- Evelyn Aizenberg Psy.D, LMFT
Couple's Therapy For One
What if you want to get help through counseling and your partner is not ready or willing to join you? In my experience, relationships can improve greatly when one partner is willing to come to counseling with the goal of creating a better, more loving and more intimate relationship. This is referred to as Couple's counseling for one.
How does it work?
I will listen to your story, the ways you experience the difficulties in your relationship, and help you to clarify and understand the ways in which the two of you are stuck in unproductive and painful conflicts. I will listen for changes you can make that will not only empower you, but may encourage your partner to respond to you differently, thus creating an upward spiral in your relationship, rather than the downward spiral your relationship has been stuck in before. I will also help you to clarify to yourself what is important to you in the relationship. That would allow you to bring this information to your partner in a clearer, more impactful way that would hopefully generate more cooperation and empathy on your partner's part.
An important aspect of our work will be hearing from you about the ways you are dissatisfied, hurt and angry. However, in order to help improve your relationship and heal from past hurts we will also need to consider the fact that you might be unknowingly behaving in ways that keep you from getting what you want, and that keep the two of you stuck in dissatisfaction.
It is possible you will discover ways that you might be inadvertently causing hurt and anger in your partner. In that case, we can explore how you can benefit from making small , yet important shifts in your behavior that may help you both. Your partner will be impacted by the changes in your behavior and may react in ways that will bring you two closer to your goal of healing the relationship and feeling more connected.
Working with only one partner allows me to both join with and confront that person in ways that wouldn't be possible if the other partner were present. For example, I can let my client know how well I understand what he or she is feeling about the relationship or about the other partner. It allows me to connect with the person without alienating the partner. On the other hand, because I'm perceived as an ally, I am at liberty to be bolder, more challenging and, at times, less balanced than would be the case if the other partner were present.