Couples Therapy Often Starts With Them Talking About the Hurts
The couple started their relationship or their marriage with some wonderful feelings for each other. Then over time they either started to drift apart or they started to have some struggles that pushed them away from each other. Sometimes those struggles started to build walls instead of bridges in their relationship. Sometimes they never really communicated well with each other but they were able to let it go more easily in the past. Over time these problems start accumulating and building bigger walls instead of bridges. The hurts start to accumulate and the wounds don’t heal any more between the hurts since they are now starting to hurt each other more frequently and more deeply. It’s not that they are bad or mean people, it’s just that they don’t know another way to dance with their partner. If either person does try to change the dance then their partner gets their toes stepped on and that tends to push people back to being the way they have been in the past. The key is to get a Licensed Marriage Therapist to help each person learn new dance steps (i.e. learn a new way to relate and work with each other). The challenge is that often the wounding has been going on for a long time so there’s scar tissue that has to be dealt with. In couples therapy I often remind them that there were good feelings for each other in the beginning and that they can get back to there but it’s going to take time to learn a new way to dance (i.e. relate) with each other. Both of them will need to make changes. We all know that change can be difficult so we break it down to a few simple changes to start with then work our way up to the more challenging changes. We are looking for Progress Not Perfection in Couples Counseling!
Putting the Pieces Together (So We Make Sense of Ourselves, Others and Our World)
Lois Zsarnay, LMFT, BCPC, RD
Couples Therapy Ventura, California
©2014 Lois Zsarnay, LMFT, BCPC, RD