“Love and marriage, it’s an institute you can’t disparage,” Frank Sinatra once famously crooned. While Old Blue Eyes certainly had some points, his song fails to acknowledge how much work it actually requires once the honeymoon ends and real life begins.
When a marriage is fledgling, putting issues on the back burner is only more detrimental in the long run — more dramatic actions must be taken. Beginning counseling could be the step necessary to transforming the relationship with the help of a trusted professional. Enter Dr. Michael Mongno, founder of Present Centered Therapies and well-regarded marriage and family counselor.
Currently seeing patients both remotely and at his office at 100 West 67th Street, Dr. Mongno understands the wide range of reasons why couples enter counseling, including (but not limited to): a lack of emotional connection, issues with physical affection, sexual intimacy and desire, difficulties with communication, differences in child-rearing strategies, heated conflicts about “seemingly” little things (there are no little things), religious and cultural differences, not feeling heard or emotionally met, feeling unfulfilled after years of being married, unresolved betrayal from affairs or emotionally parallel relationships, a loss of mutual vision for the future, mid-life crises, and/or other existential issues.
Yes, this may amount to quite a list of potential problems, but it’s not entirely surprising. Despite a downward trend in recent years, approximately 40-50% of first marriages end in divorce, according to the American Psychological Association – and the divorce rate for second marriages is even higher at 60-70%.
While New York State currently boasts a lower divorce rate compared to other regions, the fast-paced, money-driven, and stressful lifestyles associated with New York City are often capable of pushing a union to its breaking point.
But how does one know when it’s time to reach out and find assistance? “From my experience, people often wait too long to come into counseling,” Dr. Mongno states. “When Gottman’s ‘Four Horseman’ (criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling) are in place, it becomes much more difficult for couples to find their way back to each other. Each of these speak of insensitivity, hurt feelings, anger and resentment that have built up for way too long. When things begin to feel consistently off, a couple should begin to talk more deeply (seriously) about what’s been happening and what is actually going on. If this becomes difficult, unproductive or reactionary, it’s definitely time to seek help.”
If you’re a skeptic when it comes to counseling, let the numbers reassure you — between 70 and 90% of couples find therapy beneficial. Of course, it’s important to note that it’s far from an overnight fix — consistent sessions yield better results, so commitment and an open mind (from all parties involved) is key. “Often one partner wants the therapist to fix the other, thinking that will make it all better. The only way couples therapy can be successful is if both partners are open and committed to honestly confronting their own behavior, to seeing the impact it’s having on the other, and fully registering what their partner is expressing,” Dr. Mongno explains.
On your counseling journey, finding the right therapist is essential. While the majority of therapists may be able to tackle common issues which arise, there are those who specialize in everything from infidelity to sobriety to co-parenting and more. Be sure to look into specific areas which suit your situation. As a highly respected holistic psychotherapist and licensed psychoanalyst, Dr. Mongno could just be your match. With methodology merging Gestalt and Experiential Therapy with Eastern Philosophy (mindfulness) and Western psychology, his practice has amassed perfect scores on both Google and Yelp. “I highly recommend Dr. Mongno to anyone who is looking for a therapist. He is an incredibly compassionate therapist who has had a significant positive impact on my life, my marriage, and my general well-being,” wrote one satisfied patient. Another raved, “Dr. Mongno has provided me with invaluable guidance and tools that have helped me work through relationship and business challenges, and that I will carry with me for the rest of my life.”
Working through a difficult time is incredibly personal, and many tend to keep it all inside. Practitioners like Dr. Michael Mongno can help deliver real change in real time. So, if your path to self-awareness and emotional transformation isn’t carved out, it’s time to explore the next option. Learn more about Present Centered Therapies here.
Also, ask about Dr. Mongno’s Intimacy Intensive. This is a powerful and strategic means to transform your relationship into the healthy one of which you are so deserving.
Michael T. Mongno (MFT, PhD, LP) is among New York’s most utilized integrative psychotherapists and relationship experts and is a highly sought after commentator and speaker. He has trained with some of the most highly regarded couples therapists including Ester Perel (“Mating in Captivity”), David Schnarch (“Passionate Marriage”), and Harville Hendrix (“Getting the Love You Want”), and holds a PhD in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Integrative Psychotherapy, along with a four-year Post- Graduate Degree in Gestalt Therapy.
100 West 67th Street, Suite #2NE