Why We Do It Better
Traditional couples therapy can be a funny experience. Most therapists tend to ask both people the exact same question, in the exact same way – Why do they do this?
Are they blindly applying the same approach in all situations?
Are they favouring one of the two people in the couple by playing to one’s strengths and not the others?
Is this not a divisive and ineffective approach from the onset?
Successful individual and couples counselling demands that we cater our approach effectively and consistently to each specific person in such a way that we honour everyone's unique strengths, person-hood, and value. This is why we are proud to say we offer the best couples therapy available. Because:
You deserve better than cookie-cutter therapy.
We’ll strategize and make efficient use of our time together, and we’ll get you the permanent results you’re looking for!
A Quick Case Study
The problem is never the problem.
Thomas* and Jessica* had a wedding date booked eight months from when they came to see me.
Thomas, 34, is a teacher who likes to work with his hands and offers short answers to questions. He has been dating Jessica for nine years. Jessica, 31, works in the finance industry, wants a family, and she becomes silent when upset. She assumed Thomas watched pornography but never asked – then she discovered that Thomas was, indeed, watching pornography.
That’s not all, he had been paying ‘cam girls’ for the last few months raising his credit card bills – then she saw a text from one of his co-workers… on a second cell phone he secretly kept.
They both went to 12-Step programs for sex and love addiction, read self-help books, tried several therapists, and researched their relationship problems and what was perceived as Thomas’s sexual compulsivity problem exclusively to the point of going crazy! They both felt as though nobody could help them — and feared the shame of cancelling the wedding that had relatives coming from overseas.
They came separately, initially, because of the dis-empowering therapy they had previously received.
Despite their obvious pain – they wanted no regrets if they were to cancel their wedding and end this relationship of nine years. They were motivated by love and by fear of making a mistake. I love working with that level of determination.
Despite the obviousness of Thomas’s sexual and betraying behaviour – betraying both Jessica and his own values: treating the obvious didn’t help them before – so I targeted what I saw immediately as some of the underlying problems.
A common thread between both people was their passive-aggressiveness. Using role play and Gestalt therapy, Jessica worked on no longer withdrawing her love through silence and leaving Thomas by exiting conversations. Using psychodynamic art therapy and narrative therapy, Thomas’s short answers became deeper and more descriptive details of his inner experience that Jessica could connect with.
The majority of sexual addictions result from unresolved trauma leading to passive-aggressive behaviour. By targeting the role of passive aggression in their lives – and teaching them to use their aggression to support themselves and their relationship – they were empowered to show up with their love and anger which freed them to be themselves apart and together.
I joyfully attended their wedding. I remember Jessica’s mother giving me a big hug, as she knew all about me from her daughter. Thomas’s friends would approach me at the open bar to make sex therapy jokes. Everyone has their way of showing gratitude.
*Names changed to preserve client confidentiality.