You may be in crisis and need help to find a way forward, a crisis caused by a power struggle, an affair, sexual problems, and/or lack of emotional intimacy. Sometimes we are stuck in a dead end of blame, weary of the same old arguments. The problems you are suffering may well be the key to psychological growth that each of you needs. So often the complaint we have about the other needs more understanding.
In our difficulties in relationships, we can behave reactively, and either attack or withdraw from our partners.
The aim of couple therapy is to make your relationship safe, so you can each:
- speak and be heard
- really listen
- have the rewards of giving your partner the attention they need
- learn how to get the love you want
- learn that your partner is their own person and not an extension of yourself
How much of the time when we think we are listening we are really preparing what we want to say next!!
Imago Couple Therapy, which informs my work, gives couples the means to fulfill the potential of themselves as a couple and as individuals. In romantic love, and ‘in-love’ states we often have deep experiences of being fully ourselves. Then, as the relationship develops, insecurities and power struggles inevitably emerge. The person we fell in love with represents aspects of each individual self needed for our growth and wholeness, in every dimension. The beauty of the work is that the stretch we need to make to meet our partner’s needs, is also the stretch we need to make for our own growth.
The Imago method teaches real dialogue and although it can seem ‘clunky’ to use at first many couples see the value of it quite soon, they make it their own, and find it transformative and very pleasurable.
If you have children, the space that you create as a communicating couple is one in which they can kids thrive.
The Vibrant Relationship: A Handbook for Couples and Therapists (Systemic Thinking and Practice Series) by Kirsten Seidenfaden and Piet Draiby (Paperback – Mar 2011)
I highly recommend workshops for couples held by Sophie Slade (find these on the Imago Website gettingtheloveyouwant.com) and by Sue and Bret Wintgens http://www.suewintgens.co.uk.