For two decades, Dr. Judy Scheel, Ph.D., LCSW, CEDS has worked with individuals and couples helping them develop and deepen intimacy and achieve fulfillment in their relationships. She specializes in premarital counseling, affair recovery, blended family issues, couples and addiction recovery, and divorce counseling.
Dr. Judy Scheel has many years of New York academic training and advanced certification in psychology and psychodynamic theory including Certification in Sex Therapy and in Forensic Psychology. She is also a member of SSTAR (Society for Sex Therapy & Research). Throughout her career, she has also been able to accumulate years of her own personal analysis that has afforded her the ability to help individuals and couples go deeper in their understanding of themselves and what drives their relational bus. The more she has learned about herself, the more open she is to issues that people present.
Dr. Scheel’s fees are reimbursable by insurance for those who have a PPO (out-of-network) provision to their health insurance plan. Dr. Scheel is licensed in NC, NY, and CA.
Why do Couples Seek a Therapist for Help?
Couples come to therapy often with a multitude of complaints about their partner. Often diagnosis involves acquiring a detailed understanding of the issues, behaviors, frustrations, losses, hurts, and loss of connection each partner is experiencing.
Over time, there may be patterns of behavior or communication that negatively impacts a couple and/or family. Many times, as hard as they try to resolve the conflict on their own, couples may continue to fall back into learned patterns that affect the couple’s ability to relate and connect with each other. This will eventually erode and strain the relationship. Some of the reasons that a couple seek out therapy include:
- Loss of communication
- Intimacy and sexual issues
- Lack of joy
- Disappointments and failed expectations,
- An affair or betrayal
- Lying to your partner
- Rehashing old resentments
These will contribute to the disengagement and loss of attachment in relationships. Sometimes couples no longer know how to relate after their child-rearing days are over. Dr. Judy Scheel is a highly trained expert in helping couples repair relationships through insight, mutual empathy, and behavioral changes. This enables couples to move forward in making sound couple decisions and in changing their relational path.
What Else can Cause People to Need Couples Therapy?
Causes can be as simple as a loss or lack of communication or disparate ways of communicating. Sometimes couples have suffered serious losses and betrayals in their relationship that are known but never discussed. Couples are increasingly stressed by work and the impact of culture and social media.
Sometimes one or both partner turns toward substances, porn, shopping, solo activities that give an indication that the couple is struggling. Often times couples argue over issues pertaining to money, sex, or family. The real hidden issues emerge over time which may include power struggles, feelings of abandonment and disengagement, anger, or need for excitement which may be missing in the relationship.
What Types of Approaches are Used in Couples Therapy?
Depending on the couple and their situation, Dr. Scheel may use varying methods in order to get couples on the right path. Some of the methods used are as follows:
- Insight-oriented psychotherapy – most useful where couples understand what their needs are and how they are camouflaging their needs or expressing them via arguments or disengagement. Helping couples speak the truth about their feelings, wants, and desires are critical.
- Cognitive/behavioral treatment- issues are re-framed so that each person can understand the feelings and beliefs of their partner in order to gain acceptance that different perceptions and perspectives are valid.
- Attachment Theory – enables couples to understand their “style” of attachment in relationships so that better understanding can occur in circumventing old patterns. For instance, if one partner has an avoidant attachment style they may retreat under duress leaving their partner feeling abandoned or anxious, particularly if the other partner has an ‘anxious attachment’ style. Couples can then learn how to understand and respond to each other styles in empathic ways.
Helping couples create a relational infrastructure and repair damaged relationships is a strong component to healing as a couples therapist. Treatment of sex and sexuality issues require utilizing insight-oriented and relational psychotherapy and addressing symptoms, when occurring, with Cognitive Behavioral Treatment. Exercises are often given for couples to discuss in sessions and to carry out at home. Couples are encouraged to discuss their experiences when they return to their next appointment.
How can Couples Prepare to See a Therapist?
Preparation for any therapy is to show up and be rigorously honest. In doing so, couples can tap into the years of Dr. Scheel’s clinical training and experience. Though establishing trust in therapy takes time, it is essential that you feel comfortable and are able to openly discuss your concerns and how you feel.