We’ll review. We’ll discuss how deeply to talk, and for how long (more than one session?)
What’s your current living situation? And with whom? What’s positive? Negative? About it?
How did you get together? What is the “purpose” of being together?
How was conflict handled, and resolved, in your family? In your own life?
What’s the ideal picture of what your life would look like 5? 10? years from now? Who’s in that picture with you?
For a more in-depth Counseling approach, see Couples Therapy
Some couples will embark on a 4 or 6 (sometimes more) session process which helps them understand how they got “here” and helps them decide together on the Next Steps of their relationship esp. Stay? or separate?
Your personal story is important to tell me: it’s where we start. It will orient us both for our work ahead. A Psychologist colleague describes below the crucial foundation that stories provide to us.
“The stories. . . matter, probably almost as much as the stories our parents tell us as children, because they orient us to what is, what could be, and what should be; to the worldviews they hold and to the values they hold sacred. Our brains evolved to “expect” stories with a particular structure, with protagonists and villains, a hill to be climbed or a battle to be fought. Our species existed for more than 100,000 years before the earliest signs of literacy, and another 5,000 years would pass before the majority of humans would know how to read and write.
Stories were the primary way our ancestors transmitted knowledge and values. Today we seek movies, novels and “news stories” that put the events of the day in a form that our brains evolved to find compelling and memorable. Children crave bedtime stories; the holy books of the three great monotheistic religions are written in parables; and as research in cognitive science has shown, lawyers whose closing arguments tell a story win jury trials against their legal adversaries who just lay out “the facts of the case.”
~ Drew Westin, Ph.D. excerpt from his New York Times Sunday Review 8.7.11 essay.