Thinking about going to couples counseling can feel like an extremely daunting process. It often involves accepting that your partnership has some underlying problems, which is scary to admit. If you are not entirely sure of what Couples therapy entails, it can feel like a mysterious and confusing process for both parties involved. 

Couples therapy may also seem like a drawn out process, involving considerable effort to find a suitable therapist, figuring out insurance or financial costs as well as the time to attend each session.  

To help demystify the process, below is a list of some common issues that indicate that you could potentially benefit from seeking couples therapy and how this will facilitate the reparation of any fragmented relationships you may be experiencing. 

1. Trust has been broken. 

One of the most common reasons for seeking couples therapy is the need for help in overcoming a major breach of trust for a multitude of reasons, whether it be through infidelity or consistent lies developing between you and your significant other. Indeed, the rebuilding of the relationship of trust can be helped by establishing a safe place in which both parties feel free to express their issues and their vulnerability. 

Couples therapy is organized in a way to work through the current “space and distance in your relationship” that you and your partner are experiencing. The focus is to discover each person’s individual needs to help fill in the gaps that are increasingly developing through this breach of trust and to re-establish lost closeness.

2. Arguments are getting more frequent. 

Are you and your partner progressively shifting to a more conflict-orientated relationship? Your arguments may sometimes seem small scale or, alternatively, an explosive eruption of bickering and fall outs that casts significant doubt to the security of your relationship. Either way, it is the pattern of these disagreements that are important. Perhaps, it is a short-term issue that one party is dealing with personally. But, it may also indicate a risky trajectory into constant arguing. More crucially, it could be a tell tale sign of significant underlying issues that have not been exposed.

Couples therapy, therefore, provides the opportunity to address these problems at face value and understand why fraught dynamics are developing between you and your partner. During my treatment sessions, I will assist each of you in gaining insight into the relational dynamics maintaining the problem, while helping to understand your specific role in contributing to the dysfunctional interactions. The ultimate goal is to shape the way both of you perceive your relationship and each other. A relationship flows when you share the same perception.

3. Lack of Communication 

It may be the case that overt conflict is not an issue in your relationship. This, however, does not detract from the fact you feel misunderstood, ignored and/or neglected by your partner in some way. Perhaps, everything he/she does as of late seems alien to you, lacking the desired communication you once possessed. 

Although obtaining insight into the personal dynamics of your partner through counselling is essential, another integral aspect of couples therapy is actually modifying behaviors and ways of communicating with each other. Often, one of the most tangible outcomes of couples therapy is to increase communication and to foster a major improvement in its quality. 

I can provide you with all the necessary tools to enhance your communication skills to enable a more efficient channel to understand each other in your relationship. Most couples come away from couples therapy with me having gained tremendous insight into relational patterns, increased emotional expression and problem-solving skills with their partners to achieve the closeness they desire. 

4. You feel stuck in bad patterns. 

There are a variety of patterns that you and your partner may adhere to in your everyday life, ranging from who does the cooking and who does the cleaning up. Maybe a dysfunctional pattern is a simple as one partner listening to the other complain about work, however, this ability to be attentive is never quite reciprocated. The issue here is that the longer a pattern sets in, the more energy and time it will take to change it. Consequently, anger dominates.

A common pattern exemplified during therapy is deep rooted patterns from your family of origin. Using the systems approach, my therapy explores the influence and impact of each “family of origin” and the individuals psychodynamics to discover where change can happen. For example, your partner may have experienced an abusive family dynamic which has resulted in emotional disconnection in his/her adult life. It is vital to acknowledge these origins in order to understand each other’s dysfunctional behavior interfering with your relationship.

Together we discover both of your expectations from your relationship, assessing whether they are either being met and subsequently re-setting expectations to allow you to move forward in a happy, positive relationship. 

Why Patti German Counseling? 

My therapy sessions provide a safe environment where you can discuss your relationship issues. My  goal is to teach couples to appreciate the importance of not internally competing, of pinpointing common life goals, and of sharing responsibilities within your relationship for positive working companionships – whether it be together or eventually apart.

We understand that city life tends to be synonymous with long working hours which can impact your ability to attend various counselling sessions. My practice is open during the week day as well as evenings and weekends to ensure that I can accommodate your busy schedules to provide you with the appropriate therapy session you require. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How long does couples therapy last for? 

A:  For any real significant changes to come to fruition, couples therapy needs a minimum of three months. Since every couple is, of course, different, many couples remain in therapy for a prolonged period of time as they continue to work through their issues. Sessions are scheduled each week for a full clock hour (60 minutes)- sometimes an hour and a half (90 minutes). 

Q: How can I pay for Couples Therapy? 

A: A large proportion of my patients use ”out of network reimbursement” to fund their therapy sessions. Many pay privately. 

Q: Who attends to Couples Therapy?

A: Couples therapy is beneficial for any kind of relationship, whether partners are straight, gay, young, old, dating, engaged or married. For example, a relatively young couple may attend counselling as they think it is an invaluable chance to discuss their relationship expectations before committing to marriage. Or alternatively, another couple married for 30 years may believe couples therapy is the perfect opportunity to regain a sense of closeness and romance within their relationship.