Couple Time – time for what?

HELPING CLIENTS MAKE THE MOST OF COUPLE TIME Like a business or a garden or a vintage car, relationships need constant maintenance; frequent and consistent attending to. If your clients are not attending to their relationship by investing time and effort in it, they can’t expect it to work well. Even if your clients are … Read more Couple Time – time for what?

WHAT DO YOU SAY WHEN CLIENTS SAY “WE CAN’T COMMUNICATE”?

SUPPORTING TRANSFORMATION FROM A SILENT DANCE TO AN HONEST ASK Experienced couple therapists know that “communication problems” are almost never the real problem.  Formulating within the Developmental Model allows us to identify where each partner is held up in their relational development.  People who say “we can’t communicate” are often holding onto lifelong symbiotic fantasies … Read more WHAT DO YOU SAY WHEN CLIENTS SAY “WE CAN’T COMMUNICATE”?

An iceberg model of consciousness

Explaining how therapy works can be hard Clients who haven’t had much practice at self-exploration or even talking about their feelings often need quite a bit of psychoeducation about the therapy process. I have adapted Freud’s “iceberg” model by getting rid of the confusing notion of the “pre-conscious” and accepting consciousness is a function of … Read more An iceberg model of consciousness

Finding the Middle Ground between Selfish and Selfless

Lots of couples have one person who is more self-centred and one who is more self-sacrificing.  Often we have learned these ways of operating as a self-protection in our formative years. It can be hard for clients to understand what the alternative is – often they fear that they might become like their partner (whose … Read more Finding the Middle Ground between Selfish and Selfless

Using the important difference between “need” & “want”

In talking with clients, have you ever noticed people describing their partner (or themselves) as “needy” or “demanding”?  They complain about pressure for (or a lack of) affection, sex, attention, talk etc. Yet our culture idealises the notion of needing your partner. “I need you” is generally offered up in a movie or book as the … Read more Using the important difference between “need” & “want”