Is it right for us?
There are infinite reasons why a couple may enter couples therapy. Sometimes, both partners enter into therapy feeling good about the relationship, but they want to have a devoted time and space to deepen their relationship in order to enhance what is working. Many couples anticipate stress around upcoming changes or transitions (a move, job change, a child on the way, or retirement) and enter therapy with the intention to minimize expected disruption to the relationship. Sometimes, couples enter therapy while experiencing a significant degree of conflict. In some couples, these conflicts manifest in feelings of distance and quiet; each member can feel something is off, but communication has broken down. In other couples, conflicts can get intense and lead to painful arguments; maybe the connection is great, but the couple lacks the skills to understand repair after times of “rupture.” Sometimes these conflicts can lead to further distance, and a couple needs support coming back together. In any circumstances, couples therapy can facilitate effective communication between each other, ultimately leading to increased understanding of each others needs, increased connection, and a sense of hope about the future together.
Our couples therapist, Dr. Robert Riordan, is trained in one of the few empirically supported approaches for couples therapy, emotionally focused therapy (EFT). This approach is based in research on attachment, and ultimately improves a couple’s connection and communication. In EFT, partners explore what strategies they bring to the relationship, and then each partner learns to expand their approaches to each other in a way that leads to a more secure sense of connection and intimacy. EFT has been shown to be highly effective for distressed couples, and the research has demonstrated stable and lasting improvement in marital satisfaction.
How long does couples therapy last?
Couples therapy is not intended to be an open-ended treatment. Rather, Dr. Riordan asks that couples make a 3 to 4 month commitment to this treatment, meeting once per week for 60 minutes.