Couples Counselling – Part 1

What is you approach to working with couples?

When I work with couples I follow Emotionally Focused Therapy for couples, which is a concept of therapy that is based on attachment theory and thereby is especially well suited for all kinds of relationship issues. It is also one of only two approaches that has been recognised by the American Psychological Association – the other one being the Gottman approach.

Why do couples come to see you? 

There are mainly three reasons. Often couples want to prepare for major transitions in their lives – marriage for example. Many relationships at some point are facing crises that put a strain on their love and trust and at times have put their bond at risk. Frequently one or both partners feel stuck or fed up in their communication while sensing that they deserve more.

How do you work with them?

I see their marriage or relationship as my client. My going-in position is, that there is a dynamic – you might say DANCE – between the two – in perception and behaviour – that does not work out for them. My mission is to help them identify their specific dance and to change this interaction to a more healthy and loving one – with all the feelings involved, all the little things they do to each other and all the things they think about each other. 

How long does the process take?

Each session is 80min long – simply in order to give each partner enough airtime. With regard to the overall duration of the process, it depends how long the problems did prevail. I sometimes meet couples who want to have a quick fix feeling that they need immediate change. This is a matter managing each partner’s expectations.

Have you ever been to one of those free salsa introduction courses in a club or bar? How much have you learned in these courses? How much can you still remember and perform? and how often do actually go to salsa evenings now? Imagine you would have decided that salsa is really your thing. For both of you. Now you invest in a private teacher who sees you on a regular basis for weeks and months.

The chances are much higher that the new DANCE makes it’s way into your relationship.