Common Reasons for couples to seek treatment:
- frequent arguments that seem repetitive and non-productive
- difficulty communicating about the three most difficult topics for any couple: sex, money, in-laws
- exploring whether the couple wants to stay committed to each other
- repairing the damage to trust caused by infidelity
I have worked with couples (both gay and straight) who range from just starting out together to those who have been married for decades. Usually, they come to me because in some way or another they have stopped being able to hear one another. What gets in the way of hearing one another? Often it is built-up resentment, or perhaps a style of communication that involves attacking the other. Often it is hard to see one’s partner for who he/she really is. Ghosts from one’s past (parents, siblings, etc.) can enter the picture and color the way one sees one’s partner.
My job is most often to help partners to really hear each other. When they can genuinely hear each other it is amazing what can happen. Confusions can be cleared up. Loving feelings long buried can emerge. Also, at times, when a couple can hear each other, it becomes clear that one or both would truly be happier out of the relationship. Though this is a sad outcome, it can be a relief. For many more couples, therapy allows them to have a happier more satisfying relationship.