We’re all fools for love. That’s a feature, not a bug.
In couples therapy we work at understanding the complexity of each person’s feelings in a safe environment where I am guiding that discovery. The overall goal in couples therapy is to help each person understand how to collaborate to find healthy solutions and helpful practices.
The important issue is that, as a therapist, you are able to trust that I can understand who you are, what you need, and do the same for your partner.
The process of couples therapy involves a period of evaluation where I first meet you and your partner together, then meet with each of you individually to understand more about each of you as a person, and to work on the trust in our relationship so that I can support you in getting the responses that you need from your partner. Then we meet together again to establish what we are working on, and create a plan of how to proceed.
Couples therapy needn’t require a long commitment of time, but it does require a willingness to be honest and to listen from a place of empathy. In some situations, that is more difficult because not everyone comes to couples therapy with those skills. A common reason for that is some form of illness or addiction that makes the truth elusive or emotions polarized. I have a long history of work with addictions that I draw on to understand how to help people recognize issues that block their success in intimacy.
In my experience, gender does play an important part in how we approach life in a couple. As a man, I have both experience with, and empathy for the ways in which gender roles and expectations can cloud our understanding of what we need, or what we can give. I am particularly mindful that part of the work in couples therapy is to find a voice to express feeling, and that can be particularly hard for some of us who were raised to ignore our feelings or never express vulnerability.