Couples therapy is the most feared by clients and therapists alike. It shouldn’t be. Often, therapists align with one individual in the session causing irreparable damage to the process. This is nearly unavoidable because of the therapists’ agenda to make change.
My approach to couples therapy is intended to create an objective assessment where both parties feel safe, supported and comfortable. Significant issues are identified, an evaluation is completed and options for treatment are identified for each individual and the couple themselves.
Rather than creating an open ended, unfocused process, I prefer the following approach:
Meet w/both individuals for information gathering, risk assessment, orientation to the process and identifying the “problem”.
Sessions Two Through Seven:
Meet w/each individual for three sessions each focusing on prioritization of needs, strength evaluation, communication styles and barriers to change.
Resume with couple, review progress, areas of relapse, discuss any treatment needs and recommendations, make necessary referrals, continue with couples or individual therapy with specific treatment goals and timeline.