Systemic thinking is the base of my competence as a therapist. That means in the context of couples:
To understand that the inner worlds of both partners are influencing each other and to understand that there is an interaction between both worlds. To understand that always both partners are right and wrong at the same time, each looking from their own perspective.
I see myself obliged to a perspective of neutrality or being multipartial, striving to understand and listen without bias, trying to be empathic to both partners inner worlds, to not judge or decide about right or wrong. I understand my role as a facilitator in order to understand what is the couple’s dynamic about, what is the implicit or explicit contract underlying the relationship. I do not offer the one recipe. Instead, I do offer to be a curious, mindful, constructive guide through crises and conflicts.
Mindfulness as a mindset is part of my work as a therapist. Mindfulness means to focus on the here and now, to develop a deepened sense for the presence.
Additionally, I use body-oriented methods: sometimes all is said, repeatedly, and that can sometimes be exhausting. It can then be helpful to e.g. show via body positions how close or distant both feel, to display the distribution of power etc.
- 1st axiom of couple’s therapy: no two people really match.
- It follows: Every couple should separate, no couple is really compatible.
Instead, the real interesting question is: How does the couple deal with the fact that they might be incompatible in many ways? How do both partners come into state of minds so that they are able to deal with the diferences? How can both look at each other with the wish to understand? How can both reignite their curiosity about each other and their acceptance to take the other person as he/she is.
Another area of my work is to look at the couple’s skills for communication and conflict handling. Amongst other things, I am using a technique called “interaction-8” according to Halko Weiss: A typical conflict is analyzed with the aim of deepening the underlying dynamic of the conflict so that the question about who is to blame becomes obsolete.
Hypnotherapy is another approach ideally suited for couple’s therapy. Using humour, storytelling and unexpected perspectives in order to tap into unconscious resources are usually enriching the couple’s worlds.
Sexuality is another angle to look at: Exemplary questions can be:
What is each partner’s sexual profile, what is the sexual biography. I am using a technique called the “ideal sexual scenario” by Ulrich Clement, Mindfulness in sexuality, slow sex, disruption of auto-pilot behaviors, How to deal with jealousy, How to deal with infidelity, just to name a few topics connected to sexuality.