Couples therapy consists of weekly 90 minute sessions. The treatment goals can range for couples. Some couples need assistance in defining what they want from a relationship, while others, look for better ways of communicating, and still others, are looking for ways to end the relationship cordially. Whatever the reason, I work with both parties to discover their own personal goal for the relationship as well as mutual goals that the two can work on together. Couples work can be complicated because each person comes with their own set of experiences and needs. Like individual therapy, couples fear that the therapist will judge them individually and as a couple. There are also fears about the therapist taking sides. Such fears and concerns are normal and to be expected. The therapist will always take a neutral position to help facilitate communication. Couples therapy consists of 4 phases;
- Phase 1: Identifying the problem- Together we will figure out what is driving the need for treatment, is it simply the presenting problem or are there other contributing factors.
- Phase 2: Identify the needs - Each partner will need to identify what he/she feels they are needing from the relationship and what they feel their partner needs as well. After individual needs are identified the couple identifies combined needs and create a specific goal that contributes to the relationship.
- Phase 3: Working Through- Like therapy, once all goals and obstacles are identified we can begin to work through them. This phase includes communication activities for each member as well as activities for the couple.
- Phase 4: Termination- Once the couple as well as the therapist feel that the couple have successfully worked through the stated goals then the treatment can come to a healthy end.
Couples therapy does not always follow a linear path, I will work with you to navigate through these difficult times. Together we will gain clarity into how to best support your needs.
Mediation is another form of couples support. Mediation is requested when couples are in the midst of a divorce or separation and custody is an issue. When couples are unable to communicate effectively to resolve a situation a mediator may be asked or mandated to intervene. Mediation is often short and direct as there is a stated goal that is determined before entering mediation.
Mediation follows the same couples format where the couple will meet weekly for 90 minutes. The therapist will assist the couple in coming to an agreement on their stated goal. The format is as follows;
Phase 1: Identify the problem and how it affects the resolution/goal.
Phase 2: Creating space for compromise. Identify all of the alternatives and discuss concerns and needs of those involved.
Phase 3: Termination comes with the resolution of the stated goal.