Couples Counseling

1hr - 90min sessions together with your significant other and a counselor to focus on whatever relevant topics are meeting challenges such as communication, conflict resolution, sex life, decision making, differences in values, etc.

One of the main modalities at FOCUS for this kind of work is the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) 90 min sessions are recommended for this work because it is more interactive and allows for the counseling room to be a space where the couple’s language, both verbal and non-verbal, can be observed. Observations are then offered in service of greater intimacy and understanding but also for developing a harmonized new language together.

1hr - 90min sessions together with your significant other and a counselor to focus on whatever relevant topics are meeting challenges such as communication, conflict resolution, sex life, decision making, differences in values, etc.

One of the main modalities at FOCUS for this kind of work is the Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT) 90 min sessions are recommended for this work because it is more interactive and allows for the counseling room to be a space where the couple’s language, both verbal and non-verbal, can be observed. Observations are then offered in service of greater intimacy and understanding but also for developing a harmonized new language together.

Positive Points about Couples Counseling

Some things that are good to point out about couples counseling at FOCUS PEC are:

  1. The process should start as a couple, with both people present in session. All communication between sessions should be done on email with both parties copied in the email to minimize any side conversations. (This is particularly important for high conflict couples.)
  2. There is no such thing as one person who is the problem in the relationship. No one person is to blame for a dynamic or pattern.
  3. The couples therapist assumes that the two people are there to protect and sustain the couple. If one person is highly ambivalent or has already prepared mentally to leave the relationship, it can be helpful for the therapist to know.
  4. Couples therapy is an appropriate tool at any stage of relationship, whether you are newly dating, just engaged or have been in relationship for 20 years. In fact, doing couples therapy early in a relationship is a great way to fortify your bond and provide tools for a long future.
  5. Contrary to popular belief and statistics, couples therapy is not a place where couples go to die. If one outcome of couples therapy is that the couple chooses not to be together, it is likely that this outcome was already occurring before attending sessions together.
  6. Couples therapy is not the same as mediation. The counselor is not there to referee legal disputes or coordinate separation agreements.

It is recommended that a couple attend at least six 90min sessions together. What you can expect on a first session is the identification and understanding of how your couple works as well as verbalizing the positives and negatives of your story.

From there, the therapist may use theoretical frameworks like attachment theory to explain patterns of conflict or illustrate some of the automatic ways each person behaves in the relationship based on preferences their nervous system learned to sooth during childhood. This information tends to better equip each person to see the other with greater clarity and empathy.

Other outcomes may include articulated shared values and how to uphold them together, naming shared agreements that hold each person with respect and help both people feel safe. One of the things I hear most often from couples is how surprised they are by what they are able to learn and how beneficial it can be. It can be profoundly powerful and therapeutic work. Our therapists aim to optimize the present and future potential of the couple.

I learned how to stand up for myself and take care of my own needs versus being passive was typical. I do a better job in my relationships being honest. I also listen to my spouse better and have learned more about how to be supportive in a healthier way. I feel literally saner, calmer, more present. I love my husband more and I am a nicer person to him and I gained a deeper understanding of being present.

- Name Withheld -

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Discuss your needs and how we can support you with your goals.