How to work with validating couples

” In less than 60 seconds, I realized that this question, which was appropriate for individual therapy, had caused an unleashing of emotions resulting in a Hollywood scene of screams, tears, and threats that would have made Steven Spielberg proud.

(We are both present in the office, but the process described will work with a single therapist.) Therapy Goals Couples desperately want to repair their relationship, both for their sake and their children’s, but they do not understand their partner’s point of view and rarely understand how their own actions contribute to conflicts.

Couples often arrive at the session believing that each partner will be laying out his or her “position” and the therapist will act as a referee to decide who is right.

The therapist should inform them that it is not a matter of one person being right or wrong, since both partners make sense from their perspective.

Ninety-minute sessions work best rather than the 50-minute session typically used for individual therapy.

The First Session It is useful to collect some basic information at the start of the first session, such as the number of years the couple has been together, the current living situation, special health issues, prior counseling experiences, employment, and special interests.

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