Couples — Relationship
How can couples therapy help me/us? Couples
therapy can help in numerous ways. Many people appreciate
the presence of a neutral observer. Often this helps couples
to experience more clarity about the issues that are upsetting
or confusing them. One of the primary ways that I can help
is by assisting you in communicating with each other in ways
that promote closeness, clarity and cooperation.
I can help you and your partner
to have a better understanding of your needs, your partner’s
needs, and your needs as a couple.
With therapy, you and your partner may
find that you can:
- Communicate more effectively
- Understand and improve the
way you deal with each other’s
- Increase intimacy
- Learn how to argue – productively
- Repair the damage that resentment causes
- Learn how to
talk about difficult subjects
- Get more of what you want and
less of what you don’t
- Build trust and closeness
- Have more fun together
How I work with couples and tips for getting relief
even before coming to see me. First of all, allow
me to applaud and congratulate you for finding your way
to this page about Couples Counseling. For many people,
despite years of suffering, it is extremely difficult to
initiate change. Believe me, your willingness to
and interest in even looking into couples work is an excellent
first step that will serve you well as you begin therapy
Many couples who come to me find that they have been working
themselves to the point of exhaustion and misery to do the
very things that aren’t working in their relationships. And
not only are these tactics not working, they are actually
driving their partners further away.
Let me give you some tips that
may offer you and your partner some immediate relief – even
if you do not take the next step to come to counseling
using bullying, nagging, or logic to attempt to persuade
your partner into taking your side, meeting your needs,
or loving you better. This DOES NOT work.
Think about the tactics you employ
when making a new friend: Do
you coerce the relationship into being or do you try to woo
that person into friendship with you by sharing your best
qualities? Hostility in all its forms makes others
frightened of you. It does not inspire affection, openness
or compassion in either friends or partners.
if this approach has some application in your business
role, leave hostility and power games at the office. Similarly,
physical violence of any kind is unacceptable
and requires immediate assistance. Neither emotional
nor physical abuse belongs in intimate relationships.
2) Learn the marvelous healing
power of “taking a time out”. If I can
give you one golden tip to improve your relationship, it
is this one: When you are emotionally and physically “flooded” (i.e:
your heart rate is increased, fight or flight physiology
is engaged, you may be sweating, you may have tunnel vision,
your voice is raised, your muscles are tense, and blood
and oxygen are NOT flowing at their optimal rates to your
brain): tell your partner that YOU need to take time away
from the conversation to soothe YOURSELF.
make take 20 minutes or it may take several hours. In
any case, DO NOT
use this to punish your partner. In taking a time out,
you are simply taking
responsibility for the fact that when in fight or flight
mode you can actually
DAMAGE your relationship. In stepping away, you are
your partner and your relationship.
re-engage in contact with your partner when you are again
at your calm
best. When we are calm, we have fullest access to our
others and to access to creative solutions (not just the
one we get fixated
on when aroused). From this place, couples can work
as a team (not as lawyers on opposite sides of an
intense legal case) to come up with
mutually beneficial solutions.
you would like more practice and more tips in this vein,
please contact me
for a couple’s session. I see couples for increments
of either 50 minutes
or 1.5 hour sessions. I look forward to working with you.
If you wish to get started today,
check out one of the three excellent books below. Since I use and refer to all
of them in my work with couples, reading ahead will allow
our work to begin more quickly. If you cannot afford
counseling right now, each book in itself is an excellent
primer into how to improve your relationship.
Please note, these books, despite
their titular reference to “marriage” are
equally applicable for non-married couples, gay and lesbian
couples, and pre-married couples.
Michelle Weiner-Davis – The
Divorce Remedy: The Proven 7 Step Program for Saving Your
John Gottman – The Seven
Principles for Making Marriage Work.
Terence Real – The New Rules