One of the questions people ask when seeking couples therapy or family therapy is whether a therapist can work with more than one member of the same family. Wouldn’t the therapist be tempted to take sides? This is an important question. Each person seeking therapy wants to be understood. They may, in fact, hope to have someone take their side if there is conflict in a relationship.Couples seeking therapy often expect the therapist to offer advice or to suggest solutions to problems. The Modern Analytic method does not offer solutions which are not the couple’s own solutions. Instead, the therapist looks for the causes of the problems couples and families experience. Often, each partner brings old patterns to the relationship. In many cases there is a difference in attachment styles learned at a young age. One of the partners may need opportunities for emotional intimacy, while the other requires time alone to reduce stimulation and tension. When personal styles differ, each individual may react to conflict in ways which complicate the problem.
During couple’s therapy, each of the partners may be asked to share portions of their personal history. Such self-examination leads to better communication and stronger relationships. Part of the relationship therapy process may be one-on-one work with the therapist designed to discover personal patterns which are brought to the relationship by each individual.
The therapists at Vermont Talk Therapy are trained to work with couples and families as individuals; they are also trained to work with couples and families together. It can be difficult to sort out relationship problems, but careful listening, non-judgmental questions, and shared problem solving can effectively resolve important issues. If you and your partner are experiencing stress in your relationship, get in touch to find out if couples therapy or family counseling can help.