It is a known secret in the world of therapy and coaching that a majority of therapists and coaches are at a loss regarding how to work with couples—especially difficult couples. Not only is this one of my favorite populations to work with, I also train therapists across the country on how to work with this difficult population. Another unspoken “secret” in the mental health world is that most couple’s therapists and coaches are afraid to take sides against one partner in a coupleship. Instead, these professionals often try to “keep things even’ when working with couples, acting as though each partner shares 50 percent of the couple’s problems. Not only am I keenly aware that not all problems share equal causality, but I also find this type of help to be ineffective and, in fact, often harmful.
How I work
I’m very non-traditional in my work with couples and take a hard line on hurtful behaviors. My bias is toward the couple making it work, if at all possible. I’m not afraid to confront hard issues such as rage, addiction, affairs, workaholism, emotional abuse, lying, etc. I believe issues such as these require a strong professional who is willing to take a hard stand, and I find the therapy and coaching field is largely lacking in its ability and willingness to take that stand. Although I’m on the side of the couple, I don’t try to “play fair” by keeping things “even” in my sessions. I take sides if one partner is more “off” than the other, and I call things as I see them. Taking a stand in relation to one partner’s behavior is only done in service to my greater goal: a genuinely fulfilling relationship for BOTH partners. I tell both partners hard truths with compassion because I know this information is vital for people to grow. In addition, I don’t assume people know how to be relational and I therefore get into the minutiae of teaching them the necessary skills. I coach couples, in the moment, on the nuances of behaving relationally with one another so they can then use those skills at home when I am no longer in the room with them.
The Logistics of Meeting
In the Office
I have found that the traditional 50-minute hour session is ineffective and makes progress slow going. Therefore, the first session with every couple in the office is a three-hour session, followed by two-hour sessions every other week. Longer sessions are vital in allowing the work to go deeper and progress to move faster. Couples love the depth of the work inherent in the longer sessions and appreciate not having to come into the office every week.
Phone Coaching or Skype
I work with couples all over the world with ease due to Skype and easy phone access. Skype and/or phone sessions range from 90-minute sessions to two-hour sessions every other week, depending on the needs of the couples. For couples on the brink of divorce the frequency may increase to weekly and I often recommend that the initial visit occur in my office.
For those who are contemplating divorce, significantly struggling in their relationship, live out of state, or would like a powerful jump-start to their relationship, one to two full-day intensive sessions are also available. For more information on these sessions contact Lisa via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 1 (508) 520-6547.
Am I the right fit for you?
I have a direct, no-nonsense approach to working with couples that produces fast results and lasting change. I get to the heart of the matter with precision and coach couples on finding their way to a more intimate and authentic relationship…one it feels good to come home to. I do a lot of coaching and don’t sit back and wait for couples to draw their own conclusions. My assumption is that if you had known what to do, you would have been doing it. I’ll show you what to do and hold you both accountable for stepping in differently with one another. I do all the above with humor, compassion and honesty.
If you’re looking for a fresh, honest and direct style that cuts to the chase and moves the work along, then contact me today.
I use a dynamic approach to couples work, based on the integration of Terrance Real’s Relational Life Therapy Model, Pia Mellody’s Post Induction Model and my own model for working with couples.