Making an appointment for couples therapy is a first step towards change because it means that each partner has a desire for something to be different and a willingness to do something about it. Our first meeting is an opportunity to get to know one another so that you can decide if I seem like a good fit for you, and I learn enough about you to have some ideas about how I can be helpful. Following the first session, I like to have an individual meeting with each person so that I can get some personal and family history. Then by the next couples session, I feel I have a much fuller sense of each of you and how I can help.
I use Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) as a road map for how I approach couples therapy. This means that first we will be exploring the cycle of conflict, or negative patterns that you get caught in so that you can learn new, more effective ways to make contact with one another. Then we will focus on strengthening the bond between you to enhance your connection and solidify a sense of safety in the relationship.
For those who like to prepare in advance, I suggest that couples read the book called Hold Me Tight by Dr. Sue Johnson as a companion to the treatment.