The Fine Arts Building
410 S. Michigan Ave.
OAK PARK OFFICE
1029 West Lake Street
Second Floor, Left
Ford Andersen Willoughby MA, LCPC.
Oak Park and Chicago Loop 708-271-2864
I have a confession: I am a marriage counselor, and I’ve got some ideas about marriage, but I am still not sure what love is. Everyday I go to work and talk about love… this can be great fun and is really quite inspiring but sometimes its confounding. The word seems to take on subtle shifts in meaning with each couple I work with.
My clients and I also talk about pain, betrayal, loss, and jealousy among a myriad emotions. It is through this dialogue that we come to understand what my couples need from one another; we come to understand what their marriage demands. This understanding leads us to a unique vision on which we can rebuild their relationship... a relationship where love can develop and flourish.
My work is largely informed by the Imago theory of Harville Hendrix and his wife Helen LaKelly-Hunt, co-authors of Getting The Love You Want. I believe Dr. Hendrix is the pre-eminent marriage counselor of our time. His book and workbook are the foundation of my marriage counseling sessions.
Simply put Drs Hendrix and Hunt believe that much of the discord in marriages arises when we touch on the unmet needs of our childhood. Children are insatiable. It is impossible for even the most loving, selfless of parents to meet a child’s insatiable demands. For the most part, we emerge from our childhood having learned lots of good values and life strategies, but we also emerge with unfulfilled needs that seek satisfaction in our relationships and in our marriage.
In my sessions we do a number of exercises to illuminate these childhood “wounds”, and learn strategies for healing them.
Once we have uncovered the wounds our marriage counseling sessions focus on learning how to communicate these wounds to each other. We learn to listen in a way best characterized by the quote: “Seek first to understand, and then to be understood.”
This form of marriage counseling has a 25 year track record of great success. I look forward to working with you and your spouse as we re-define your marriage and together we learn what love is.