As a couples counselor my work is profoundly rewarding. I love being the catalyst that reignites a spark between the partners I work with deepening their connection, love, intimacy, friendship, understanding and compassion for one another. The majority of the work I do is with couples. My work with couples is a reciprocal relationship, one in which my couples don’t even realize the benefit that I receive watching the magic unfold in the counseling room. In meeting couples for the first time I am educating them on not only the process but also the dance they have been doing. I share and explain to them what is happening or occurring in their relationship and why. They often listen intently with heads nodding as if I have been a fly on the wall for the majority of the time they have been together when the disconnection and distance started to slowly seep in. I get the process, I see the process and how it unfolds, and I see what creates and sustains it.
The reciprocity happens for me when I sit and watch couples communicate and connect after teaching them new tools and guidelines for communicating and connecting. As they share, open up and connect sometimes I see and hear myself in their words. As they share with one another they bring new awareness to my relationship, of course I don’t disclose that, but I can often find myself saying, “huh that is interesting that is exactly how I feel”. My work is a beautiful thing!
Through my work as a couple’s therapist I get to help two people connect with one another again. I love watching couples increase their emotional intimacy, willingness to share and be vulnerable with their partner. I get to spend my time helping people reconnect and rediscover one another no matter how long they’ve been together. I am honored and privileged to be a part of the deep intimacy that occurs in my therapy room between 2 people. Being just three or four feet away from people who are able to connect and share genuinely their fears, worries, hopes, dreams, desires and longings is not an experience most people get to witness. I am often touched as I watch things transpire and unfold in the room.
As our work gets underway, and I teach couples new ways of being and communicating, I can’t tell you the number of times that couples have said to one another, “I didn’t know that about you. I’ve never heard you say it that way, or I had no idea.” Watching this in session reminds me of the “Pina Colada Song”. If you’ve never heard the “Pina Colada Song” it describes perfectly what I get to watch evolve in couples counseling as I help couples communicate and re-connect in their relationship.
If you’ve never heard the lyrics I will give you the “Reader’s Digest” version. The song is about a couple who has fallen out of love and has gotten into the “same old mundane routine”, one that I am sure that many of us can relate to. The man in the relationship decides one night to look into the personal ads as his woman is sleeping by his side. He finds this captivating ad and is intrigued by it. He decides to respond to the ad without informing his partner. He writes a catchy ad back to this woman expressing the things that he is into. He tells her, “I need to meet you by tomorrow noon at a bar called O’Malley’s where we will plan our escape.”
So, he waits in anticipation of meeting this woman. As he walks into O’Malley’s, the bar, and looks around for this woman he sees and recognizes her instantly. He says, “I knew her smile in an instant and the curve of her face. It’s my own lovely lady and she said uh, it’s you. We laughed for a moment, and I said I never knew.” What happens in the song is that they reconnect on things that they never knew that one another enjoyed, things like drinking pina coladas, getting caught in the rain, drinking champagne, and making love on the dunes at the cape, . Ultimately what they were looking for was something that they had always had within each other.
I hear so many stories of couples who resemble the “Pina Colada Song”. They’ve been in their relationship long-term and have grown distant. They haven’t discovered ways to connect or reconnect. Many times couples try to insert solutions into their relationship in an attempt to circumvent the challenges they have. I tell couples it’s often not their fault because they don’t have the training, education, or knowledge on how to communicate deeply in a space where it’s safe to be exposed and vulnerable. I share with them that our work together is not about creating solutions but moving from the upstairs, our brain, to downstairs, our hearts. The process is about feelings, connection and love. When we deeply connect with ourselves, share and feel validated by our partner new “solutions” naturally arise between two people shifting and transforming the course of their relationship and lives. Just for fun, here is the song… Enjoy!