If you haven’t experienced couple’s therapy previously, you may wonder what happens. Here is a short description of couple’s therapy in my Silicon Valley practice.
Your job in couple’s therapy will be to develop individual goals for yourself, as well as a clear vision of the kind of relationship you seek for yourself and your partner. My job is to help you reach those goals.
Key Tasks in couple’s therapy include increasing your knowledge and understanding of yourself and of your partner, and the dynamics that occur when you interact both positively and negatively, increasing clarity about what kind of life you want to build together, understanding what kind of partner you are and what gets in the way of becoming the kind of partner you want to be, and learning the skills necessary to get there.
These are big tasks! But, I have years of experience and I know it can and does happen. What does it take? Thoughtfulness, openness to learning and change, motivation to power through the tough stuff and get to the rewards, and – very critical – that you will make it a priority and allocate the time needed to build a relationship.
There are some difficult tradeoffs. Again – time. How much time do you currently devote to nurturing your relationship with your partner? It simply takes time to build a strong, healthy, loving relationship, and there is no getting around that. Making this time will mean less time for other activities.
It will be challenging, for awhile, so one of the tradeoffs will be giving up some comfort. After all, you are doing this in order to experience change because you aren’t satisfied with the way things are. Change is uncomfortable, and even scary.
We will inevitably talk about difficult, negative, and even painful topics. This is part of building intimacy; creating a safe place where you can be heard, and can listen.
Probably the biggest task is giving up the idea that your partner is REALLY the one who needs to change.
Remember; it’s easy to identify the problems, even to identify what needs to be done to fix it. The hard part is understanding why you don’t just do it!
So, what can couple’s therapy do for you? Help you to communicate better, get to know yourself and your partner, change the dynamic between you, build safety and intimacy, and ultimately have a relationship that feels so much better!