A note from Dr. K
Lesson 8 Chapter 3 Module 1
A couple that had been in lots and lots of previous couples therapy said to me...
“I really appreciate your style. It’s not like any other therapist we’ve been to. You were really active and you spoke up and helped us talk to each other. And you really listened to us…”
Call me “naïve,” but I am always shocked when I hear this.
This wonderful couple had to sit through many, many, couples therapy sessions, with a “couples therapist” who said:
"Ah huh. Hmm. That’s interesting, say more… How do you FEEL about that?”
The husband told me, “After 10 minutes, I’m usually edgy and ready to leave. When my wife told me we were going for a weekend I thought ‘You gotta be kidding…two and a half DAYS of couples therapy?’ And you know what? I wasn’t bored once being here…”
This isn’t a plug for my private retreats. In fact, any one of my couples therapists will give you that same experience.
It is an ANTI-PLUG, a Complaint Against the “All Purpose Therapist.”
There are Five Signs of Lousy Couples Therapy you should watch out for:
- They Lack Training in Couples Therapy. Many counseling programs offer no specific courses in couples therapy. Marriage and Family Therapy Programs may offer one. Couples Therapists train later, on their own dime.
- They Play the Insurance Game. Most therapists are paid by health insurance companies to work with individuals with psychopathologies. There is nothing wrong with this. This is what they are paid to do. However, they are hired because they are generalists: what we call the “All Purpose Therapists.” And as a result, because 95% of health insurance companies don’t pay for couples therapy, they have very little chance to develop skills in this very different way of practicing.
- They Lack Experience Practicing Couples Counseling. Day after day, their practices are filled seeing individuals needing help. This leaves little time to master the art of couples therapy.
- Their Sessions are Too Short. Individual sessions are 45-minutes. In contrast, research in Couples Therapy demands at least 1 hour 20 minute sessions for proven, effective results.
- They Don't Lead, They "empathize." That’s what my couple was complaining about. “They just sit there.” Guess why? They have no clue what to do.
Pick a Couples Therapist as if your marriage depends on it.
Because it does.