Most of us want a partnership that provides closeness, trust, respect, and growth. We feel satisfied when we find ways to provide these things for each other. When we don’t, a cycle of distance, conflict, and discouragement can set in, which is sometimes hard to overcome on our own.
My work with couples involves helping you understand the pattern of interaction that causes you both distress, and develop approaches to changing it. I believe that a successful couple therapy restores in each partner the sense that the relationship is a resource for comfort, closeness and growth, and gives couples useful strategies for getting back on track themselves when they run into challenges.
Couple therapy is most helpful if partners:
- are curious and receptive to discovering something new about their partners and themselves
- are willing to examine and take responsibility for their own behavior
- accept that changing old patterns takes an investment of time and effort
One reason people resist seeking couple therapy is that it feels like an admission of failure. It’s actually the opposite. The sooner you identify that you need help and seek therapy, the less likely you are to reach a point where the relationship becomes unsustainable.
Choosing a couple therapist
There are many sound approaches to couple therapy. A common denominator of all good couple therapy is the therapist's ability to be active, curious about both people, and skilled at managing the powerful emotions in the room. Ask any potential therapist about his or her training, approach, and experience.
Therapy is often difficult, and progress can be slow. But you should feel that your sessions are generally productive. If you don't, talk to your therapist about it. Don't stay stuck. Learning to skillfully express feelings is one of the main goals of couple therapy, and your therapist should welcome your input.