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While each couple is unique and there is no average number of sessions, we ask that couples make a commitment of doing at least 16 weekly sessions. All sessions are 90 minutes long. When working with couples, the session should be long enough for each person to be able to express themselves and listen to the other partner. Couples therapy sessions are typically longer than individual sessions. We find that 50 minutes is long enough to open "Pandora's Box" but not long enough to close it. You will be amazed at how much more can be accomplished with an extra 40 minutes in a session.
The therapy begins with a 3-step assessment process where the clinician completes an individual assessment of each partner, and an assessment of the couple. This assessment provides the foundation or road map for your therapeutic journey. The goal of our work is not to make couples "therapy-dependent." Rather, we attempt to provide couples with the skills and tools they will need to become competent and connected in their daily lives, and we offer the clinical intervention necessary to assist couples toward achieving that goal.
Yes. There are several excellent tools in both book and CD format that we strongly encourage people look into as part the treatment. It isn't required that you use these materials, but many of our clients find them helpful, especially as a supplement to the work done in couples therapy.
Sometimes individual therapy is indicated for one or both parties involved in couples therapy. If that should happen, your therapist will assist you in getting matched with an appropriate therapist for the individual treatment. For clients of Marathon Therapy who do not live in Western Massachusetts, we can assist in providing more general guidance for locating an appropriate individual therapist in your local area.
It is not uncommon for one partner to be more hesitant to participate in couples therapy then the other. Partners often begin treatment in very different places emotionally. While it is not required that you bring an equal level of motivation to the process, it is important that your partner make the decision to come themselves. Research shows that the level of crisis a couple is in when the begin couples therapy is not predictive of whether or not the relationship will dissolve. It is not uncommon for couples to find that the distrust and ambivalence that currently exists between them changes and heals as the work progresses.
Absolutely! Couples therapy is not just for relationships in distress, and it is unfortunate that our culture often views it as such. Working with a couples therapist is a way to promote a healthy relationship, and to learn to be proactive in cultivating relational skills that will allow you to thrive as a couple. This is a fantastic way to embark on a lifetime of relational health that will not only benefit you but your family and society at large.
No. While we me may meet with you each individually on rare occasions as a supplement to the therapy, we do not provide individual therapy. At NCCT we believe that part of what allows us to offer exceptional couples therapy is the fact that we devote ourselves to it and practice it exclusively. Likewise, we never recommend individuals see the same therapist for both individual and couples therapy if they are receiving treatment elsewhere.