“Sometimes the one who is running from the life/death/life nature insists on thinking of love as a boon only. Yet love in its fullest form is a series of deaths and rebirths. We let go of one phase, one aspect of love, and enter another. Passion dies and is brought back. Pain is chased away and surfaces another time. To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many endings, and many many beginnings – all in the same relationship.”
– Clarissa Pinkoles Estes – Women who run with the wolves: Myths and stories of the wild woman archetype
It takes courage to make the decision to come for Couple’s Therapy. It is more of a challenge than individual therapy as there you can control the information that you share, when there are two of you in the room that is not so easy…That is also the gain, there is nowhere to hide and the opportunity for change and resolution is for the taking. Couple’s tend to have expectations around learning some new and better skills, these are well founded but there is also an expectation/hope that their partner will do most of the learning in problem areas. Therapy works best when you think about the goals you have for yourself, rather than your partner. It is human nature to try and change our partner instead of changing ourselves or adjusting our expectations. The hardest part of Couple’s Therapy is accepting you will need to improve your response to a problem (How you think about it, feel about it, or what to do about it). Very few people want to focus on improving their response, it’s easier to build a strong case for why the other should do the improving.
To create the relationship you really desire takes time and effort. It takes effort to improve your reactions to a situation and keep working on it. It takes effort to put into practice what is learnt in the sessions. It takes time to build a relationship together, spending time together doing things you enjoy and finding new passions. You will be out of your comfort zone in the sessions as you will need to face what isn’t working and look at your patterns of behaviour as well as your partners. It really helps if you both turn up willing to take this on. If one partner is being dragged in under threat or if they are doing it to show willing but not really wanting to engage, we won’t get anywhere fast. It’s fine to turn up feeling nervous or unsure, that is natural. If you are willing to risk the discomfort, put in the effort and make time for each other then you will be amazed at what can be achieved. Attitude and approach are the key change factors. I would advise you to reflect on your objectives for being in therapy before we start. The possibility exists that we get the partners we need but don’t necessarily want. There is an invitation to learn about ourselves through the mirror of our partner if we are willing to look. When we really face ourselves, it becomes clear that what we find the most frustrating in the other is often a trait we can’t abide in ourselves. Once this is understood the love that was clear at the beginning of the relationship comes back into focus. Communication is key. I welcome relationship diversity (i.e. same sex relationships, practicing non-monogamy or polyamory etc). I look forward to working with you both.