Therapy experiences and their importance.
Therapy is a process that involves seeking professional help to address and resolve personal issues, emotional struggles, and mental health challenges. It provides individuals with a safe and supportive space to explore their thoughts, feelings, and behaviors, and work towards personal growth and healing.
Many individuals reach a point in their lives where they question whether they have achieved all they set out to do and if they feel fulfilled. This feeling of stagnation or dissatisfaction is common during midlife, prompting individuals to reassess what is working for them and what is not. Therapy is a means to reclaim one’s time, energy, and joy, and make the most out of the second half of life.
Rob Giltner, shares his own experience with therapy. Rob reveals that his first encounter with therapy was forced upon him by his parents when he was around 10 to 12 years old. While the details are hazy, he acknowledges that his early therapy experiences were not positive. This negative experience has led him to develop a pet peeve when clients share their own negative experiences with therapy. He emphasizes the importance of finding the right fit with a therapist and encourages clients to seek a new therapist if they are not comfortable or satisfied with their current one.
The conversation then delves into the role of parents in determining whether a child needs therapy. Both Megan and Rob agree that parents might not force their children into therapy unless there are clear signs of negative behavior or emotional struggles. They emphasize the importance of open communication and support within the family, as parents can often play a significant role in addressing their child’s issues without the need for professional intervention.
Rob also highlights the privilege of being surrounded by therapists in his professional life. He mentions the benefit of having supervisors who are therapists, as they provide guidance and support that can be personally transformative. Additionally, he acknowledges the therapeutic nature of the relationships within their own therapy center, where compassion, honesty, and authenticity are valued. The creation of a positive and supportive environment among therapists contributes to their overall well-being and enhances the quality of care they provide to their clients.
Communication and compromise in relationships.
We know the importance of finding a therapist who is helpful and supportive. Rob shares that he eventually found a therapist who was beneficial to him, but he only sees them sparingly. He also mentions the positive influence of being around the mindfulness center, which rubs off on him and provides additional support.
There is great importance in having a support system during challenging seasons of life. Seeking premarital therapy before getting married, can help couples navigate potential issues and strengthen their relationship. Megan discusses libido in relationships. They share a story they heard about a priest telling a wife that she should have sex whenever her husband wants, due to his higher libido. This story horrifies them, and they express their disagreement with such a perspective. They then delve into a discussion about how to navigate differences in libido within a relationship.
They highlight the importance of open communication and being able to talk about difficult topics such as libido. They acknowledge that discussing sex can sometimes be taboo in relationships, but it is crucial to address these issues. They mention the need for both partners to be able to share their needs and wants, while also being open to accepting their partner’s influence. They emphasize the importance of teamwork and compromise in finding solutions that work for both individuals in the relationship.
Sexual intimacy changes over time.
Sexual intimacy is a crucial aspect of any romantic relationship, but it is not static and unchanging. Sexual intimacy changes over time. Megan and Rob discuss the normalcy of couples having different libidos, as they are two separate individuals with different experiences and needs. It is natural for sexual intimacy to evolve and shift as the relationship progresses and as individuals go through different stages of life.
They mention that early on in a relationship, couples tend to be more sexually intimate. This can be attributed to the excitement and curiosity that comes with a new partnership. There is a dopamine rush and a sense of investment in getting to know each other. Megan and Rob emphasize the importance of curiosity in a relationship, as it fosters exploration and the creation of shared meaning. Trying new things and stepping out of one’s comfort zone together can strengthen the bond between partners.
However, as time goes on and life’s stressors and responsibilities increase, sexual intimacy may change. They mention factors such as having children or work demands that can shift the focus away from sexual intimacy. Stress can affect performance, and the need for safety and emotional vulnerability can also impact a couple’s ability to be sexually intimate. They describe sexual intimacy as fragile, vulnerable, and delicate, requiring caution and care.
It is important to note that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to a healthy sex life in a relationship. What works for one couple may not work for another. They caution against comparing oneself to societal expectations or rigid standards set by popular culture. They stress the need for couples to define their own normalcy and determine what constitutes a healthy sex life for their specific relationship. This requires open and honest communication between partners.
Discussing sex can be challenging and uncomfortable for many couples. However, they highlight the value of being open and honest with each other, especially for therapists who understand the importance of addressing sexual intimacy in relationships. They emphasize that the brain is the largest sex organ, and how individuals think and feel about sex can greatly impact their sexual experiences. Hormonal changes, such as menopause or aging, can also affect sexual intimacy.
Couples therapy for healing and growth.
Couples therapy is a valuable tool for healing and growth within relationships. The work that is involved in couples therapy and the benefits that can be gained from it are huge. There are many accomplishments that can be achieved through couples therapy, it is not a one-size-fits-all approach and may not be suitable for every couple.
Some couples may only need therapy for maintenance purposes, where they can discuss their concerns and leave with clarity. However, the focus of this particular therapy is on couples who have experienced significant loss, struggle with communication, or feel disconnected from each other. This therapy aims to help couples reconnect, repair their relationship, and heal from past wounds.
Couples therapy is collaborative in nature. The therapist works closely with the couple to develop a plan that aligns with their specific needs and goals. This collaborative approach ensures that the therapy is tailored to the couple’s unique circumstances and challenges.
Just as one exercises their body at the gym, couples are encouraged to practice their communication skills and relationship-building exercises outside of therapy. This practice helps to reinforce the skills learned in therapy and allows couples to make progress in their relationship.
Accountability is another important aspect of couples therapy. Some couples may need external accountability to stay on track with their goals and commitments. The therapist provides this accountability and helps the couple set measurable goals to track their progress. If the goals are not being met, the therapist helps the couple explore the reasons behind it and find alternative approaches.
While the work involved in couples therapy may sound stern and rigid, the therapist assures that it is also soft, comforting, and healing. The therapy incorporates art, music, metaphor, and other creative approaches to make the process more engaging and effective. The therapist places a strong emphasis on creating a comfortable and safe environment for all participants, ensuring that everyone feels heard, seen, respected, and loved.