Healthy Relationship Dynamics program for LGBTQIA + Couples

at Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids

Healthy Relationship Dynamics program for LGBTQIA + Couples
In Grand Rapids, MI and West Michigan At Health for Life Counseling Grand Rapids, MI

Health for Life Counseling is now offering a Healthy Relationship Dynamics for LGBTQIA+ Couples program from Gottman-Trained therapists. This Healthy Relationship Dynamics program for LGBTQIA + Couples includes an initial 8-12 meetings and aims to help a couple move into a new phase of their relationship. 

Health for Life Counseling’s program is available in the West Michigan area including in-person in Grand Rapids and Ada, Michigan as well as online throughout the State of Michigan. 

Couples Counseling can help build a foundation of understanding, compassion, and skills to create stronger relationships for goals of longevity, commitment, and intimacy.

(Note: Health Insurance Plans do not cover premarital or couples counseling).
Healthy Relationship Dynamics Program For Lgbtqia + Couples
  • Embark on a journey of self-discovery and relationship enhancement with our Couples Enrichment Program.
    • Delve into a transformative journey of personal growth and relationship strengthening with our Healthy Relationship Dynamics for LGBTQIA+ Couples program. This comprehensive program is designed to guide couples towards a deeper understanding of themselves, their relationship dynamics, and the tools necessary to cultivate a fulfilling and enduring partnership.
  • Embrace a Paradigm Shift in Your Relationship
    • Step away from the familiar patterns and routines that may be hindering your relationship’s growth. Our program encourages couples to explore new ways of thinking, behaving, and expressing themselves as individuals and as a united front. Discover effective communication strategies, foster emotional intimacy, and rekindle the spark that ignited your connection.
  • Navigate the Complexities of Relationship Dynamics
    • Recognize the profound influence of goals, family dynamics, intimacy, and aging on your relationship. Our program equips couples with the skills to navigate these often-challenging aspects of a partnership, fostering empathy, understanding, and a shared vision for the future.
  • Reignite Passion and Rekindle Connection
    • Address potential solutions to bring back and/or maintain satisfaction in the relationship. Our program provides practical guidance and support in overcoming obstacles, resolving conflicts constructively, and reawakening the joy and passion that once defined your bond.
  • Envision a Shared Future Together
    • In addition to nurturing the present, our program empowers couples to create a shared vision for what you want the relationship to look like going forward. Collaboratively define your aspirations, establish common goals, and develop a roadmap for achieving your relationship’s full potential.
  • Embark on a Path Towards a Fulfilling Partnership

Invest in your relationship and embark on a path towards a more fulfilling and enriching partnership. Our Couples Enrichment Program provides the tools, guidance, and support you need to cultivate a relationship that thrives on love, understanding, and unwavering commitment.

Relationship Solutions
Relationship Help

Therapists That Provide The

Therapists For Healthy Relationship Dynamics program for LGBTQIA + Couples

Brittani Decess

Counseling through a trauma-informed, inclusive, and equitable lens for individuals, relationships, and families.

To discuss which programs could work for you, call (616) 200-4433 or complete the form below.

What to Expect

  1. Rapport Building and Intake
  • Establish a strong connection with the couple to gain their trust and cooperation.
  • Gather information about their relationship history, current concerns, and expectations for counseling.
  1. Education on Fight-or-Flight-Freeze-Fawn Responses in Relationships (Lid Flipping) – Coping Skills
  • Explain the different types of stress responses and how they can manifest in relationships.
  • Provide coping skills for managing stress and preventing lid flipping.
  1. Gottman-Rapport Communication Method
  • Teach the couple the Gottman-Rapport Communication Method, which is a structured approach to expressing feelings and needs in a respectful and constructive manner.
  • Practice the method with the couple to help them develop effective communication skills.
  1. Emotional Literacy
  • Help the couple identify and understand their own emotions and those of their partner.
  • Develop strategies for expressing and managing emotions in a healthy way.
  1. Assumption Checking
  • Teach the couple how to check their assumptions about each other’s thoughts and feelings to avoid misunderstandings.
  • Encourage open and honest communication to prevent misinterpretations.
  1. (Assessment to Set Up Second Half) Areas Most Concerning to Couple/Relationship Grouping
  • Based on the intake session and ongoing discussions, identify the areas that are most concerning to the couple.
  • Group related topics together to create a structured plan for the second half of counseling.
  1. Understanding Gender Roles, Implicit Biases, Masking, and Societal Pressures
  • Explore the impact of gender roles and implicit biases on relationships.
  • Discuss the concept of “masking” and how it can affect communication and authenticity.
  • Address the challenges of navigating societal pressures and maintaining a healthy relationship identity.
  1. Coming Out, Discrimination, and Dealing with Microaggressions
  • Provide support and guidance for individuals coming out to their partners or families.
  • Discuss strategies for navigating discrimination and microaggressions in relationships.
  • Foster an understanding of the impact of discrimination and microaggressions on mental health and well-being.
  1. Sex, Intimacy, and Boundaries
  • Address issues related to sexual intimacy, satisfaction, and boundaries.
  • Provide education and resources on healthy sexuality and intimacy.
  • Facilitate open and honest communication about sexual needs and preferences.
  1. Understanding Codependency vs. Co-regulation
  • Differentiate between codependent and co-regulated relationship dynamics.
  • Identify the signs and patterns of codependency and its impact on relationships.
  • Develop strategies for fostering a healthy and balanced emotional interdependence.
  1. Navigating Differences in Religion, Politics, and Family Dynamics
  • Discuss strategies for navigating differences in religious and/or political beliefs.
  • Develop techniques for respectful communication and compromise in the face of diverse viewpoints.
  • Address challenges related to family dynamics and in-law relationships.
  1. Closure and Recommendations
  • Evaluate the progress made in counseling and determine if additional sessions are necessary.
  • Provide closure and recommendations for continued healthy relationship maintenance.
  • Offer resources and support for ongoing personal and relationship growth.

Additional Sessions Might Include:

  • Family relationships/in-laws
  • Time spent together/leisure time
  • Dealing with anger or other intense emotions
  • Work/life balance


Level 3 (Enhancing Your Love)

12 sessions at $120= $1440 Total

What does this include? What are the differences between programs?

Includes: 1 Introductory session, 6 sessions of skill building, Assessment to garner areas of focus, 4 sessions directed on common relational topics, 1 closing session, and a Relational Skill Building Booklet to take home and guide throughout the program.

Pay Up Front in a Lump Sum Discount = $1300 Total

Level 2 (Growing in Love)

10 sessions at $135 = $1350

What does this include?

Includes: 1 Introductory session, 6 sessions of skill building, Assessment to garner areas of focus, 2 sessions directed at common relational topics, 1 closing session, and a Relational Skill Building Booklet to take home and guide throughout the program.

Pay Up Front in a Lump Sum Discount = $1200 Total

Level 1 (Foundations of Love- )

8 session at $145 = $1160

What does this include?

1 Introductory session, 6 sessions of skill building, 1 closing session, and a Relational Skill Building Booklet to take home and guide throughout the program.

Pay Up Front in a Lump Sum Discount = $1000 Total

(Note: Health Insurance Plans do not cover premarital or couples counseling).

Research about Healthy Relationship Dynamics program for LGBTQIA + Couples

The Unique Value of Couples Counseling for LGBTQIA+ Relationships

Couples counseling offers a multitude of benefits for LGBTQIA+ relationships, extending beyond the core issues addressed in general couples counseling. While heterosexual couples face common challenges such as communication, conflict resolution, and emotional intimacy, LGBTQIA+ couples encounter additional layers of complexity due to societal attitudes toward sexual orientation and gender identity. These unique challenges can include navigating discrimination, overcoming internalized homophobia, and managing the impact of social stigma on their relationship.

Navigating the Complexities of Disclosure and Identity

A 2006 study published in the Journal of Bisexuality highlighted the crucial role of counseling in supporting mixed-orientation couples, where one partner identifies as heterosexual and the other identifies as gay, lesbian, or bisexual. The study’s findings emphasized that counseling can effectively guide couples in clarifying their individual needs, goals, and values, particularly in the sensitive realm of sexual orientation disclosure (Buxton, 2006).

Enhancing Relationship Satisfaction through Evidence-Based Interventions

A 2019 systematic review further affirmed the effectiveness of couples therapy in enhancing relationship satisfaction among same-sex couples (SSC). The review examined various psychological interventions, including Relationship Education and Gottman Method Couples Therapy, commonly used in traditional couples counseling. The findings demonstrated that these psychotherapeutic interventions can lead to positive outcomes such as high levels of relationship satisfaction, improvements in health-related behaviors, relationship enhancement, and reductions in substance abuse issues (Kousteni & Anagnostopoulos, 2019).

Addressing Unique Challenges and Building Resilience

Couples counseling provides a safe and supportive space for LGBTQIA+ couples to address the unique challenges they face, including:

  • Navigating discrimination and prejudice: LGBTQIA+ couples may experience discrimination and prejudice from society, family, or friends, which can strain their relationship and impact their mental health. Counseling can help couples develop coping mechanisms and strategies for managing these external stressors.

  • Overcoming internalized homophobia and stigma: Internalized homophobia and stigma can negatively affect self-esteem and self-acceptance, leading to difficulties within the relationship. Counseling can help individuals and couples address these internalized beliefs and promote self-acceptance.

  • Managing the impact of social stigma: Social stigma surrounding sexual orientation and gender identity can create additional challenges for LGBTQIA+ couples. Counseling can provide guidance on navigating these social pressures and building resilience as a couple.

Couples counseling offers invaluable support for LGBTQIA+ couples, empowering them to navigate the unique complexities of their relationships, overcome societal barriers, and cultivate enduring and fulfilling partnerships.

This program delves into nurturing healthy relationships by:

  • Personal and Couple Growth: Encouraging individuals and couples to explore new ways of thinking, acting, and expressing themselves to strengthen their bond.
  • Understanding Challenges: Recognizing how factors like goals, family, intimacy, and age affect relationships and present unique difficulties.
  • Rekindling Satisfaction: Finding solutions to address challenges and reignite happiness within the relationship.
  • Vision Building: Helping couples define their future hopes and aspirations for their relationship.
  • Overall, this program aims to equip individuals and couples with the tools and understanding to cultivate healthier and happier relationships over time.

This MAY be for you if you are desiring or experiencing the following:

  • Committed but feeling emotionally distant.
  • Experiencing unhelpful communication habits.
  • Wanting to be together but have lost “the spark” or “excitement.”
  • Say “everything is great EXCEPT…(sex, closeness, fun, talking).”
  • Wanting to show a better example to people in their lives about what a healthy relationship looks like.

This may NOT be for you if you identify with any of the following:

  • “Saving a relationship” (This is an expression often used when a couple has lost the basic tenets of respect, and love and perhaps one or both members of the couple is already moving “out the door.”)
  • Not to figure out if “we want to stay committed” if someone is already having second thoughts or is “half way out” (Mediation may be more appropriate).
  • Dealing with the repercussions of recent affair(s) (Individual Counseling is often recommended first).
  • Not for those who are actively in domestic violence and/or abusive relationships

Partners/ Couples that are suffering due to various addictions or are actively using substances (Individual or Addiction Counseling is often recommended first).

Premarital &Amp; Commitment Counseling For Lgbtqia+ Couples

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