What Happens In Couples Therapy?

Couples enter therapy for many different reasons. Sometimes it's a relationship crisis. Sometimes it's a vague desire for change and growth in one partner, or both.
Often it is initiated at the end of a season of marriage (engagement, newlyweds, parents, empty-nesters, retirees)--which is also the beginning of a new season.
When navigating change, a stabilzing "third leg on the three-legged stool" can help create a safe space in which to negotiate new directions, refine our true values, or reaffirm our deepest commitments to ourselves and our partner.

Here are some of the conversations we might pursue, in no given order, in couple's therapy with Susan Bramlette, LMFT:

1.    Couple’s vision as Map/goal  Dreams in Conflict?

2.    “Me Time,” “We Time,” “He “Time, “They Time”

3.    False Assumptions re: Happiness

4.    5 Love Languages

5.    Wall of Defenses

6.    MBTI /Keirsey 16 Personality Styles Accepting Differences

7.    I Statements vs. You Statements

8.    Never and Always/polar thinking

9.    Complaints OK/ Criticism Not OK

10.    TA: Parent, Adult, Child

11.    Quid Pro Quo/ past, present & negotiating new lifestage needs

12.    List of Likes/Desired Changes /Asking for What I Need Clearly

13.    Relationship Satisfaction Survey Discussing Specific Areas/ negotiating

14.    Set Sacred Time Together: HW, Date, Family, Sex

15.    Negotiated “Time Outs” when anger escalating

16.    Rules of Fair Fighting: Generate own

17.    Boundaries Exercise: discussing a touchy issue/ stating own need and consequences

18.    “Safe People” Increasing Ability to share by increasing self-control/sharing w/ safe others

19.    Roles, Rules, and Goals in family of origin

20.    Roles, Rules, and Goals
        in present relationship (driver, traffic laws, destination) Are roles/rules/goals mutual?
21.    Marriage as a Vehicle Metaphor/4 Horsemen “flats”

22.    Partners identify Self as an animal, home as a habitat/

23.    Revisiting Your Childhood Home Rooms, people, feelings, smells

24.    Trustbuilding Exercise: What violates my trust?

25.    Reflective Listening: mirror, validate, empathize

26.    Gender Differences: repoire vs. report

27.    Identifying “Exits” /avoiding conflict= conflict

28.    Separateness vs. Togetherness needs/ Maintaining a Self to Share, Be

29.    Confronting Cycles: Pursuer/Distancer, Conflicting to Connect (DV)

30.    Budget/ Fairness and the Meaning of Money

31.    “I-Thou” and the Space Between is the relationship

32.    Couple’s Dialogue/ Behavior Change Request Dialogue

33.    “I’m OK/ You’re OK

Helpful Forms

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