Clarity is not an issue that I have heard any experts in the area of couples counseling talk about. And yet it a concept that I work with every day and almost every session with every couple. What do you mean? What are you really saying? What’s behind what you are saying? Are you sure that is what your partner means? You are assuming that?—ask him/her if that is true! Without clarity, we seem to constantly head into nowhere in couples counseling. And when we get clarity, the therapy begins to click and we begin to move towards something. I call that something that we move towards health.
I will often say that there are three things that I always am after in couples work, sitting and talking with them, the couple. I will say, “I want you to be healthy,” pointing to one of the two, “and you to be healthy,” pointing to the other partner, “and the couple to be healthy.” And I mean it, and I hope they can tell. You are, most likely, more attractive when you are healthy. You, your partner, and the couple will probably make better decisions when you are healthy. Getting yourself healthier feels better.
But what does a healthy individual look like? And what does a healthy couple look like? I can only begin to answer these questions. In regard to clarity leading to health, I see health improving when one or both work with me to say more clearly what he/she needs, wants, likes, dislikes. I often see improvement and increased health when I watch one or the other or both get stronger about their position and their feelings without being aggressive. Saying what is really going on, being clear, moves us forward into healthier decisions for the individuals, and that results in a healthier couple, it guides us where to go. You don’t have to go to couples therapy to work on being clear. If you need help with getting clearer, getting healthier yourself, and getting the couple clearer and healthier, then by all means come to couples therapy.