Seattle Couples Counseling


The dynamics of working with two people in relationship with each other is very different and often far more dynamic than the dynamic of working with individual clients.

There are some realities and points of vulnerability for people in relationships that are also unique. I think Ram Dass put it very well when he outlined a common myth that we can fall into when we are in relationship. That myth is "Now that I have a relationship, I don't need to work on myself anymore". The reality is, of course, the complete opposite. Living and interacting intensively with another individual brings more of our "stuff" to the surface than would be from living alone.

The second comment that Ram Dass made, I find played out between couples all the time: "If you pretend I am who I want to be, then I will pretend you are who you want to be". As he pointed out so well, this is a mythology that is always doomed to fall apart eventually.

Even more than with individuals, I tend to be very direct and to the point. Couple's dynamics tend to be very "hot" and fluid. I know I am under the gun to change the systemic relationship as quickly as possible or else "bad" could get much worse in a hurry! I really find that most of my couples appreciate it when I adopt a "take charge" attitude, immediately identify and challenge the negative behaviors and get them replaced with new behaviors to take home and try out.

It is usually a successful formula to be able to leave couples with so much to think about and new emotional and perceptual strategies to try out, that the old, unhealthy dynamics do not have room to reassert themselves.

Life is action, the use of one's powers.
As to use them to their height is our joy and duty, so it is the one end that justifies itself.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes - Chief Justice