VISTAS Online is an innovative publication produced for ACA by Dr. Garry R. Walz and Dr. Jeanne C. Bleuer of Counseling Outfitters, LLC. Its purpose is to provide a means of capturing the ideas, information and experiences generated by the annual ACA Conference and selected ACA Division Conferences. Papers on a program or practice that has been validated through research or experience may also be submitted. This digital collection of peer-reviewed articles is authored by counselors, for counselors. VISTAS Online contains the full text of over 900 proprietary counseling articles published from 2004 to 2017.
Group therapy to build strong relationships for same-sex couples
Lamerial Jacobson, Kara Pappalardo, and John Super
The Bible, in Mark 12:31 (New International Version), suggests one of the greatest commandments is to love one another. Some people expend a great effort in looking for the person with whom they can share their lives and love more than anyone else. Once they find that person, they begin building a life together, sharing their hopes, dreams, and plans. For heterosexual couples, they receive advice from friends, parents, books, the media, and films; they learn by modeling the relational skills they see from successful couples around them. However, when same-sex couples establish a life together, the limited availability of information and the absence of real role models hinder the development of the necessary skills to develop a satisfying, happy, and loving relationship as noted by Safren and Rogers (2001). Spitalnick and McNair (2005) found that the lack of role models and ability to seek advice will likely cause same-sex couples to develop normative relationship dynamics which may or may not be healthy.