Couples come for therapy for many different reasons, ranging from being on the brink of divorce to a need for mutual growth during a specific phase of marital life.
The challenges facing couples through their partnership are many and varied.
Consider events such as: birth of the first child, school days, demands of work and family life, financial worries, empty nest, retirement, old age.
All of these events can bring great happiness, but also often challenges that can make or break the relationship.
In couples therapy there is a need to focus on the core problem as this usually spills over into other areas of day-to-day living.
There is also a need to share the understanding that usually if one partner is in pain, the other is also suffering.
As one writer put it: “it takes two to tangle, and therefore two to untangle”.
In couples therapy it is important to stress that the couple is dealing with a shared, co-created problem and that therapy is not about naming, blaming or shaming.
On the contrary, couples therapy focussing on the major issues the partnership is trying to cope with, and this may be influenced by each partner’s personal history, role functioning and marital expectations or whatever challenges are unique to a particular partnership.
The role of the therapist is to act as a facilitator and an enabler who may shed light on what is going on between the couple or push open a dark door for a glimpse of a better way in the path ahead.
Couples therapy also involves each partner working on issues in between sessions so that they can take responsibility for the process. This usually takes between eight and 12 sessions, which is when the couple takes over more actively.
Testing out new ways or reacting to each other, making allowances for the realistic ups and downs, are a normal part of daily life and of any growth process.
Please feel free to ontact Weny Nunn clinical psychologist here.
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