Couples therapy is addressed to those couples whose lives in their relationship or marriage is characterized by lack of communication, highly controversial moments, frustration feelings or anger. It is based on the premise that the two people that are joined in a relationship carry a separate and unique psychological heritage. Each one has a personal story and a complex of hidden and internalized issues in every subsequent interaction with the other person.
Therefore, the way each person has experienced the relationships within the paternal family, greatly affects the way he relates today to his sexual companions. Different characters, needs and desires of each partner, the continuously increasing demands of everyday life and the changes resulting from the different phases of the couple's life cycle (e.g. birth of a child, loss of a parent) cause various difficulties in the couple such as lack of mutual understanding and emotional proximity, not being able to satisfy one another, conflicts, frustration and insecurity.
The aim of couples’ therapy is primarily to emerge unresolved intrapsychic problems of the partners that prevent them to enjoy a productive and satisfying marital experience, and secondly to think about why they are together, to explore the dynamics of their relationship as it evolves in time, recognize their needs and look for ways to enjoy their common life.
Creating a framework of trust and taking into consideration the relationships in the paternal family, expectations, capabilities and intentions of each member separately, the therapist or therapists (the presence of two therapists in the meetings with the couple is possible) intend to help the couple to define the issues that incommodes them, to express the repressed thoughts and emotions, to understand each other's position, to find new codes of communication in order to experience the relationship differently. It is an opportunity to improve their communication and to feel that someone else really understands what is going on between them.
After the end of the therapeutic sessions, partners may choose to continue their life together or may realize that it would be better to continue separately. Whatever the final choice of the couples is, about whether they want to continue the relationship or not, this experience is an invaluable psychic asset for their future choices.
"People usually do not choose the partner they want, they choose the one they need".
In family therapy we focus on the family as a system of relations that operate in ways that support or hinder the family's or any of its members' progress, as the family passes to the developmental stages of the life cycle (child birth, separation from the parental home etc).
The unsolved intrapsychic conflicts that come from the family of origin continue to be expressed and repeated with the familiar faces, as with his / her husband /spouse or children. A mother who wasn’t looked after well by her mother or a father that his father did not take care of him good enough are likely to behave improperly when asked to play a role for which he/she can’t rely on a good role model.
The goal of family therapy is primarily for the parents to realize how they internalized the important people of their past and that these ones continue to intrude in their current relationship. Secondly, to understand the dynamic aspects of the new family, so that the traumatic experiences and ruptures of the members' relations can be reinterpreted from a more mature perspective.
Family therapy also has a recovery function, reconnecting its members, allowing the participants to see each other as an independent personality, not just through the family assigned role.
Reasons for deciding to start a family therapy with the constant presence of all its members may be related to changes and transitions in the life cycle of the family and times of crisis, such as:
- Children born
- Children in adolescence
- Divorce or death of parents
- Child upbringing & Child separation from the parental home
- Financial crisis
- Appearance of a chronic disease
- Job Transfer
- Immigration etc.
The family therapist by concluding a therapeutic alliance with the family creates an encouraging atmosphere in which members can give meaningful aspects of family life that have been lost and discover themselves all over again.