What happens in therapy?
Most people find the psychotherapy relationship provides a supportive and non-critical environment for them to explore their inner world, to gain understanding about themselves and their patterns, and to develop new ways of coping with problems and of relating to people. The benefits of this type of work can include improved relationships, relief from internal distress, increased self-acceptance, and resolutions to specific problems.
The psychotherapy relationship is unique because the relationship exists in order to help you learn about yourself and to develop deeper contact with your feelings. Unlike your “normal” social relationships, the focus tends to be on your experience and learning. What actually happens in your individual therapy can vary quite a bit depending upon what you want to work on. The more honest you can be about what you experience and what you want, the more likely it is that your needs will be addressed. So, it is important that you find a therapist that you trust to accept you as you are (so you can talk about your experience without a lot of censoring). And, it is essential that you find a therapist who you believe has the skills and personal depth to collaborate with you as you journey more deeply into yourself and work towards the changes you want to make.
What happens in couples therapy?
In many intimate relationships, there is a powerful healing potential which is lying dormant, and which is hidden under veils of miscommunication, projection, frustration, and disappointment. By working with the problems that are apparent to you, we can dissolve the fear, mistrust, and pain which have limited the intimacy of your relationship and which have blocked the healing power which already exists in the relationship. When necessary, I can also help you to develop additional healing and coping capacities, so that you can experience all the satisfaction your relationship has to offer.
Couples often decide to start therapy when they are feeling pessimistic, demoralized, and confused about their relationship. Sometimes there isn’t even agreement about whether the relationship should continue. I will help you to communicate more effectively with each other, and will guide you through your communication difficulties. This will help each of you to see the problems in your relationship more clearly, and to separate yourselves from some of the negative feelings that arise when communication isn’t working well. We will work together to realize the potential in your relationship, and will let that potential speak for itself to you both.