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For couples

“Sometimes when we are laying together I look at her and I feel dizzy with the realization that here is another distinct person from me, who has memories, origins, thoughts and feelings that are different from my own. That tension between familiarity and mystery meshes something strong between us. Even if one builds a life together based on trust, relationship attentiveness and mutual support, I think that is important that a partner continues to surprise”. - Barack Obama 1996

How To Get Out The Most Out Of Couples Therapy

Are you in one of the situations where you experience lack of contact and intimacy in your couple relationship, distance, unsatisfying sexual life or maybe anger expressed in aggressive behaviors, or you are consumed by your fights, or you are no longer speaking with your partner?

Most of the ineffective things we do in relationship fall into a few categories:

  • blame or attempt to dominate;
  • disengage/withdraw;
  • resentful compliance;
  • whine;
  • denial or confusion.

Although ineffective, these are all ways in which we try to protect ourselves. Underneath all the ineffective things couples do there are feelings of fear, pain, helplessness, hopelessness, feelings of insecurity or inadequacy that activate our emotional brain (limbic system); the only thing that our emotional brain wants is to get relief from the pain, by finger point, shutting down, yelling, screaming. This is a normal process. What is abnormal or exceptional is that under stress to be efficient in your responses. I adhere to what Peter Pearson was saying “ I work with normal people who strive to be exceptional”.  

Couples are often uncertain what to expect from the process of couples therapy or they don't know if the therapist has any expectations from them.

I believe my principal role is to help you find different and meaningful ways of responding to  your partner, without violating your core values.

Your main role is to create you own personal objective for being in therapy and I am going to help you achieve this goal. If each of us brings his 50% contribution, together, we will be successful.

I invite you to review this material periodically to look for new meanings, information and to benefit more. 

“Human beings are not born once and for all on the day their mother give birth to them, but life obliges them over and over again to give birth to themselves”.-G. G. Marquez

Adapted from How to Get the Most from Couples Therapy by Ellyn Bader, Ph. D. and Peter Pearson, Ph. D., from and Russell Wilkie, MFT.