Couples Therapy, Marriage & Relationship Counseling
The Negotiation Collaborative
Janet Miller Wiseman
Well over 40 Years of Practice Experience
Ava and Adam met in a sign language course and spent their honeymoon
on the island of Aruba "speaking" in sign language, while scuba diving and
viewing the colorful fish and coral. During the honeymoon she was "suggesting" that he have the seafood chowder for dinner, when he blew up.
A mild-mannered mid-westerner, he took affront to her "controlling" him, by "even insisting upon what I eat". Making these kinds of food suggestions had
forever been a part of her nationality group, that "lives to eat", rather than "eats to live". Before they had even finished their honeymoon they had "cultural conflicts" and were at war, which later led him to moving out.
In couples therapy Adam and Ava learned to understand and speak the language of the other's upbringing, to communicate their real intentions, so they were heard correctly, and to negotiate their differences. They kept their love and compassion for one another foremost, while dealing with their inevitable differences, the reverse side of their original attractions, which provide irritations in every relationship. After several months Adam moved back in with a previously humiliated Ava.
Speaking different languages is a frequent problem within couples: engineer/social worker; TV producer/musician, marketing manager/fitness trainer; wealth manager/ngo director, planners/ spontaneous partners, individuals from cultures with radically different values etc. Many individuals within a couple start out speaking entirely different languages, needing to translate meanings into a "mutual dictionary".
Couples work has been the "Centerpiece" of Janet Miller Wiseman's Private Practice, The Negotiation Collaborative. Whether the couples are married, partners, pre-married, in a decision-making mode, parents and their parents, parents and their children, Couples therapy is designed to strengthen individual self-esteem, competence, taking responsibility and to strengthen the ability of pairs to stay separate as individuals, not merging together, or projecting their own weaknesses onto their partner, while joining with and caring for the other, communicating his and her desires and needs in a way that may be heard and deeply understood.
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Janet Miller Wiseman LICSW, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, and Certified Family and Divorce Mediator was trained from 1969-1972 at the then Boston Family Institute as a Couples and Family Therapist and has been working with all manner of couples since that time.
She learned as a professional "neutral", to equally hold and embrace both parties' perspectives, values, interests, and desires. She is not incapacitated by the need to see everything through the lens of one individual. There are always two sides to every issue. While being "right" or "wrong" is necessary in scientific endeavor, Janet urges couples to talk about their own and the other's perspectives being different, not one "right" and the other "wrong".
Too much time is wasted in people's search to place "blame" on the other partner, in essence pointing a child-like finger at the sibling, when Mom says "Who let the cat out?" -- "She did!". Janet encourages people to live in a "no fault/no blame universe".
Each person makes his and her "contribution" to a relationship's difficulties, or even its downfall, but no one person is to "blame". In a relationship that seems to be becoming unglued, Janet encourages people to reach the highest level of mutual agreement or at least understanding as possible. There need be no "victims" and no "victimizers". Childhood patterns of thinking in terms of blacks and whites, rights and wrongs, it's a "catastrophe" if some one thing is out of order, are identified and traded for new, more rational and adult thinking.
Of course, the goal or goals with which the couple entered the therapy is the most important agenda, and when they have achieved their goals, the therapy naturally evolves to an ending. Ms. Miller Wiseman has been trained and provides training in brief, goal, and solution focused psychotherapy and decison-making mediation therapy and mediation. Most clients' intentions are not to continue treatment over a long course, but many clients do return for "tune ups" over the years and some do want to make core changes in the way they interact in their relationships and in their communities, taking a longer period of time.
All of the books of highly regarded John Gottsman, couples psychotherapist/marriage counselor, are suggested reading for partners before, during and after their partners intervention.
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Complimentary Telephone Consultation
Ms. Miller Wiseman provides complimentary quarter-hour telephone consultations with each member of a couple to help them articulate their goals and to give them adequate information about her approaches and background in order to decide to make an initial appointment. If her services are not appropriate for your particular situation, Ms. Miller Wiseman is able to refer you to a colleague or associate. Health insurance coverage will help to pay for the treatment of many disorders and relationship disturbances.
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Recommended Books on Decision Making Using Mediation
• "Mediation Therapy: Short Term Decision-Making for Couples and Families in Crisis"
• "Mediation Therapy: Short Term Decision-Making for Relationships in Conflict"
By Janet Miller Wiseman, available at amazon.com
- And Baby Makes Three by John M. Gottman Ph.D. and Julie Schwarz Gottman
- Everybody Marries the Wrong Person by Christine Meinecke, Ph.D
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Janet Miller Wiseman provides Mediation and Counseling Services in the Boston area. She is an accomplished Divorce, Family and Business Mediator, and Individual/Couples/Family Psychotherapist. She has over 40 years of experience as an individual/couple/family psychotherapist and over well over 30 years of experience as a divorce mediator. Her office is located in Lexington, MA. and while she serves clients from all over Massachusetts, many of her clients are from Acton, Arlington, Burlington, Bedford, Concord, Gloucester, Framingham, Lincoln, Malden, Newton, Watertown, Wellesley, Winchester, Waltham, Woburn, Reading and Salem. Janet is also willing to travel to your location for training, presentations and workshops.