We wait way too long to ask for help.
That growth we should have checked on two months ago has started leaking something nasty, and its just now that we're checking it out on WebMD.
You're seeing spots where just a few hours ago you had a headache you hoped would go away. It started as a stomach ache until you find yourself wrapped around your toilet regretting the suspicious oysters you took a chance on.
it started as just a few arguments, but now the fighting will never stop.
It's hard to find a therapist. How will you know that it will make a difference? How will you know that the therapy will be any good? Or that your therapist will understand you?
When should you seek help in the first place?
There's a simple answer to this question, I think. When do you know there's a problem with your body? Simple.
When it hurts.
Pain serves a purpose. It sucks. But it serves a purpose. It lets us know something is wrong. Listen to your pain. When should you get help for your relationship? For your marriage?
When it hurts.
Couples tend to know the difference between a cold and pneumonia. Most of the time, with a cold, you might swallow some throat lozenges, drink some NyQuil (or a few hot toddies) and wait it out. But at some point, when the cold doesn't go away, and when new symptoms develop, you start listening to the pain. You get help.
I have this dream that I would be able to see lots and lots of couples for three sessions or less, but that usually doesn't depend on how good I am.
There's nothing scientific about that number. It's just a hunch from what I experience from couples who are prevention-minded, who deal with the blister before it is a callous.
They get in quick, before the uncomfortable conflict (or silence) turns into business as usual, before the exception becomes the new and unfortunate rule.
Trying harder may not fix what needs to be changed by trying differently.
Couples know what it takes to change, they just don't know they know. And when they don't know that they know, they stay silent or hope things will change on their own. But they don't always. Sometimes, they need to know that something different is possible.
My job isn't to teach you new things. I teach my students, not my clients. In fact, I teach my students not to treat their clients like students, but that's a different story.
What usually resolves long-term distress is when couples experience each other differently, and when those new experiences become the new rule.
My job is to help you get out of your own way so that you can have new experiences by uncovering what you don't know that you know.
What would it be like if you could expect compassion? If you could expect romance? If you could expect empathy? If you could expect to be loved as you hoped you always would?
Possibility is my passion. That's why I love my job.