It sounds like a lot of work, really getting into what makes you tick as a patient and trying to find out exactly why you think or behave the way you do and then leaving that all aside and really getting into the experience and past of your partner.
It is. It’s definitely a lot of work and I tell all of my couples that. I tell them if you guys are not ready to do the work then this isn’t the time to do it. Part of my style is I’m pretty up front with my couples and I think a lot of my passion for this is that I’ve gone through it myself, so I know the amount of work that it takes, but I also know that the results are beyond my wildest dreams. I really try to convey that to couples. I do self disclose. Some therapists do, some therapists don’t, and I do with the purpose of it’s important for them to hear and to see that someone else has done it and has been able to get through it and not only get through it but [inaudible 00:01:20] within the process. I try to share whenever I can if I think it’s going to be helpful, but I don’t kind of walk on eggshells around it that there is a lot of work and it’s a commitment, but if you think about it this is your marriage.
This is the person that you have chosen to spend the rest of your life with. Again I go back to the myths of “it should be easy,” “it shouldn’t be this hard.” The more and more I see couples the more I realize that a lot of people out there are struggling. I only probably get a few of the ones that are struggling, but between the patients that I see, friends that I have, my own story, there’s a lot of work in making a relationship work, but the benefits of it far outweigh the work. I feel that if you really put all of it into it, all of your strength, all of your energy into it, this isn’t a process that’s going to take six years. I always tell patients give me six months, and if in six months you don’t see a result if you’re doing the work then you can choose someone else, you can go somewhere else, but 90% of the time I find that things to improve and they do start connecting. Then it starts becoming a more natural language.