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!!!


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