family members of greater clarity in decision-making, greater ease of access to services, and heightened confidence that you are pursuing the plan that is right for you.
- 28 March, 2014
Prompt, Considerate Care
Merritt Mental Health prides itself on its ready availability and responsiveness to clients. Appointments are typically available within three business days. If your need is more urgent, contact us to request an expedited consultation. Whenever possible, we will provide you with a same-day or next-day appointment.
We believe in helping you when you need help. We believe in ease of access to expert knowledge and empathic guidance. These are top values and priorities of Merritt Mental Health and promises we keep to you.
- 28 March, 2014
Objective, Expert Advice
Our mission at Merritt Mental Health is to provide the best guidance possible to those facing emotional crisis, relationship crisis, mental illness, or addiction. With your best interests always at heart, our aim is to help you or your loved one to get as well as possible as soon as possible.
We understand that patients and families need a thoughtful, deliberate approach to mental health care and the assurance that recommendations and advice are objective and free of conflict of interest.
Merritt Mental Health practices the highest standards of ethics and professionalism. Neither Dr. Merritt nor anyone else at Merritt Mental Health benefits in any way from the recommendations and referrals we provide. All our guidance is based entirely on our best judgment and your best health interests.Read More:
Ethics of Merritt Mental Health »