Proper communication and conflict resolution are helpful to the relationship but to create a happy relationship there must be a developed sense of positive feelings toward each person in the relationship and this comes about by the words and actions that build and develop a close and trusting friendship (Gottman, John; Silver, Nan (1999). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work. Crown Publishers imprint (Three Rivers Press).
The Process of Therapy
The chance for a relationship to exist
Working with relationships is different from working with individuals in that the defined patient is neither of the partners instead it is the relationship itself. A relationship is an entity of its own. True, a relationship is a result of two people coming together but it is not two separate people who make a relationship. Rather, the relationship is made up of the togetherness of the two people. It is the way the two people approach a relationship that makes it. If either of the partners attempts a relationship for the purpose of “what can it do for me?” then there is no relationship rather two separate individuals coming together. For a successful relationship two separate people must come together for the purpose of “what can I do for the relationship?”. Only then can the entity called “Relationship” have a chance to exist.
The type of relationship a person has is often dependent on the relationship model they have experienced in their lifetime. The influence has come from the home, community, media, and so on. It is impossible to create something out of nothing therefore, people are usually relying on what they have learned either consciously or unconsciously about themselves, others, and relationships. Therapy will help you understand how those influences have been affecting your relationship.
The need for individual work as a couple
Sometimes there is a need for individual work in therapy usually best done together with both partners in session. In this way they learn each-other, so to speak. Many relationships get stuck because the individual partners have not learned how to see the other in an open, validating, and accepting manner rather through their own perspective. When someone sees another through their own understanding and interpretation of how things “should be” it makes it difficult to see the other person because they are only being seen in relation to something.
Children are good at seeing and accepting other children. The reason for this is a child is open and needs to be filled with new things. This is how their personality is created. However, once a personality has become formed new things are often looked at askance which causes judgment and a feeling of wanting to “change that thing” to make it more palatable for me. The recipe for successful relationships is to be willing to learn about the other person, to accept them and embrace them for who they are, to appreciate and respect them for who they are. Alternatively, wanting to change someone breeds disdain, the opposite of respect, which leads to a breakdown in the relationship. This is difficult to repair. Therapy is the safe place for both partners to explore these issues, realize them, understand them and each other, and become devoted to the relationship.
The need for individual work separately
Even though it is most important that the couple work together and learn about each other there are occasional situations in which either or both partners may need to be seen separately as individuals in order for therapy to succeed and the relationship to develop.
I will meet with the couple for a short telephone conversation to get a basic idea of the situation, and then we will arrange a time to meet for a session usually 50 minutes. During that time we will attempt to come to an understanding of your specific situation and how it involves both of you. This may require more than one session. After we have achieved clarity as to your situation we will establish long and short term goals for your relationship based on what you and your partner want to achieve.
What can I expect from therapy?
Therapy begins the moment you meet with the therapist. It is important for the therapist to observe your interactions together. Usually the behavior in session is a reflection of the behavior in general between the partners. I will be aware of this behavior and I will be pointing it out to you as the therapy process progresses. We will also be opening up new pathways of communication, understanding, and respect for the relationship and towards each other. Relationship problems will be discussed. There will be rules and guidelines concerning the couple’s behavior in and between sessions to make sure destructive patterns are not repeated. Assignments will be given to continue the work at home in between sessions.
How can we improve our chances of success?
The best way to improve your chances of success is to realize that there is work that needs to be done and each of the partners is responsible to do their own work. Success in therapy is hindered when either of the partners feels the other is the one who needs to change. There are situations in which one might need to put more effort in a certain area than the other or one may need more work in one area while the other in a different area. This will become clear in therapy.
Is therapy a good choice for me?
In general, if people are looking into options because they are not happy with the status quo then therapy is a good choice for them. Sometimes it is not clear what type of therapy or what actions are necessary until therapy has begun. During the process of therapy relationship or individual needs and preferences may change.
What type of therapy do you offer?
I offer therapy based on Family Systems and Mindfulness. I may use Coaching or NLP techniques if necessary to help move the process along. Spirituality can be an important aspect for those who feel connected with it. The main thing is being attentive to the needs of the relationship and the individual partners that have come to therapy so techniques can be applied appropriately.
Family Systems is an evidence based therapy that looks at the various parts of the system and attempts to discover how each part influences the entire system. Once this is ascertained it is possible to use this understanding to create healthy and timely changes in the entire system through relationship awareness and conscientiousness.
Mindfulness is being mindful. Various techniques are used to develop an awareness of the here-and-now. It teaches you to live in the present, to be aware of the present, to appreciate the present, and to use the present to its fullest. Once a person can live in the present, he or she no longer needs to live in guilt about the past or worry about the future. You can plan for the future but you don’t need to worry. Moving forward and living life requires living in the present. Guilt and worry create muck and gunk which is difficult to move through.
Relationship Mindfulness helps the partners become aware of the present aspects of the relationship, and they learn to appreciate the beautiful, loving, respectful aspects of the relationship instead of focusing on the things that get them into trouble and don’t build the relationship.
Coaching uses several techniques to motivate and encourage, placing the focus on accomplishments and progress. These methods are helpful once a person has been able to remove himself from the muck and gunk of past experiences and old baggage making it easier for them to move forward towards achieving their goals.
NLP is a method of reframing old limiting beliefs about self and life which can often keep us stuck in a recycling pattern of destructive or fruitless behaviors. Once these beliefs have been reframed positive changes begin to take place.
Spirituality can be the exploration of how religious or spiritual concepts can be an important part of the relationship and behavior between the two partners in any given situation. It is important to understand that since this doesn’t suit everyone it is not explored with everyone in therapy. It will only be explored if the couple feels connected to it only then can it be beneficial. There are also spiritual concepts and aspects of therapy that are not connected to religion specifically.
Sessions are held in person either in Jerusalem or Rehovot. I will also meet people through video call or telephone call if it is difficult to meet in person. The preference is to meet in person for therapy because it allows for a quicker and clearer connection between client and therapist but video call therapy is becoming increasingly popular and can be very effective especially in cases where it is difficult for the client to make it to session. It is possible to meet by telephone if there is no video connection albeit the therapeutic relationship will be different.
For initial free telephone consultation contact Gavriel.