This is what you should expect from your complimentary consultation:
In this free consultation, you and your partner will have an opportunity to ask me questions about how I do couples therapy, but more importantly you will experience therapy.
I will not ask you to tell me what your problems are and have you talk about them in the consultation. The reason is because having you talk about what you see as the problems while your partner listens is risky, because it very likely will lead to defensiveness, blaming, and arguing between the two of you. The time will be better spent having you experience therapy.
In a relationship, problems result from a breakdown in the process of the relationship. Your problems are secondary to your relationship process. Your relationship is conflicted because over time your process has become dysfunctional. Consequently, both of you have developed an unconscious relationship with one another. That means you really do not understand one another’s experience in the relationship, especially at the deeper levels of experiences. Your partner lacks empathy and you probably do too. You would like your partner to know you better, but you are fearful of letting him or her to get too close. You fear each other’s negative and judgmental attitude. Therefore, you fight and avoid each other.
In the consultation, you will learn about and experience an Imago Intentional Dialogue, also known as the Couples Dialogue. It is a structured way of communicating, which enables the two of you to communicate in a way that is highly therapeutic. As your counselor, during dialogues, I will act as a coach and director of your interactions.
You should know, that if you decide to begin couples therapy, you will have an opportunity to fully talk about the problems that concern you in a private session, without your partner being present. But, you first need to learn the skills that will enable you to present your concerns to your partner in ways that make it safe for him or her to listen. That means learning to express difficult problems without anger or criticism. Most of the consultation will be dedicated to giving you the skills needed to bring about healing and reconciliation.