Saturday, March 17, 2007

Some thoughts about couples therapy

So, here I am thinking about what to publish on this fun little site that gives me an opportunity to write, and as I am thinking I realize…. The name of this site is “Donna’s Therapy Blog”, yet recently it has felt a little more like, “Donna’s Musings.” Musings are good; after all, they indeed are fodder for therapy. However, today I am feeling compelled to be a little more direct in bringing theme and title in synch with one another.

In my musings about therapy and what I like about being a therapist, I often find myself thinking about how much I appreciate working with couples. As I consider why this client pool is so satisfying, I find myself going to this place of understanding the correlation between my rather eclectic theory of therapy, and how it corresponds to and intersects with both my moral thinking, and my broader thinking on what the key elements are to living a content life with integrity. As I personally am not in a couple relationship right now, and have not been for a number of years, I understand that being part of a couple is not the basis for satisfaction and contentment in our adult lives. Indeed, as a therapist, and someone who has lived through the separation and divorce process, I also deeply understand how coupling can, sometimes, complicate one’s sense of self in a manner that can create a lot of confusion, unhappiness, and downright misery.

YET, there is this very lovely piece that I have witnessed with couples as I have been invited to participate in the therapy process with them. Here is a somewhat condensed version of what I most appreciate about working with couples:

~ They dare to bring their most humble selves forward together to effect a change in their most personal, most intimate relationship.

~ Change happens because people put forward their most tender vulnerabilities, developing greater trust both in themselves, and in their partners.

~ As change happens, depth of understanding comes not only about each other, but about themselves as individuals, creating space for expansion and growth in other relationships in their lives as well.

~ None of this happens without a willingness to develop deeper honesty with each other, and with themselves.

~ I believe that the work in couples therapy is some of the deepest work that people will do for themselves, and that it is the foundation for developing better relationships in the rest of their lives.

~ I further believe that there is a powerful ripple effect when others see, witness, and are a part of the lives of those who work hard to have integrity in their relationships. And, that at some level it will reverberate well beyond what we know and see in our own personal daily lives.

~ In other words, if we all dared to do what struggling couples do to better their relationships, the entire population of the planet would have a greater chance at living in peace with one another!! Now that is exciting and powerful stuff!!!


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

A Tease of Spring

Yesterday we had a Tease of Spring. Today, it is back to the Soaking of the Earth that Central New York is famous for. I was all set last night to write something to post on this site all about how lovely the warm air felt, and what a nice welcome home it was for me, after being away in the much warmer climate of the Florida coastline for a few days. However I got distracted by other things and here I am, the very next day, and the great outdoors is not exactly providing me with the back drop for writing about the Tease of Spring.

It is March however, and the very experience of the teasing weather is a huge reminder of how impactful what is happening outside can be on our state of mind. Being someone who has spent most of my life in Central New York, I have always said that, despite what can be long winters, I appreciate the beauty of this part of the world, and the experience of very clearly having four seasons. And yet, here we are at the end of what was a harsh February, but not really all that harsh of a winter, and that little tease of warmth had the locals, and me, buzzing like bees who couldn’t wait for the taste of the first spring flowers.

March, a season of water, is most definitely upon us. Yesterday it was the gushing floods from the snow banks melting under the warm suns rays. Today it is the floodgates in the sky opening wide. Tomorrow, it might be snow again; we won’t know until we know. We locals now have the opportunity, once again, to moan about the weather in Central New York, and how cold and wet it is so much of the year. The Tease of Spring is, however, real. A real taste of what we all know lies just around the corner, when the warmer temperatures of spring and summer really will come our way. A bit of spring water allows us the privilege of our complaining, as well as the other privilege of living in one of the most beautiful lush green spots on this planet.

Happy March one and all. May the anticipation and eagerness of the season of green buds infect your spirit, even if a little early!