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