MODEL

My approach to working with couples, whether in groups or individually, is grounded deeply in the work that was created by Dr. Harville Hendrix, author of the internationally acclaimed book entitled: Getting the Love You Want. This very effective methodology is further deepened and enhanced by Encounter Centered Couples Therapy as mentioned on the previous page. I also draw from the work of several other professionals such as Dr. John Gottman, esteemed researcher on relationship issues; and Dr. Daniel Siegel, interpersonal neurobiologist.

Individual therapy, counseling sessions with couples are usually done in 60 or 90 minute sessions. Occasionally longer sessions are scheduled in order to "go deeper" into the issues that are being dealt with.

We have found that couples therapy is very often enriched and embellished when couples group therapy is done in tandem with individual couples therapy sessions. It is common and understandable that couples initially resist doing their relationship work in a group with other couples. Those who do so, however, realize and experience significant benefit. In this practice we do offer the possibility of participation in a couples group, but this is always optional.

All of our individual and group work is based on several primary principles:

  • When individuals select each other as partners in a marriage or committed relationship, they do so from an unconscious agenda to complete the work of childhood. Most parents are unable to meet all of the natural needs of their children. In courtship, blooming adults are seeking a partner who is felt to be perfectly qualified to fulfill those unmet needs.
  • When the ecstasy of romantic love inevitably subsides, a kind of struggle emerges between two people who live in "different worlds" i.e. different belief systems.  Each partner is striving for fulfillment and completion, and it is natural to seek that satisfaction in intimate, committed relationships. Brain science has recently proven that our neurological system is literally shaped and formed out of our experiences during childhood. The completion and continual evolution of that system, namely our brains and thus our minds, depends upon our ongoing experiences with the primary people in our lives.
  • In order to accomplish this completion and fulfillment through our relationships, we need to have specific skills and a commitment to the challenges of bridging our different "worlds" in a way that is non-critical, compassionate, and cooperative. We cannot accomplish this task without the foundation of a deep friendship.



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