Psychodynamic couples therapy is an in-depth treatment for couples – whether you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, heterosexual or transgender – who are having relationship difficulties and want to explore how these problems have arisen and what interferes with resolving them. My approach is grounded in psychoanalytic thinking, in which it is understood that your presenting problems usually reflect underlying difficulties from each partner’s experiences in earlier life. One of the gifts of intimate relationships is that they provide an opportunity to use the couples therapy to work things through that have been painful or traumatic in the past. Together we explore both the conscious and unconscious factors fueling the current difficulties, in order to bring about changes in both of your functioning.
Couples therapy involves weekly sessions. The couple usually come in together; but occasionally during the course of treatment, it may be of value to the couple for either party to see me alone. This is intended to facilitate each partner’s personal work, strictly in the interests of the couple. It is NOT a substitute for individual therapy. If we three decide that either member of the couple might benefit from a solo session, it is explicitly underlined that neither partner may request that I hold anything we discuss secret from the other partner, and that whatever is discussed in the individual session, may be referred to in the couples sessions, and will not constitute a breach of confidentiality. Should either partner require more help, I would refer them to individual therapists.
We all know that intimate relationships can be very challenging. But through couples work, they can also be a source of profound healing of old injuries, and a dismantling of frustrating and counter-productive relationship patterns. My aim is to help you get your relationship on a new footing, so that it becomes a partnership from which you can both grow.
For most couples who are considering marriage, it is usually the case that the first flush of romance has faded, and that you have come to know each other in more complex ways. Therapy at this stage may be very helpful in articulating and expressing your differences and in exploring how material they are for the family life you would like to create. Mostly you will discover that many differences are acceptable, at least, and vitalizing at best. But undertaking the profound covenant of marriage when done with eyes open, as well as with hearts open, greatly increases the chance of fulfillment and longevity for your relationship.
Uncoupling: Separation and Divorce Therapy
Many of you come in for couples work expressly to process your decision whether to work on the relationship, or rather to separate or divorce. Honoring yourself and your relationship enough to undertake this process has enormous psychological benefit for both parties, regardless of whether the outcome is staying coupled or separating. Coming to mutual understanding of incompatibilities that cannot be accommodated releases each of you from the bond in ways that usually enable you to move forward, and eventually create a better relationship.