With couples, I require weekly sessions varying in length from 45 minutes to 90 minutes. Many couples are able to make progress with 45-minute sessions, but not all. We will know, pretty early on if you need a longer session. With a longer session, therapy usually moves faster and is often more effective.
Couples often find that they have arguments with a common theme, over and over. Usually, the reason this happens is that partners aren’t fully understanding each other’s meaning under the surface. When we get triggered, the very organ we need to work through it, our brain, gets in the way of our understanding. Here’s why: the alarm system in the brain goes off, and connection to the prefrontal cortex becomes limited. The prefrontal cortex must be active so that we can hear our partners effectively while at the same time regulating our own emotions and keeping our attention on what is being said, rather than formulating a rebuttal.
In couples counseling, I use a very effective method that fosters honest communication between partners. From the very first session, I make emotional safety a priority because without that, it’s impossible to move forward. Couples are relieved after we start our work and often say they wish they had come in sooner.
With couples therapy, I skillfully assess your unique relationship strengths and weaknesses, so that we can begin moving forward positively. A relationship is much like a garden, where weeds tend to grow if something else isn’t intentionally planted. My work with you will guide you in planting what you want and weeding out what is getting in the way. It’s easier and much less painful to do the weeding in an atmosphere of emotional safety.