Monday, July 29, 2013

Real Intimacy, Real Growth (Part 1)

Couple A:

Anna and Alex would fight all the time. They came to therapy because they argued frequently and angered each other so much. They spent the first fifteen minuets of the first session telling the therapist what was wrong. The therapist quickly noticed just how negative they’d become. In an effort to change the energy level in the room the therapist asked, “What attracted you two to each other in the first place?” Alex answered with a description of Anna’s beauty. Anna smiled and said that Alex was very sensual. The therapist reading between the lines said, “So the sex is good.” 

“Yeah, it’s good,” Alex smiled. 

“It’s Great,” Anna corrected with a giggle. 

“What else works for your relationship,” the therapist probed for more strengths to build on. The couple could not list more positives about each other, but they brought up positives about themselves. Anna said she was very active; she worked full time, she was going back to school and had many friends. Alex enjoyed the outdoors and loved adventure sports. Alex was always trying new hobbies. Kayaking was Alex’s newest adventure. The couple was very outgoing and active but did not do a lot together, other than sex. It was nearly impossible for them to come up with any other positives about their relationship. Even when prompted to come up with positives they could not stop pointing out negatives. The therapist saw the startled look on Anna’s face when she realized how hard it was for them to say anything good about each other.

Anna and Alex were constantly on the move. They were very active. They were constantly challenging each other and correcting each other. Alex was always on the lookout for a new adventure. Anna was going back to school for the third time. They thrived on change. But this constant change was only for change’s sake. Even though this couple was changing they were not growing.

Bethany and Blaine were just the opposite of Anna and Alex...

Read their story next...

No confidentiality was breached in this article.
The stories in this essay are not actual clients, 
but composites from several clients,
cases I have supervised
and  people I have known personally.

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