The good news is that relationships can be improved if both partners want to work on it, even if only one partner comes to sessions.
What does that mean? Without trying to predict exactly how it will work, since every couple is unique, I can offer some insight into the process.
Issues Unique to Couples
Couples come to counseling with a variety of issues – “We fight all the time, but we never resolve anything”, or “We are friends, but there’s no passion or romance”, or “We can’t communicate”, or “There’s no closeness or intimacy – I’m so lonely in this relationship” – are just a few of the difficulties often described to me. Sometimes people are almost ready to give up, and trying therapy is the last step.
Some requirements for successful couples therapy
I see couples or individuals weekly, usually for about 6 months – sometimes more, and sometimes less. The duration of our work together is up to you. Sometimes couples’ sessions are interspersed with individual sessions, and if we get stuck I may ask for 2 sessions back to back in order to provide more intensive work more quickly. I frequently give homework assignments, such as going out on “dates”. There is no way around the fact that if you want a healthy relationship, it needs to be a priority in your life.
Commitment to working on you
It’s never easy or comfortable to change. I will ask you to look at things differently, to do things differently, to change some beliefs and attitudes that aren’t working, and to think differently. It’s easy to focus on what your partner is doing wrong, but that makes you powerless! I will ask you to discover how you will need to change in order to improve this relationship.
Commitment to working on the relationship
There will be short-term discomfort, and the emotional risk of being vulnerable as you learn to be open to your partner, and your partner learns to be open to you.
What if your partner isn’t willing to come to counseling?
While it isn’t ideal, you can make a difference in your relationship by working on the way you respond to your partner. When one partner changes their “steps” in the dance that is your relationship, the other will change in response. I can help you learn to communicate better, and give you tools that you can take away and use to your benefit!
Prospective clients sometimes ask me – “Does counseling work?” My answer is an emphatic “yes”! Read More…
Call me at 408-566-3119 or email me at JM@judithmcfarland.com and let’s talk about your therapy needs.