There is a magical quality to the partnerships we choose and what we can learn from them. We tend to choose partners who bring out the best and worst in us. In this way, our most intimate relationship offers us an opportunity to see ourselves more honestly and to grow together.
Our work with couples is to help each partner speak with more tact and truth while learning more fulfilling ways of relating. We use an integrative approach to couples work that incorporates an appreciation for each person’s past, skill building for day-to-day living together and meaningful dialogue to uncover the unique possibility for fulfillment that exists between the pair.
At their best, our primary relationship can provide a sense of safeness, closeness, romance and growth. However, it’s not uncommon for couples to have to find themselves in a cycle where the opposite feelings dominate: resentment, distance, coldness and stagnancy. When a negative cycle sets in, therapy can be a powerful way to interrupt the cycle and find more healthful ways of relating. In most cases, a deeply satisfying relationship is possible.
Our work with couples starts with bringing out the strengths of the individuals and the couple unit. Every couple is uniquely suited to teach each other something. In order to learn in our relationship our therapists help couples deconstruct the pattern of relating that is not working and put words to the unmet needs that are behind them. A lot of what is challenging for us in our relationships can be traced back to our childhood. With extensive psychodynamic training our couples therapists are skilled at noticing patterns that originate at an earlier date. We help couples build empathy for the past (our own and our partners) . Once we understand ourselves and our partner’s childhood lens better it is possible to build on that understanding.
In addition to understanding the past, our couples therapist lean on EFT and other modern couples therapy approaches that provide structured practices, and practical communication skill building, for real and lasting change. Most importantly, our therapists are skilled at holding two perspectives, resolving conflicts, challenging stubbornness and honing empathy.
However, the work really resides with our clients. In couples therapy you will be challenged to lead with curiosity instead of judgment, take responsibility for your part of a dynamic, accept that your partner is human and therefore vulnerable. It is hard work with no quick fixes, but every session will likely offer you something useful for you to work on. With enough commitment couples therapy can drastically change the way we see the other person. Oftentimes, couple’s therapy will move each partner from seeing the other as someone who judges you, or withholds from you, to someone who really wants to give and receive love, but maybe doesn’t fully know how. And eventually, with a lot of honest work it is often possible to see your partner as someone uniquely suited to love you. A skilled couples therapist can bring out the salient lessons, and the magic, your relationship holds.