Perhaps it all started with one sip or one puff. Then come the reasonings:

  • The other kids do it as well and they look so cool.
  • I couldn’t say no to my friends.
  • They said that Ecstasy is a great way to party.
  • I thought I could stop and get out anytime I wanted.

Sadly, substance abuse is growing into a major problem for teens. Teens are trying a whole list of substances – tobacco, alcohol, marijuana and even progressing on to more dangerous stuff like cocaine and heroin.

Based on findings from the 1998 National Household Survey on Drug Abuse, young people ranging from 16 to 20 comprise a whopping 36.3 percent of current illicit drug users. What’s more, there are over 1 million teens aged 12 to 17 that can be considered dependent on illicit drugs and close to a million dependent on alcohol. There are also over 10 million young people ages 12 to 20 that drink alcohol with almost half considered to be binge drinkers.

This is every parent’s nightmare – to see their healthy and dynamic child being held in the grips of substance abuse. Substance abuse results in increased vulnerability and risk for teenagers. Not only are their mental and emotional health impaired, it also makes them more prone to be involved in risky behaviors. These include being involved in traffic accidents (some resulting in death), risky sexual behaviors (i.e. sex without protection, having sex at an early age), and delinquent behavior at home and in school and involvement in criminal acts.

Knowing the signs of substance abuse

Parents must be vigilant to the changes taking place in the lives of our teens. We may sometimes make the mistake of thinking that the changes in behavior are just part of a phase. We also may be too busy with our own lives, so that we don’t notice these signs in our teens. Changes in the behavior of your teen may point to substance abuse, especially if the behavior seems more than a phase and lasts for weeks or is sudden and extreme:

–          Sudden decline in school performance, reports of truancy or delinquency

–          Discipline issues at school

–          Changes in overall attitude, temper outbursts that are unusual

–          Extreme reactions, flare-ups, unexpected aggression to the point of being physically or verbally abusive to others

–          Disinterest in activities and hobbies that he had previously enjoyed and regularly indulged in, withdrawal from family and other social activities

–          Avoids bringing friends over; changes in circle of friends

–          Nervousness and secretiveness (although being secretive can also mark a teenager’s desire for increased privacy)

–          Being extremely sensitive to inquiries about where he’s been and what he’s been doing

–          Decline in hygiene and grooming habits

–          Tends to wear sunglasses, even at occasions and places where they’re not called for

–          Declining concentration and forgetfulness

–          Change in wardrobe, especially the tendency to wear long-sleeved shirts (even during warm or hot weather)

–          May start asking you for money for “projects” or may start borrowing money from siblings and friends

–          Items in the home that mysteriously get “lost”

–          Breaking the curfew

–          Having drug-related paraphernalia on their person (such as pipes, needles, syringes and so on)

Getting help for Substance Abuse

It is important to recognize the signs and to act quickly. The longer the teen uses these substances, the more difficult it will be to break free from them. One way to get help is to work with a substance abuse counselor. Substance abuse counseling sessions will help the teen identify and recognize the fact that there is indeed abuse. Then the counselor will lead the teen to the realization of consequences of the substance abuse and provide a path to finding alternatives to it.

Parents may also need to get family counseling as they struggle to deal with their teen. Substance abuse counseling can provide parents with crucial tools to help them support their teens during this difficult time. Even when teens are unable or unwilling to attend counseling, couples counseling can help parents control their reactions as well as apply intervention measures and strategies to help the teen break free from the substance abuse.

To help you during this time, you need a therapist who understands what you’re going through and who has extensive experience dealing with troubled teens. Triston Morgan is one such therapist. He has spent years helping Utah teens combat addiction. This includes acting as a therapist in Utah in rehabilitation clinics, wilderness therapy programs, community therapy centers and residential programs. Triston is also a licensed marriage and family therapist and holds his practice in Provo, Utah.

How do you treat mealtimes in your family? Do you take time to sit down and have a meal together? Or, are you becoming swept away by the chaos of everyday activities? Many families are in this situation: each family member runs through the kitchen and gets himself something to eat when hungry and they rarely sit down at the table and share a meal together. Well, you are not alone. The results of a research study by the University of Minnesota (through their Family and Social Services Department) showed that there is a 33% decline in the number of families who have family dinnertime as part of their routine.

Dinnertime: More than just eating

Mealtimes are not just about getting the necessary nutrition for you and your family. It’s actually a great opportunity for families to build stronger bonds. Mealtimes are also one effective way to center your family, to establish structure and stability for family members.

Here are some benefits of having regular family mealtimes:

–          Establishes routines and stronger family bonds. Family dinnertime can be a ritual that enriches the lives of each family member. Families who eat together have more opportunities to identify problems that children, especially teens, face. Parents can more easily intervene and help. With regular times spent around the table, everyone has the chance to talk about what happened to them during the day and listen to one another’s stories. As a result, families build stronger bonds with each other.

–          Serves as a vital teaching tool. Family dinnertime teaches young children table manners and conversation etiquette. It helps children learn how to hold a conversation with adults and also develop a stronger vocabulary as they listen to adults use words during the conversations.

–          Helps develop healthy lifestyles. Regular family dinnertimes are occasions for healthy and nutritious meals. Here, children learn how to eat (and enjoy!) vegetables and other healthy food. This is where you can also introduce new food without the child feeling that “those yucky vegetables” are being forced on them. Family mealtimes also do much to help prevent eating disorders in children. This is because having healthy (and delicious) food served during dinner time wards off the misconception that “eating healthy” is about eating food you hate while avoiding food you enjoy. In addition, eating together helps parents control the portions of the food being eaten. Portions of foods in fast food places and restaurants are increasing and these foods invariably are less healthy.

–          Helps make kids less vulnerable. According to the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse (CASA) at Columbia University, teens are less likely to experiment with smoking, alcohol and drugs. In addition, kids are more likely to say no to premarital sex and be less vulnerable to depression. Teenagers who have less than three family dinners a week are found to be more susceptible to peer pressure.

Make time for Family Dinners

Here are some tips:

–          Keep it light and happy. Dinnertime with the family is not the place to make criticisms about other family members or discuss discipline or serious subjects. It’s a time to share what happened to each family member throughout the day. Ask questions like, “So what did you do today?” or “How was your day?”. Dinners don’t have to be formal affairs, nor does it entail a gourmet meal. It can involve something as simple as eating Chinese takeout or a pizza together.

–          Set a time for family mealtimes. As you set a time for family meals, keep each other’s schedules in mind. Set up a way to call all members to the table so that you avoid any wrangling and discussions about family members coming to the table late. Mind you, it does not have to be an evening meal. What matters is that family members understand that this is an important time for the family to be together. You can have a late Sunday brunch together or a quick breakfast before you head off for the day.

–          Shut out distractions. Allow the answering machine to take phone calls. Turn off the television so that the family can focus on each other.

–          Keep each other company. Even if parents need to eat out, this does not mean that children should eat by themselves. As much as possible, join your child at the table, even if it’s just to give your child some company while he or she eats.

–          Share in the dinner chores. Assign tasks to family members, including dinner preparation, setting the table and cleaning up after. Get kids involved in preparing the food.

–          Don’t let your teens stay away from dinner. Even if it means having a grumpy teen at the table, insist on having each family member present for dinnertime (unless there is some acceptable reason why a member is absent).

–          Don’t let mealtimes be a battle over trying out new foods. Encourage your kids to try out the broccoli and the peas but don’t engage them in battle over it.

–          End the meal together. Don’t let anyone rush in and out of the dinner table. You as a parent should be the one to indicate when the meal is over.

Making time for family dinner can be a challenge but it can be done.

When intervention is necessary

Family dinnertimes are helpful in keeping children and teens grounded, but there are times when intervention is still necessary to strengthen family bonds and help a child break free from harmful behaviors. A substance abuse counselor will be helpful when your child is battling against drugs, smoking and alcohol.

In cases where there are key issues that a family needs help with or damaged relationships that need healing, the family members should consider family therapy sessions. These sessions can help members of the family work to strengthen relationships as they grow as individuals. Couples who are undergoing problems with their relationship can also go for marriage counseling.

This is where Triston Morgan can help. Triston is a licensed marriage and family therapist who practices in Provo, Utah. He holds a Master’s Degree in marriage and family therapy from Loma Linda University (in California) and a PhD from Brigham Young University (in Utah). He provides couples counseling and ENRICH/PREPARE courses for engaged and married couples.



Tragedy strikes when we least expect it and the loss may turn your world (and your family’s) upside-down. This is particularly true with the loss of a loved one. Pain and grief comes to the family and hits hard, especially to children. Children often feel it more intensely and may have a harder time recovering from the loss. How do you deal with the grief and the pain? How will you help your children who are looking to you for stability and security?

Dealing with Grief and Loss

Here are some reminders to help you as you deal with grief yourself and also try to muster up the comfort that your children may need during this difficult time.

Make time for your grief. The process of grieving takes time – there may be even some instances when you feel that the grief will just not let up. The time immediately after the death of a loved one may be a busy one – there is the funeral and burial to be arranged, well-wishers and mourners to be looked after. However, you should give yourself and your family time to sit down and grieve. Acknowledge your feelings – don’t suppress them.

Grieve in your own way. People grieve in different ways. As long as you are not doing anything hurtful or harmful to you or to others, you can choose to grieve in your own way. Don’t allow anyone to set a timetable for your grief or tell you how to feel. In the same way, don’t push children to overcome their grief within a certain timetable.

Realize that it’s normal to be angry. Anger is a part of the process of grieving. Your children may go through a period where they express anger at what has happened that resulted in the tragic loss of a loved one. Don’t belittle or deny the child’s feelings but reassure him or her of your presence at this time.

Be alert for damaging behaviors.  Even though grief comes in different forms, there are healthy ways to grieve and there are ways that are not so healthy. Damaging behaviors include turning to substance abuse to numb the pain. In the same way, you should also be on the lookout for damaging behaviors or methods of grief that your children may try to employ.

Don’t go at it alone. Turn to the company of loved ones and friends and say yes to help when it is offered. Instead of avoiding offers of help from loved ones and friends, tell them what you need. Sometimes people want to help out but are not really sure about the best way to do it. You can also join a support group, which can be a healing experience as you share and relate with people who have gone through the loss of a loved one themselves.

Be there. Let your children know that you are there to help them.  Spend time talking to them every chance you get. Be gentle as you ask questions, probe their thoughts and help them put their feelings into words. Listen and validate their feelings. Accept their feelings. Reassure them of your presence and love.

Share how you cope. Discuss how you cope with your feelings of sadness, uncertainty and fear. If this means drawing comfort from your faith, involve your children in the mourning rituals that are followed by a certain faith. If this means trying to express your feelings using a creative or physical outlet, involve your kids as well. For instance, if you want to make an album about your lost loved one, encourage your children to help out.

Seek help. You and your family may need to seek family counseling to help process your grief and be equipped with tools to positively respond to your and other family members’ grief. Sometimes, unresolved grief can cause a family member to turn to alcohol and drugs. In this instance, it may also be wise to see a substance abuse counselor.

Avoid making big changes in your family life in the immediate future. As much as possible, try to provide a familiar environment for your child. Avoid major changes that your child will need to adjust to on top of the grief he is dealing with.

Family Therapy to Help Cope with Loss

Grieving over a loved one is a process that one has to go through in order to heal, move on and be happy again. This time in the family’s life may be stressful – and the emotional and mental stress it brings may also take a toll on one’s health. Family therapy may help grieving family members cope with the loss.

Oftentimes, when family members are focused on dealing with their own hurts, it is hard to “be there” for others who may need their reassurance and support. A good family therapist or counselor will help families deal with loss, anger and grief. He will map out a strategy as to how the family can move forward along the process of mourning and help the family utilize positive memories and emotions to heal and move forward.

One such therapist is Triston Morgan in Provo, Utah, who has extensive experience in helping families heal from tragic losses. He has also served as a Utah substance abuse counselor, dealing primarily with troubled teens. He is a licensed marriage and family therapist who provides a non-confrontational atmosphere by which people can deal with their grief and other issues.

Often adults think that they’re the only ones experiencing stress. But really, children and teenagers get stressed, too. And the stress may be all the more pronounced for teenagers, at the time when they are especially vulnerable. As adolescents struggle to establish their identity, these stressors can sometimes feel more overwhelming. It’s not easy to be a teenager these days!

Parents can be particularly helpful in providing their child with the tools to cope positively with stress. As Hodding Carger Jr. once said, “There are two lasting bequests we can give our children.  One is roots.  The other is wings.” When our children have the tools to positively deal with the stress, we actually prepare them for future life, helping them become more resilient, stronger and more able to face the challenges that life has in store for them.

There are times when the stress your teen is experiencing is a bit overwhelming that it eventually becomes a serious problem. You may have to turn to the help of family counseling.

Here are some of the common stressors teens nowadays have to deal with:

  1. Body Image pressures. Magazines, movies and even the internet parade sexy women and well-toned, well-muscled men. Teenagers may feel the pressure to look a particular way. They may become vulnerable to pressures to be “thin enough” or “sexy enough”. They may start developing an eating disorder, exercise excessively and be more preoccupied with how one looks and weighs.
  2. 2.       Pressure from peers. One of a teenager’s pressing needs is the need to belong, the need to be with the “in crowd”. Peer pressure may come in the form of being able to dress or behave a certain way or belonging to a certain group of friends. Peers may entice teenagers to join them in playing truant, having sex, drink alocohol or try other addictive substances.
  3. Relationships. One teenager was crying her eyes out. When asked by a parent, the teen laments, “I love Leonardo di Caprio, and I am just sad that he doesn’t even know that I exist!”. The teenage years is a period of discovery and teens start to feel attraction for the opposite sex (and in some cases the same sex). They may feel the pressure of getting noticed by the person they like. The stress becomes more pronounced when the teenager already has a boyfriend/girlfriend. Fights and breakups take on a large amount of emotional energy.
  4. Changes in their bodies. Puberty is a time when hormones are running amuck and when the body undergoes a lot of changes. These changes may feel overwhelming and sometimes frightening. Teenage girls may feel anxiety about getting her period or boys may feel awkward about their changing voices.
  5. School stress. The teenager may stress about getting good grades, balancing academics with his or her social life, deal with conflicts with teachers and other persons of authority or having too many activities on top of his academic life.
  6. Family stress. As teenagers start to explore boundaries, they may start questioning (or even testing) rules that parents may impose. Parents and teens may not also see eye to eye with many matters such as the teen’s schedule, his curfew, chores, phone and computer usage, friends, choice of college and so on. Siblings also add to the stress, as you can expect siblings to have spats from time to time. Family-related stress can also come in the form of parents divorcing, changes in the family’s finances, the sickness or death of a family member or the need to move to another location.

Helping our teens handle stress

Robert Heinlein reminds parents: “Don’t handicap your children by making their lives easy.” As parents, though, we can help our child cope with the stress positively and appropriately. Remember, the teenage years are a particularly challenging phase in any person’s life. The feelings and changes as well as the stress they have to deal with make them vulnerable to depression, drugs and alcohol use.

Be there for them. At this stage, it is important for a teenager to have someone he or she can talk to. Chances are, if he can’t talk to his parents, he will turn to peers for advice (and you’re not really sure what kind of advice his friends will give). Make your teenager understand that when he or she needs to talk, you are there to listen. Carve out time for one-on-one “dates”, as well as “group dates” with the family. Laugh and play together as a family. Make sure that you also have regular dinners together in your home and outside. This way, your teen knows that he can approach you anytime to discuss problems that have been bothering him.

Encourage your child to have a wide circle of friends. There are many areas where a child can meet friends such as school, the community center, your church or the local sports team.

Build your child’s sense of self and confidence. The teenage years is a time of doubt – about who they are, how they look. Make sure that you build your child and not tear him down. Find opportunities to praise him, point out his good qualities. A teenager with high self-esteem is more able to cope with stress than one who is riddled with self-doubt.

Encourage healthy outlets. This may come in the form of physical activity and sports. It may also be about hobbies and pasttimes. You can also encourage your child to express himself via a diary or journal. (Just make sure that you also respect your child’s privacy and resist the temptation to take a peek at what is written there.)

Finding help for our teens

Sometimes, it could also help to seek family therapy when family issues become a main source of teenage stress. Often, a teenager may need help expressing and processing his feelings and thoughts about a certain family situation. A licensed family therapist can help the teen thresh out the issues and the positive responses he can make.

There are also instances when problems with alcohol and drugs warrant the services of a substance abuse counselor to help the teen break out of his addictions. A family therapist that specializes and has experience handling teens would be a great help to teens as they try to learn to manage their stress.

Triston Morgan is one such therapist. He is licensed to practice marriage and family therapy in the state of Utah and he has had extensive experience treating adolescents, particularly in the area of substance use. Since starting his practice in Provo, Utah, Triston has been involved in wilderness therapy programs especially designed for teens. As a therapist in Utah, Triston is committed to helping local teens increase their emotional capacity and confidence.


As Raymund Hall puts it, “All marriages are happy.  It’s the living together afterward that causes all the trouble.”

Indeed, marriage is not just about being in love – it’s about commitment and the willingness to work to stay in love by building a strong bond between husband and wife. However, marriage is also about two people who have different backgrounds and personalities. You throw in children, the stresses of one or two careers, day-to-day living and a whole array of other issues and situations, and you realize that marriage is a fascinating yet complicated dance where the dance partners miss a few (or more than a few) steps.

Indeed, there are many issues and conflicts that can blow a marriage apart. Often the problems are too complicated and emotions are too involved that the two spouses will need the help of another party in picking apart the issues and trying to solve them. This is where an experienced and licensed marriage therapist can help – to see the couple learn “the dance” and get into a deeper and more meaningful phase in their relationship.

What does a marriage counselor do?

A good marriage counselor guides a married couple as they work through the conflicts and problems they have in the marriage. With the help of regular sessions, the marriage counselor helps the couple identify and solve problems that may be hounding their mariage.

The counselor also provides the husband and wife with a positive outside influence, as well as with all the effective tools for them to build the marriage, particularly communications tools that can help each understand the other and help resolve any conflicts in a productive manner.

Marriage counselors can help you through the many landmines in a relationship – financial disagreements, sexual incompatibility, personality conflicts, disgreements with major issues (such as how to raise children or deal with in-laws). Commonly, marriage counselors have special training to help couples through these sensitive issues.

How to Find a Marriage Counselor

Now, the next question is, how do you find a marriage counselor? It is important that you (the couple) and your marriage counselor are compatible. This will be crucial to the success of the therapy/counseling sessions. Remember, you are entusting your marriage (and some very personal details!) to the counselor so you will do well to choose carefully and wisely. It is also important that both you and your spouse agree on the final choice.

Here are a few simple tips to help you find a marriage counselor:

Identify your needs. Define the issues that you are facing and needing a marriage counselor for. You need to find out whether the counselor has had extensive experience and success dealing with these issues. For example, if the main issue you as a couple are facing is about sex, alcoholism or abuse, it is best to go with a counselor who specializes in counseling about these particular issues.

Define your budget. How much your budget is will also come into play in your choice of a marriage counselor. You should also check whether your health insurance coverage will pay for the sessions. If your budget is a major issue, then you should start looking into a student program (where student counselors, supervised by professionals, can provide you with counseling sessions). There are also churches that offer marriage counseling sessions.

Identify the kind of marriage counselor you want. Male or female? Single, married or divorced?  What are his/her qualifications? These may be the kind of questions that could help you filter through a list.

Get referrals. Ask around. Your family, friends and colleagues may also be undergoing or has undergone marriage counseling. You can also ask your pastor, priest or minister about referrals. Try to talk to couples who have undergone counseling with a particular referral.

Making the call

Most marriage counselors will provide propspective clients with a short phone or face to face consultation to help you determine the proper fit. This is where you can ask questions about him and his style of marriage counseling. The first interview is important since

Here are some questions you can ask:

– What are your views of marriage? (Does the counselor see marriage from the same viewpoint as yours?)

– What do you hope the marriage counseling will bring about?

– How many years have you been a counselor?

– How long do you think the counseling will last? What times are you available?

– Will your counseling fees be covered by insurance?

The first session will be key to help you determine whether the counselor is the right fit. You need to feel comfortable and confident enough to disclose details in your marriage that are often painful and very personal.

After the first interview, you can now be in a better position to commit to going into therapy and counseling with the said marriage counselor.

Getting a Marriage Counselor in Provo, Utah

For those who are looking for marriage counseling in Utah, you can look into getting the services of Triston Morgan. Morgan is a Marriage and Family therapist licensed to practice in the state of Utah. He has a master’s degree in marriage and family counseling from Loma Linda University and a Ph.D. from Brigham Young University. He has extensive experience with key issues faced by couples and families, particularly in the area of substance abuse and issues with teens. He is certified to provide PREPARE/ENRICH courses and is an upstanding member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.


Myths are false notions that simply aren’t true. However, these myths sometimes affect how we look at things and how we react to issues and situations. Sometimes we carry some myths as we get into married life. We marry with stars in our eyes (and rightly so). But if we make the decision to marry based on some marriage myth, we may be in for a rude awakening when the truth finally sinks in. “I didn’t expect marriage to be this way!” “I thought love was all that mattered and we will live happily every after!” “I thought it would work out just like it does in the movies.”

Well, let’s try to debunk some of the more popular marriage myths, shall we?

Myth: A good marriage means being able to find Mr. or Ms. Right

H.L. Mencken so wisely puts it, “Strike an average between what a woman thinks of her husband a month before she marries him and what she thinks of him a year afterward, and you will have the truth about him.”

We may think that we went into marriage with Mr. or Ms. Perfect, conveniently forgetting the truth that “nobody is perfect”. The ideal about the perfect partner is often based on unrealistic expectations we have about our spouse, expectations that are nearly impossible to meet all the time. You are putting your spouse in a very high pedestal – eventually he or she will fall off.  It is important to realize that each of us has our own flaws. The secret is to love our spouse in spite of the shortcomings and flaws and to work into a suitable compromise.

Myth: Marriage is about changing the other.

They say that a woman marries a man with the hope that he will change, while a man marries a woman with the hope that she will not. Marriage is not about manipulating the other into becoming the image we have of him or her. Again, it is coming to a compromise. There might be habits or attitudes that annoys the other partner and you can talk and work on this together.

Myth: Arguments are a mark of a bad marriage.

Remember that you are never going to agree on everything. Arguments, or discussions, can actually help resolve conflict. Getting into marriage thinking that arguments are to be avoided at all costs can actually be harmful. What happens is that an issue goes on unresolved and when one has had more than enough, he or she will suddenly blow up. Mature discussions may actually work to let the couple sort of the conflict and come into a compromise, at beast.

Myth: Closeness comes automatically to married people.

Intimacy is like a plant – it requires daily watering and care. Miss a few days of taking care of it and you will see that the plant will start to wilt. If you want to develop intimacy with your spouse, you need to constantly and consistently nurture your relationship. Intimacy does not grow overnight or automatically. This involves spending time knowing (and studying) your spouse, what makes him tick, what he likes and doesn’t like and so on. This also involves listening to your spouse and also communicating how you feel.

Myth: To grow closer, partners must be together and do everything together all the time.

Remember, you are both individuals, with different needs and wants. Getting married does not mean that you are getting tied in the hip. Give each other space to pursue his or her individual hobbies and pursuits. It may sometimes be enough to let the other spouse know that you are supporting him or her. Pockets of separateness where you “do your own thing” (a hobby, a vocation) may very well strengthen the times you are together. So it’s okay for the wife to allow the husband to have a night out with the boys while she goes to the salon. You don’t have to be at every fishing trip or shopping trip either.

Myth: A good marriage means that both partners get what they want.

On the contrary! Marriage is about meeting halfway. The myth is that if your spouse truly loved you, he or she will give you what you want. This is setting a high level of expectations for the relationship.

Myth: If my spouse loved me, he or she will know exactly how I feel.

Just a reminder, your spouse is not a mind reader. He or she would not know what you are feeling or thinking unless you speak about it. Over the years, your spouse will get to know you such that one look will tell him or her what you’re thinking. But again, this does not make your spouse a mind reader. Communication is important. Sharing thoughts and feelings about issues and expectations will help establish a stronger relationship.

Myth: Getting into marriage counseling is a no-no.

There is a stigma with going for marriage counseling. Some people feel that this is just one step before both parties eventually give up. In reality, marriage therapy or counseling can help smoothe out the rough spots of the marriage and even give both partners the tools in which to strengthen the marriage.

Myth: Marriage has rules and guidelines.

There are rules about arguing, raising up the children, dealing with in-laws and handling money. Generally, what these rules are depends on both of you and what you agree upon. Setting guidelines early on in the marriage will help establish the framework by which your marriage will be set up on.

Myth: Everything will be happily ever after.

After the dream wedding, you set yourself up to ride off into the wind happily together. End of story. But in real life, that does not happen. A spouse gets sick, gets laid from work, a child rebels and the list goes on. Life will throw you a curveball from time to time. This is why a common marriage vow reminds us to love our spouse, “for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness or in health.” If youa re able to weather the ups and downs of life together, this can actually make your marriage stronger.

Sometimes these misconceptions are so ingrained that it seriously affects your marriage. Getting a good and experienced marriage counselor can help sort through the roots of these misconceptions and how they can be corrected.

Getting A Marriage Counselor in Provo, Utah

Triston Morgan is one reputable marriage counselor in Provo, Utah that can provide you with therapy and counseling in a non-confrontation atmosphere.  As a licensed marriage counselor, he is there to help you and your mate have a deeper understanding of the myths that have become ingrained in your relationship and provides the tools for you to successfully deal with these. Morgan is PREPARE/ENRICH certified and a member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Triston Morgan has practiced marriage and family counseling in Utah and has worked with couples and teens in various settings, including community therapy centers, residential programs for adolescents, drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinics and wilderness therapy programs.


A mariage wracked by infedility. Trouble with a rebellious teenager. Issues with sexual addiction, alcoholism or drug abuse. These issues have a considerable impact on a marriage or on a family. People may mistakenly hope that these problems are just a phase and that they will blow away sometime in the future. However, the wounds and scars caused by these issues often not just result in cracks in our relationships. They sometimes result in seriously deep crevices that may need more work, and perhaps the help of family counseling.

How Marriage or Family Therapy can Help

People often see a marriage or family therapist as a balm, a cure-all for the problems they are facing. Or, sometimes, people go into therapy at a point where the problems overwhelm the relationship and the couple is simply going through marriage counseling as the last nod off before getting a divorce.

The question is, why does family counseling or therapy do? Why should a couple or family go and seek therapy services? In what ways can family counseling help?

Fostering open communications. Oftentimes, poor communications is the cause of conflict. And over time, as people fail to communicate feelings and simply gloss over the issues, the problems become too big to manage. There may be blow-ups that cause major fights. In addition, there are also family environments that prevent open communications. Family members may not feel comfortable talking about issues honestly. For instance, a spouse may feel awkward saying personal information in front of the spouse for fear of a negative reaction. Or, a child may feel reluctact to share his feelings for fear of a confrontation.

A good marriage or family counselor can help foster open and honest communications by providing an environment that is non-threatening and non-confrontational. When open communication flows (between family members and between the therapist and the clients), solutions can be discussed. The facilitator can also help family members become better communicators so that there are no further communication problems.

Provide problem-solving skills. Family counselors can help equip family members with the necessary skills to deal with issues that cause conflict. This includes dealing with depression, developing self-confidence, anger management and dealing with loss or grief. Sometimes, if there is an issue with alcoholism or drug abuse, a substance abuse counselor can help the client break free from the addiction.

Helps you deal with changes in life. As they say, life is a constant change and it never comes in smooth patterns. There are instances where the changes and the crises are too complicated or too heavy for you to bear. Even happy occasions such as the birth of a baby can cause an emotional upheaval. A therapist can help guide you through these upheavals so that you know how to respond to these.

Helps individuals, couples and families deal with stress. The loss of a job. A serious sickness of a partner. The death of a loved one. When these strike, people are sometimes ill-equipped to deal with these stressful situations. And this can have a serious effect on relationships, depending on how each family member reacts. Some may deal with the stress by being aggressive. Some may handle it by pulling away from loved ones. Therapy can help people deal with stress in such a way that is relationships are built and strengthened, not destroyed.

Help in overcoming the past. Past sins and mistakes have a tendency to haunt a relationship. A spouse may not easily get over a past bout of infidelity. Therapy can help mend the ridges so that the couple or family can move forward.

These are just some of the reasons why couples or families seek therapy. Once you realize the need for therapy, it is important that you don’t wait too long to get it. By that time, it may be too late. Don’t wait until things have seriously snowballed and heading downhill. Even if your partner or other family members refuse to go into therapy, going into it by yourself will still prove helpful.

Family Counselors in Provo, Utah

If you live in the Provo, Utah area, Triston Morgan is happy to help you with couples and family therapy services. Triston Morgan is licensed to practice marriage and family therapy in Utah and he has years of experience under his belt, particularly in the area of dealing with couples, teens and those with issues with regards to drugs or substance abuse.

Triston Morgan hilds a master’s degree and Ph.D. in marriage and family therapy, from Loma Linda University and Brigham Young University, respectively. Morgan is also certified to provide PREPARE/ENRICH courses. He has written books and for various journals and is an esteemed member of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.



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1426 East 820 North
Orem UT 84097
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