Couples who come to therapy often arrive with very important questions.
Can I trust again?
Should we get married?
Should we stay married?
Is this my problem or your problem?
Can I live with this? Do I want to?
I love him/her but the drama/the silence is killing me. Is there another way?
Can we strengthen our spark and our passion for each other?
How do we deal with the stress of finances, parenting, career?
I know we love each other, but I don't feel safe and relaxed. How can we change that?
These questions don't have easy answers, but with some patience, some persistence and some willingness to take new steps, the answers do come!
What if I'm the only one interested in therapy?
There are several options. Couples therapy is only effective if both partners feel they are getting something out of it. If your partner is willing to come for a trial period for an agreed upon number of sessions, we can see if he/she finds it useful. If your partner does not want to try therapy, I can meet with you alone. It turns out that even if it seems like your partner is "impossible," if you work on your own part in the repetitive, unhappy dance of your relationship you'll notice that somehow you've changed the music!
Is it worth it to come to couples counseling if I have a feeling we are going to break up?
Coming to therapy with your partner is an especially powerful opportunity to find peace and healing in your own life, no matter what the course of your relationship turns out to be. We carry our "stuff" with us into future relationships, so understanding how we can be our strongest, kindest, happiest selves in relationship is always worthwhile. If you have children together, learning to treat each other with compassion, set kind but firm boundaries, negotiate and communicate well will serve all of you for years to come.
Do you encourage people to stay together no matter what?
No. I have found that many therapists continue to see couples even when there is persistent, deep misery or intractable, abusive dynamics. I seek improvement and healing for my clients, whether that lies within their relationship or within a gentle ending of the relationship.
Depending on the level of urgency and the limits of your schedules, different scheduling options are possible. For some couples it can be easier to meet for a session and a half or a double session every other week (these sessions are usually scheduled on Saturdays) instead of for one session, once a week.