Usually by the time couples seek counseling, they are in extreme distress. Arguments and anger are a common occurrence, and nothing they’ve tried on their own seems to work. There is a lack of intimacy and the distance between the two continues to grow. Neither party feels they are being heard.
Couples counseling can help break the cycle of destructive behaviors while teaching the couple how to communicate effectively and lovingly. We set rules in session, so that everyone feels safe and free to express themselves.
Some months ago I read an article in The New York Times regarding the difficulty therapists have regarding couples counseling. It said since therapists tend to be more “empathic, sensitive, calm and accepting”, it can make it difficult to manage the session. According to Terry Real who was quoted for this article, “You have to like action. To manage marital combat, a therapist needs to get in there, mix it up with the client, be a Ninja. This is intimidating.”
Not to me.
I am a Ninja! I’m not privy to what goes on in other therapists’ offices but I do know what goes on in mine. We mix it up and get results. While emotions can run high and feelings are strong we manage to work through in a controlled, safe way and make enormous progress. I often see couples who have been in counseling before and were disappointed with the results. They gave up, tried to fix it on their own, then decided to give it one more try. Many of my clients are referred by couples whom I’ve been able to help in the past. They’re truly amazed by what we can accomplish in even the first session. Change is not impossible. We can turn it around.