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Five Ways to Maintain Gains in Couples Therapy

...And the First Question You Need to Ask Relapsing Partners

Jon Carlson • 2/16/2018 • No Comments

By Jon Carlson - Couples therapists need to be aware of the strategies that prevent relapse, so that short-term successes don't become long-term failures, and to address those areas in the initial therapy with the couple. However, if gains are not maintained, here are five areas of treatment you may need to revisit.

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Why Most Men Don't Open Up in Couples Therapy

A Boot Camp Approach That Makes Men the Partners They Want to Be

Steven Stosny • 2/8/2018 • No Comments

By Steven Stosny - Men don't dislike therapy because they might have to talk like women or adopt feminine sensibilities: what they hate is that therapy forces them to experience that most heinous emotional state to a man—feeling like a failure. I've developed what I call "boot camp" couples therapy—a tough, concentrated format that men seem to prefer to drawn-out weekly therapy with no conclusion in sight.

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Is Therapy About Transformation, or Small Breakthroughs?

Learning to Separate Our Hopes for Our Clients from Their Goals for Themselves

William Doherty • 1/26/2018 • No Comments

By William Doherty - Are therapists more like shamans or family doctors? Explorers of human depths or more like Siri on your iPhone, just directing you from one place to another? I'm a skeptic about whether any clinical approach is good at getting clients consistently to the promised land of transformation. Maybe therapy is better understood as being about breakthroughs—small, medium, and large—rather than about transformation.

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Couples Therapy with One Partner: Can It Work?

Creating the Beginnings of a "Solution Avalanche"

Michele Weiner-Davis • 1/11/2018 • 2 Comments

By Michele Weiner-Davis - How is it possible to do couples therapy with just one partner? We clinicians communicate our presuppositions about people and how they change when we do our work. If we begin therapy with a "this is better than nothing" attitude, we undoubtedly broadcast a pessimistic message about the possibilities for change.

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What Talking About Fantasy Can Do for Couples Therapy

...And Four Questions to Get the Conversation Started

Tammy Nelson • 1/5/2018 • 1 Comment

By Tammy Nelson - Sexual boredom often results from the assumption by each partner that there's no longer anything new to discover about the other, or about their sex life together. I've found that a therapist can alleviate such sexual ennui by helping each partner reveal previously undisclosed erotic fantasies. This apparently simple step can lead to new ways of seeing and experiencing the partner and the self.

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Could You Connect with This Client?

A Guide to Doing Couples Therapy When One Partner Won't Open Up

Kathryn Rheem • 12/26/2017 • 1 Comment

By Kathryn Rheem - Probably no aspect of couples work is more critical, or more difficult, for therapists than engaging a distant, emotionally shutdown partner. Since the feelings being avoided are often regarded as terrifying, humiliating, and deeply threatening, doing this work is a delicate therapeutic balancing act. It requires moving forward with both gentleness and persistence, without being deflected by clients’ profound unwillingness to become engaged.

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How Commitment Really Works

The Two Most Common Mistakes Struggling Couples Make

Gay Hendricks • 12/19/2017 • 1 Comment

By Gay Hendricks - Therapists who understand and apply two concepts about commitment—that the results you get reveal the actual commitment you've made, and to make a change in a relationship, each participant must take 100 percent responsibility for the current situation—can eliminate a great deal of energy-draining work in the treatment of couples.

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The Core of Couples Therapy

Why Homework is So Important, and Six Ways to Make Sure Your Clients Do It

David Treadway • 12/11/2017 • 2 Comments

By David Treadway - Over the years, the couples in my practice who’ve actually done homework exercises have reported communicating better and being more affectionate and more supportive of each other than couples who haven’t. To make sure I’m successful in motivating them, I use these six techniques.

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Should You Take Sides in Couples Therapy?

Why Psychotherapy's Views on Male Intimacy Need to Change

Terry Real • 12/1/2017 • No Comments

By Terry Real - The pressure to be hard, logical, independent, and stoic all too often sets men up to be emotionally distant, arrogant, and numb to their own feelings. These aren't pathological aberrations; they're the defining characteristics of manhood in our culture. That's why I break one of marital therapy's cardinal rules. I side with the woman.

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VIDEO: Susan Johnson on Accessing Primary Emotion in Couples Work

The Negative Patterns That Shut Down Romance, and How to Beat Them

Susan Johnson • 11/15/2017 • 9 Comments

Susan Johnson, the developer of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy and a presenter at the 2018 Networker Symposium, has devoted her career to demonstrating that it’s not an oxymoron to speak of the“science of love.” Listen as she explains how attachment science can help couples discover a pathway to optimal lovemaking.

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