Many couples come to therapy because their relationship has become filled with conflict or because they and their partner have grown apart. Other couples seek therapy because they want help to understand and resolve differences between them as they embark on a long-term relationship or marriage. Sometimes a difficult life circumstance causes unmanageable stress for both individuals e.g. an affair, a death, a serious illness, an addiction, a difficult child or caretaking an elderly parent. Often young couples seek to sustain their relationships when they have young children at home and little time for themselves and each other.
Regardless of why a couple seeks therapy, each individual needs to find a voice in the relationship and to be able to speak compassionately with honesty and forthrightness. Relationships go through many stages in their lifetimes and each stage requires a particular set of skills. In fact, it can be said that in the course of a twenty year marriage, one has many "different" relationships.
Often we find that each partner is living life based on certain principles learned in childhood (beliefs that are built on early decisions and form the basis of the life script), and these principles determine the outcome of the relationship: How much anger is there? How much intimacy? How do people handle roles or conflicts? Is there room for individuality in the relationship? Or are there demands from one to the other about how he or she must behave?
When couples experience their relationship as unrewarding, and feel resentful and unfulfilled, most want to restore the good feelings that they shared in the past. Creating a vision for the relationship can inspire each person towards the positive growth needed to bring about this change.