MARRIAGE, COUPLE, AND FAMILY THERAPY
WHY MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY WORKS
We are born into relationships, and safe attachments enable us to grow and develop into individuals capable of satisfying work, play, and adult relationships. Healing also take place within a safe relationship --the relationship you and I build in the course of therapy.
HOW MARRIAGE AND FAMILY THERAPY WORKS
You and I cooperate with those forces within you that are wanting to establish or re-establish an intimate relationship within which to grow as an individual. Marriage can be the crucible of growth.
SO AM I HEALING MYSELF OR MY MARRIAGE?
Both. It almost always turns out that our deepest difficulties in being intimate are rooted in childhood wounds and unfinished business with our families.
OH, NO! WILL THIS TAKE FOREVER?
Healing does take time, but the fact that we repeat and re-enact with our intimate partners painful experiences from childhood shows us where to focus our attention.
BUT WHY FOCUS ON THE NEGATIVES?
Therapy reinforces the positives, but they're only half the story. The tendency to reenact in a marriage the broken emotional connections in our early experience helps us understand our current pain and anger. Our tendency to repeat becomes an opportunity for healing.
SO WHAT HAPPENS IN THERAPY EXACTLY?
In the safety of the therapy room, you learn to feel and tolerate your anger, disappointment, and pain, and to talk openly about those feelings without blaming your partner. Then you can also listen as your partner does the same. This creates closeness and trust.
IS IT NORMAL TO HAVE PROBLEMS IN AN INTIMATE RELATIONSHIP?
Intimate relationships are about enjoying each other, supporting each other, and perhaps raising children together. But the very same relationship will challenge you to heal and grow by having your unfinished business come up between you. This is what happens in intimacy, and the more we accept this reality,the more we can embrace and cooperate with the healing forces within us. Then, we are freer to be ourselves and also to be more respectful and accepting of our partner's individuality within the bonds of a strong relationship.