McCandless Family Counseling

Providing adult, family and marriage counseling for 19 years

Adult & Couples Therapy

Paul McCandless,MFT

Adult, Family & Grief Recovery Therapy

Sandy McCandless,MFT

Licensed Marriage Family Therapists.

What to Expect in Couples Therapy

Paul McCandless, MFT

“Everything that irritates us about others can lead us to an understanding of ourselves.” CG Jung


So you have decided couples therapy may be a necessary step to puttimg your marriage or relationship back on track. Give yourself credit for possessing the courage required to make this choice. You therefore already have one of the most important important qualities to improving your relationship: Courage. Couples counseling is not an easy step to take. Your courage to grow, to challenge yourself and to tell the truth of who you are is absolutely necessary in helping you to attain the relationship you desire.

The intent in writing this is to introduce you to what to expect from couples therapy and how your courage will be called upon should you and your partner choose to work with me. It is only fair that you are provided with enough information with which to make an informed decision. Moreover, having a reasonably good idea as to what lays ahead can help you and your partner in getting off to a productive start.

Goals of Couples Therapy

The overarching goal of therapy is to increase your understanding of yourself and your place in the world. The goals of couples therapy are the same with this important addition: To understand the parts you and your partner play in the relationship. To achieve these you need the following:

A clear idea of the life you want to build together
Clarity about the partner you each aspire to become in order to have the life you want together
What internal barriers impede your progress    
Skills and knowledge to achieve all of the above

Sound like a lot? It is. Do you see now why the courage you possess can be a valued asset? The “How to” achieve these overall goals entail some of the following:

New attitudes about yourselves and each other
New skills to move toward a better partnership
Persistence and the developed capacity to tolerate uncertainty
Time to reflect upon the progress you make

There is a lot asked of each of you in couples therapy. But there is also some required of myself, the therapist. One requirement I have is to establish a collaborative relationship with both partners as effectively as possible. The relationship you have with the therapist you choose is critical in helping you attain your goals for yourself and your relationship.

Another requirement is a willingness to shift from one role to another. At various times I am a guide, a coach and a teacher. I am also a human being. I am always aware that the relationship I am working with is vitally important to the functioning of both people as well as their family. Often improving a relationship is like an ocean liner attempting a u-turn. It can be done but it takes time and it takes a good part of the crew working toward the same end. Part of my job is to support the crew in their effort to change course.

If you would like to learn more about me and how I might be able to help, please call me at 714-391-1003. Or, if you like you can email me at If you would like to be informed of upcoming couples workshops, join our email list here:

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733 E Chapman Ave Fullerton, CA 928331