Couples therapy at Union Square Practice helps couples to learn relationship skills that focus on acceptance of differences, empathy, and safe communication. Conflicts are seen as opportunities for transformation and growth, rather than as threats to the relationship. Our therapists facilitate a safe space to explore relationship difficulties with the intention to create a deeper sense of connection and understanding.
Couples are taught to cooperatively and creatively solve problems by shifting the paradigm from “what’s good for me” to “what’s good for us.”
Why Pursue Relationship Therapy?
Many couples seek therapy because they feel emotionally disconnected from each other. One or both partners feel as though the other no longer understands them, and time spent together has become simply transactional. Pleasure, fun and often intimacy have disappeared in the interests of taking care of daily stress associated with family and work responsibilities. This can lead to weakened levels of trust and compassion, both of which are necessary for a relationship to thrive. By shaping the structure of each session specifically to each relationship, the therapist can help introduce beneficial strategies for nurturing the relationship and addressing conflict and distress.
Will My Therapist Determine Who Is To Blame?
Often, couples will initially come to therapy with the idea that they will simply pose each problem they have and then the therapist will be a referee and decide who is right or wrong. This common misperception views couples therapy as identifying problems with the individual rather than problems within the relationship. The purpose of therapy for the relationship is not to determine who is at fault, but to identify more positive forms of communication for both partners to utilize in the future. That being said, the therapist helps each partner expand their perspectives by making changes in the way that they think and react. Therapy aims to be an eye-opening experience for not only the individual, but for the relationship as a whole.
Every relationship experiences conflict in one form or another. The important question to ask is: can conflict be a means for repair and growth? As a relationship continues, it goes through many phases, some of which alter the way partners view each other. The behaviors that people engage in are often based on coping mechanisms that have worked well for each of them as individuals. When couples can be present for each other to understand the thoughts and feelings behind the behaviors, compassion and values then direct them to move forward in a way that’s good for both of them.
What Is Couples Therapy Like At Union Square Practice?
A typical first session at Union Square Practice is an opportunity to talk about the issues and goals that were responsible for couples initiating therapy. Couples are encouraged to share the positive qualities of their relationship, as well as identifying where they are stuck. Often times, focusing on the negative aspects of the relationship has made it difficult to see where the strengths are.
Ongoing sessions are highly structured by active therapists who have been trained in Imago Relationship Therapy. This is a form of couples counseling that facilitates greater connection and understanding between partners, using an intentional dialogue process. Reactivity is lessened as people learn to be fully engaged and present, appreciating their partner’s differences, similar to when they first met.