Why I'm A Couple Therapist

Couple therapy has been universally described as the most difficult form of counseling for therapists to do. No doubt there are many reasons for this sentiment. Often there is just so much invested on a successful outcome to therapy that emotions run deep and very raw for the couple; the therapist can’t help but be impacted by that intensity too. It’s good that therapists are impacted because experiencing those emotions with awareness keeps therapists grounded in the truths of that relationship. Those truths are often universal and the therapist can use experiences from her/his own life to remain connected with what the couple experiences.

In 2014 I decided to stop working with individuals and families and focus only on counseling couples. I could list several reasons (personal, philosophical, and practical) for why I made this decision.
Fundamentally, however, it’s because I realized just how greatly I enjoy the work and appreciate the vulnerability of my client couples. Furthermore, to continually improve my skill with couples takes time and focus. (See my continuing education hours.)

Couple therapy is different from individual and family therapy for many reasons: The unique intensity, the inherent and diverse issues of intimacy, and because two adults are simultaneously yearning for love,
confidence, and understanding. As a couple therapist, I help the individuals in the couple communicate their fears, hopes, and hurts in ways that reveal their tender hearts without attacking their partners; those are moments of deep intimacy and connection.

There are many reasons I only work with couples and here’s one other that’s more personal: Experiencing relationship as a source of joy is something I repeatedly work on in my own life. Everything I present to you in our couple sessions is something I am actively attending to. Our work together is never about unfounded theory; it reflects on my life too. --Doug