Nina Volontey

Psychologist / Gestalt-therapist / International mediator

Couple Therapy

Couple Therapy

Basics of working with couples

“Here we are, doctor, solve our problems!” – that’s what I was thinking when I came with my husband to a family consultation a couple (no pun intended) years ago. And now I understand that I had a dream not perceived enough, speaking more correctly, I was absolutely confident that the psychologist will be on my side. The dream didn’t come true, and today I want to tell you about “family consultations”, what it is and what it is not.

General rules

So, you and your partner decided you have to see a specialist about your family problems. What can you expect from family consultations, what rules is it based on?

  1. First of all, each side attends a consultations on its own will and therefore always has a right to leave. If one of the partners is not interested in solving a problem this way and comes unwillingly, this can make the process inefficient. If you are interested in therapy and your partner refuses, perhaps, going for personal therapy will be a better option.
  2. The psychologist respects the right of both sides to defend their interests and tries to support both sides equally. Thus, if you wish someone would take a look from another side and decide who is guilty and who is not, you better go to a court of law. In family consultations, the point of psychologist is not to look for the guilty ones, but to find ways of more efficient interaction between partners. And if you think your partner is not on your side, it is very important to tell a psychologist.

Sometimes, to keep the balance of support, the psychologist works together with a colleague.

  1. When you come to a consultation, you should keep in mind that you’ll have to make decisions on your own anyway. The psychologist won’t advise you what to do, his task is to help both partners take a look at the situation more completely and see the problems with each other’s eyes.
  2. The psychologist really needs your cooperation. Well, the thing that is absolutely clear is that you have to work a lot.

What is it for?

Why should I go to a psychologist, if I have to work on my own anyway?

What’s the profit of this consultations, which also costs considerable amount of money?

  1. The main goal of a psychologist is to help partners establish contact. That is, supporting both sides equally, helping you hear each other. He/she will make sure to create environment in which you could say what you want. Maybe, your and your partner’s needs will turn out to be different. But when people hear and accept each other is when warmth comes back in relationship and ability to make a compromise appears.
  2. The psychologist helps you find your real needs and feelings. Because mostly family problems come out of expectations – to a partner and self. And it’s not always that these expectations are based on needs. I.e. they can come from a parent family or raising and surroundings. Or you may not fit your own concept of a “good husband” or a “good wife”. Understanding what you really need, you gain an opportunity to tell the partner your real needs or change your self-attitude.
  3. The other goal of a psychologist is to show you inefficient ways of communicating. How you may not fulfill your need. It is important to state your needs the way that doesn’t hurt your partner. And this can be taught in a safe and trusty environment a psychologist can provide.

Generally, if you decided to come to a psychologist together, be ready to the fact that a large part of result will depend on you, your motivation, patience and aspiration to hear each other. And if you’re ready to overcome your problems and mutual dissatisfaction but ran out of your own ways to solve it, attending a family consultations can be a great way out.

Written by Nina Volontey
Written in collaboration with Alexandra Strigunkova.

Close Menu