I have a large chair in the center of my office. I like it even though it is oversized and a little clunky. Everyday when I sit in that chair and attempt to play my part in the lives of my clients, I am reminded of why I sit there: my divorce. My divorce changed my life. Gradually, the course of my life changed as a result of the disruption my divorce caused me and my two children. I learned through my own experience how vital our close, intimate relationships are in our lives. I learned that when our relationships work, so do we. When they don't work. we don't either. At least not optimally. So, as my life transitioned from my divorce, so did my career. I had a lot of help along the way and I had a lot of therapy. I lived first hand how therapy can help and indeed be transformative for people. So, here I sit in my chair each day and attempt to help couples find their way through their lives......together. I see my work with couples to be my contribution to making a better world. For when our relationships work, so do we. And imagine if every relationship worked optimally, what an enormous impact that might have on people, on children, on families, on society.
Those times when couples realize that their differences, rather than being what drives them apart, are actually strengths that can bring them together. It is then they find their differences offer the best and most lasting pathway to understanding.
In 19 years, I've worked with a lot of couples. There are two kinds of relationships I seem to with the most. One is the relationship in which their is a transition occurring. The transition could be a result of a lot of factors such as a job or career change, children entering school for the first time, entering high school or leaving home. The other kind of relationship are ones in which one of the partners has been discovered or has disclosed having an affair.
I prefer to speak with one or both partners by phone prior to setting an appointment. I try to allow for about 20 minutes for these calls, this way both the prospective client and myself can gauge fit. Not only whether our schedules fit but also whether they feel comfortable with me and I am comfortable as to whether I can meet their needs. Then based on the call, I craft an email to both partners in which I include paperwork I require but also some concepts to consider and homework to complete specific to them, prior to their first session. Generally, the first appointment takes place about a week after the initial screening call. By approaching the first appointment in this way, I have found that therapy can and often does begin right away in the first session.