self-absorbed partners

Losing Direction: With Narcissistic or Demanding Partners

Direction-imageIt is awfully easy to lose direction when working with narcissistic partners in couples therapy. They bring a dominant energy into the session and often make demands on you as well as their partners. They may have a loudly articulated direction they want you to go. My husband Pete likes to say, “they need what they don’t want and want what they don’t need – and don’t know the difference.”… Read more...

Update on Couples Conference 2015

self-absorbed_man_225This year’s Couples Conference has come and gone. Happily, it turned out to be another dynamic meeting filled with therapists from many countries as well as those from the United States. This year I conducted a workshop on self-absorbed partners with Sue Diamond-Potts. Sue is my assistant in the online training program and she also specializes in addiction work. We explored the problems created in marriage or committed partnerships by self-absorbed partners.… Read more...

Creating Intrapsychic Change in Self-Absorbed Partners

two blue chairs_225 In my previous blog, I started showing you the elegance of using Gestalt two-chair work to transform self-absorbed parts of your clients. With self-absorbed partners, it’s important to recognize that self-absorption is an intrapsychic problem and that you will want to focus intrapsychically in many sessions.… Read more...

Intrapsychic Impasses with Self-Absorbed Partners

leopard silhouette_225We’ve been on a journey together exploring the external behavior of self-absorbed partners. And although they often mislead therapists with detours and distractions, we’ve stayed focused on understanding their behavior and why they often challenge their spouses and their therapists.… Read more...

The Self-Absorbed Partner, Video Two

Click here to better understand the many challenges self-absorbed partners create for couples therapists.… Read more...

The Self-Absorbed Partner, Video One

Click below to watch this video about the troublesome traits of the self-absorbed partner.… Read more...

The Self-Absorbed Partner

charts and graphs of salesA very big thanks to you if you filled out my survey on the Self-Absorbed Partner. I must have hit a nerve because nearly 200 readers answered the questions.… Read more...

A Glossary of Terms that are sometimes Confusing

Couples Therapy is a counseling procedure that seeks to improve the adjustment of two people who have created an interdependent relationship. There are no standard procedures to help two people improve their adjustments to each other. Generally, a more experienced therapist will offer more perspectives and tools to a couple. Length of treatment will depend on severity of problems, motivation and skills of the therapist. A couple can be dating, living together, married or separating and may be gay, lesbian or heterosexual.

Marriage Therapy is a term often used interchangeably with marriage counseling. The term marriage implies two people have created a union sanctioned by a government or religious institution. The methods used in marriage counseling, marriage therapy and couples therapy are interchangeable and depend more on the specific challenges of each unique couple.

Psychotherapy is one or more processes to help improve psychological and emotional functioning. Examples are psychoanalysis, cognitive therapy, behavior therapy, Gestalt therapy, Transactional Analysis, Rational-Emotive therapy, or group therapy. Many forms of psychotherapy are blends of different approaches. For example, newer forms of psychotherapy called energy psychology draw upon recent advances in brain and neuroscience. These approaches often build on cognitive behavioral methods.

Clinical Psychologist. After graduating from college, it usually takes about five years of graduate school to get a Ph.D. in Psycholgy. It then requires an additional two years of supervision and passing a written (and often) an oral exam. There are a few states that allow psychologists to prescribe medications (with additional training) but that is uncommon.

Psychiatrist. After graduation from medical school, there is a generally a 4-year psychiatric residency. After the completion of this training, psychiatrists must pass an exam issued by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology to obtain certification and legally practice in the field. Psychiatrists can prescribe medications.

Clinical Social Worker. This profession usually requires two years of study after obtaining an undergraduate degree. While specific licensure requirements vary by state, most require clinical social workers to obtain 3,000 hours or 2 years of supervised clinical experience, after obtaining a Masters degree. Social workers can also specialize in diverse fields such as human services management, social welfare analysis, community organizing, social and community development, and social and political research.

Marriage and Family Therapist. Obtaining this license requires a Masters degree which takes approximately two years of post graduate study. The license also requires 3000 hours of supervised work and passing written exams.

The Couples Institute. We have assembled a group of top notch therapists at The Couples Institute. Whatever marriage help or marriage advice you are looking for, we are here to serve you. While most other therapists see only a few couples a week, we specialize in marriage and couples relationships, working to develop and bring you the most current and effective approaches to couples therapy. For more information about couples therapy or marriage counseling, see our couples therapy section.