• A common way for people to discover therapy is in seeking couples work. For many people, finding a partner to share life with is a difficult chore. Others seem to fall into it more easily. Some people are very ambivalent about being part of a couple. However we come into a relationship, for pretty much all of us, it does not turn out to be what we expected.

    Some people recognize when a relationship is not doing so well while others remain in denial about it. Some people find private, often secretive ways of adapting to disappointments, which undoubtedly hurts trust. It is not uncommon for each member of a couple to fall into an unhealthy dance in which each plays his/her part, often without being aware of it. Blame, fighting, ignoring, reduced intimacy, even sexual indiscretions may become part of that dance. Although damage is done through this dance, its participants often cling to the status quo, fearing that addressing problems more directly will cause irreparable disruptions.

    In our couples therapy, we will get to know the nature of this dance, how each of you participates, and why it formed. If each of you has retreated to your own personal corner, finding safety there, it will be a challenge to come out of it and find safety with one another again. I can help confront maladaptive patterns, help each of you express your concerns better, and hear each other better. This will likely help you both rely on your defensive maneuvers less frequently. The vast majority of couples who enter therapy do heal and improve. Believing that getting your partner into couples therapy in order to get him/her to be different will not likely yield a successful outcome. Recognizing that together you have fallen into unhealthy patterns will be more likely to lead to better outcomes. The desire has to be there in both of you. That desire may not be constant, but I can help each of you hold onto it more and not run away from it when your partner scares or disappoints you.

Copyright © 1988 - 2013 Mark Danson, PhD. All rights reserved.