How to Help Struggling Couples
According to a New York Times article, two years after ending counseling, 25% of couples are worse off than when they started, and after four years up to 38% get divorced. Couples’ counseling rarely involves looking at the brain while trying to help failing relationships.
For prevention or pre-screening of couples, think about the brain whenever you see patients or clients for marital problems, including:
- Chronic arguing or fighting
- One partner displaying consistent negativity
- Impulsivity, poor judgment, addictions
- Anxiety, depression, oppositional behavior
- Changes in behavior
- Failed couples’ counseling
- Abuse (verbal, physical, sexual)*
HOW YOUR REFERRAL CAN HELP YOUR PATIENTS: SPECT Imaging
SPECT can specifically help people overcome marital conflict by:
- Helping identify areas of low activity and blood flow
- Helping identify comorbidities that may warrant treatment
- Helping determine if treatment is working correctly
- Increasing treatment compliance by showing pictures of results
- Helping couples gain a better understanding of their brains through visuals
- Helping couples gain access to tools that can help them
About SPECT Imaging
Comorbidities in instances of marital conflict are common findings revealed through SPECT images: one spouse may have been exposed to harmful chemicals on the job, suffered brain trauma, or spent years with an undiagnosed condition such as ADHD/ADD. Covert alcohol/substance use would also affect the brain and be evident in scans. Such factors are more easily revealed through images, and treatment compliance, as well as its effects on the marriage, can be tracked with scans.
*If you are concerned that one of your patients/clients or a child/children may be in danger, call 911 and/or comply with your mandated reporting duties. While we believe that everyone can benefit from SPECT imaging and a healthier brain, please note that Amen Clinics cannot provide immediate help or protection from abuse.
1. Gilbert, Susan. “Married With Problems? Therapy May Not Help.” The New York Times, April 19, 2005. Accessed July 1, 2012, from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/19/health/psychology/19coup.html.
Help your patients learn more.
Read more about optimizing your relationships in Dr. Amen’s book, The Brain in Love