All couples have problems that can raise the stress levels in either partner and trigger so much emotion that they can’t think straight. Invariably these problems are due to three things:
- Emotional or physical needs not being met
- Social conditioning that has created unrealistic expectation of the relationship
- Lack of understanding about the difference in the male and female approaches to thinking and emotions
Therapy will initially focus on identifying where the problems are arising from and then, by accessing the resources of each client, empower them to make the necessary changes in their life. This is achieved through relaxation and visualisation and can be done individually or as a couple. This helps to break the negative trance state that the couple are in with respect to each other and is an essential step before generating the momentum for change. Once the clients’ confidence in their ability to make life changes is increased, the next step is agreeing the strategies for change. Strategies may include: Behavioural approaches such as a joint activity that the couple previously enjoyed doing together; Cognitive approaches such as challenging faulty thinking; Reframing – helping the client to see the positive in the negative, the good motive in the bad behaviour. Reframing is a powerful technique that takes the venom out of a relationship, as it becomes clear that a seemingly uncaring partner, in fact cares a lot, but is going the wrong way about showing it.