Calling a prospective couples therapist can cause bit of anxiety—it is someone you don’t know, you are asking for their time, and you are going to be trusting that person with something that is very important and you are not doing well with. People often ask a friend or confidant or a professional for the name of someone to call. You are putting your relationship between you and your partner into their hands.
The answer is “it depends.” It depends on if your partner is working too, and if the two of you want to make the relationship work. If both of you work on:
The theme for my sessions today seems to be, “this is hard,” but not just the couples therapy, but also the part about working out being a couple outside of couples therapy. Multiple couples have come to that conclusion today, and I have agreed with them. But that doesn’t mean that it is easy to not do the hard work. Oh, in some ways it is easier to not work on something, but what is the cost?
I try not, as a rule, not to talk much about myself or my relationship with my partner in my couples therapy sessions as a psychologist or even in writing about couples therapy. But I found myself building on something in a session with a couple, building on an issue that was happening in the couples therapy that also has happened at home, so I used an example from home and brought it into the couples therapy.
Everyone knows relationships are difficult, but it’s easy to feel like your relationship is really hard — like your partner is the first partner in history to nag or nitpick or leave dishes in the sink and expect you to clean them.
If you are:
There are many times in Couples Therapy in Omaha, the male is described as insensitive. It isn’t always the male that gets called this name, but it is more often the male. Usually the term “Insensitive Man” ends up to mean that the offending partner pulls back and stops talking.
On thing that couples don’t really think during an argument: “We really disagree on our values on this one!” It’s too bad—that thought could change the argument. When couples are locked into how they are both right, they often stay stuck with their “righteousness” rather than work their way out of the impass. Yet being able to take a step back and think, “we just disagree” often is not felt to be enough. We each often think/feel that we have our “right” point or issue and the other is wrong. But the partner is thinking the same thing. So to back out in your mind (or even by physically taking a step back) can drastically change the shape of the argument.
Michelle Obama has been publishing information about her life recently. And she and the former president have attended couples counseling. She said, “I want them to know Michelle and Barack Obama — who have a phenomenal marriage and who love each other — we work on our marriage and we get help with our marriage when we need it.” If a former president and a former first lady think it is helpful, can’t the two of you?
And couples therapy is a place for change. She also said, “We learned how to talk out our differences,” which is something that is helpful for all couples and something that almost always comes up in couples therapy. You can work on talking out differences.
Maybe it’s time for you to consider couples therapy.
I am going to briefly talk about an issue I have not read about in the couples therapy literature, it is, instead, something I have observed. The issue is talking about how you talk to each other. Couples often get caught up in the details about an issue, who has done it the most, who wants it done, when it should be done, how it is like or not like something else, the details. And they don’t often move to how they are talking to each other about the issue. With many couples, I can tell that they are progressing with each other by their moving in and out of the details to how they talk to each other about those details and then back to the details. Not only is it progress but they are arguing differently in doing so and they feel better about their arguing, probably because it is accomplishing something rather than not.