Couples Therapy in Westlake Village
Couples therapy is about defining meaning for each person. It’s about plunging beneath the events that bring a couple to therapy into the unique meaning each partner makes, usually without knowing it, of the conflict. It’s about helping each person to know and articulate their experience and feelings in the context of their early development and their current relationship.
Good couples counseling requires vigilance in not getting stuck only in the painful details of what has happened, because this will hold less and less importance as the process unfolds and sense is made of chaos and conflict. When it’s happening, it’s powerful. It doesn’t always mean people stay together, but it enables partners to really see and know each other, and themselves, in transformational ways.
I think people who are splitting up miss a huge opportunity for growth when they bypass therapy on the way to divorce court. I have a saying: Relationships are the laboratory of personal growth. Even if you doubt the relationship can last, or perhaps don’t want it to, spend some time in therapy, and use the relationship as a means of learning about who you are. If you have children, this is critical.
When I finish therapy with a couple, they usually no longer see each other as “the bad guy.” They can see where they begin and end, and often for the first time, see their partners the same way. They understand how their unique system came together and operated in a way that made perfect sense, though it may not have brought perfect happiness. From this place, the relationship can begin anew.