What are some of the most common themes or issues that are brought into couples therapy?
I think one of the common trends that I see in my couples is one person wanting to connect, and the other person withdrawing. Not that they don’t want to connect, but they don’t really know how to connect. That bleeds into sex, spending time together, parenting, a multitude of issues. I think one of the biggest things that I have seen in my practice of couples therapy are couples not really knowing how to communicate about the issues. It doesn’t really matter what the issue is, it’s the how to communicate, how to repair from a disagreement, the tone and the words that are used when communicating, misreading what the other person is saying.
One person is saying take out the garbage, put a light bulb in, and I need help with the kids. The other person is seeing that as they’re nagging, they’re controlling, nothing that I do is ever enough. Really, what the first partner is saying, “I need help. I can’t do this alone. I don’t want to do it alone.” Instead of using that language, they’re just more direct. I think a lot of my role in therapy with couples a lot of the time is just educating them on different language, getting them in touch with what they really need, and then being able to communicate that to their partner.