Dealing with Dishonesty in Couples Therapy

David Schnarch on Not Taking Lying Personally

Dealing with dishonest clients can be frustrating no matter what type of services you’re offering, but in couples therapy, it can be even more infuriating; not only is the client lying to you and to themselves, but they’re lying to—and risking damaging their relationship with—their partner. But is their dishonesty worth getting angry over?

Not according to couples therapist David Schnarch. “It ain’t personal,” as he succinctly puts it. Part of the healing process is seeing and understanding how clients operate in their day-to-day existence, so a client who’s being dishonest in their life should only naturally bring that into the consulting room.

In this clip David talks about dishonesty in couples therapy and when he thinks it’s time for the therapist to respond to it.




Rich Simon

Richard Simon, PhD, founded Psychotherapy Networker and served as the editor for more than 40 years. He received every major magazine industry honor, including the National Magazine Award. Rich passed away November 2020, and we honor his memory and contributions to the field every day.

David Schnarch

David Schnarch, PhD, director of the Crucible Institute, is the author of Intimacy & Desire, Passionate Marriage, and Constructing the Sexual Crucible.