Couples therapy can help you improve your relationship by teaching you how to effectively communicate, solve problems together, understand what your shared values and interests are and how to accept and make room for differences. Using scientifically supported techniques, an NYC therapist can help you decrease conflict, resentment, and loneliness, while also cultivating intimacy, pleasure, excitement, and stability in your relationship. Improving your relationship satisfaction is something that takes work, but can often be done.
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Who Benefits from Couples Therapy in NYC?
I see two kinds of relationships in couples therapy. Many come in because of dissatisfaction. But a second group are very healthy, but are hoping to enhance existing strengths or work on a few minor issues to have an incredible relationship.
Couples in New York City face the same issues as those living elsewhere. With that said, the pace and demands of NYC often seem to exacerbate some relationship issues. The number of people in Manhattan add stress, temptation for infidelity, and challenge some to realize the one they are with is right, regardless of endless other possibilities. Here are some common issues and problems I see in couples therapy:
- Angry and resentful partner
- Depressed partner
- Anxious partner
- Constant arguments and fighting
- Low sex or no sex
- Waning chemistry
- Loss of trust
- Poor communication
- Emotionally cold or disconnected partner
- Inability to commit
- Constant blame
- Inability to forgive
- Discrepancies in values, interests, and lifestyles
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NYC Couples Therapy
NYC Couples don’t have time for couples counseling. New Yorkers are pressed to be productive every minute. Competitive careers, commutes, demanding exercise regiments, children, social scenes– there is no rest for the weary, much less time for marriage counseling.
Who has time to work on a relationship?
Many New York couples have come to my office, not because they have spare time, but because they’re scared if they don’t, their misery will get worse, their relationship will end, or they’ll end up staying in a very unhappy relationship for too long, or be stuck indefinitely.
My Approach to Couples Therapy in NYC
I immediately assess the strengths and weaknesses of the relationship, identify the current problems, historical patterns, and set goals for therapy. Then together, we begin the work of understanding the reason the problems exist, learn the skills necessary to solve these problems. The work is very collaborative. And I am very active in session by:
- Presenting models to illustrate how couples problems develop
- Providing concrete tools for couples to use outside of session
- Conducting exercises and using techniques in session to improve:
- emotion regulation skills
- problem solving
The couple will certainly be the ones practicing and doing the work, but I am active at providing structure and guidance, as well as validation and help each partner understand each other when necessary.
How much does couples therapy in NYC cost?
New York is by every account an expensive city. Couples therapy in NYC can cost anywhere from $125 to $400. Some insurance plans will reimburse couples for a portion of that or you may even be able to find a couples therapist who takes your in-network insurance. One advantage to the kind of couples therapy we offer is that our goal is to provide clients with skills as quickly as possible. So while more sessions could be helpful, our goal is to be as effective as possible, as quickly as possible. The last thing I want is for clients to become more stressed because of they are spending more money or time than they have.
Couples Therapy in NYC Isn’t For the Faint of Heart
People resist couples therapy for many reasons. The very nature of a romantic relationship conjures images and ideals that are in stark contrast to a those commonly associated with the scientifically trained clinician. You may ask yourself, “How can these practical, even mechanically sounding tools and techniques improve my capacity for love? And I’m supposed to share intimate details of my relationship with this clinically-minded stranger?” Some of our earliest memories of romantic relationships likely reflect those all too ideal versions only found in Disney movies or television series with a target audience consisting mainly of young teens. The plots found in these productions did not tend to feature characters faced with financial stressors, nighttime feedings, or waning sexual desire; these modern realities may be demanding something we weren’t expecting.
How to Start Couples Therapy in NYC
New York City couples can start couples therapy typically within the week. There are many couples therapists in NYC, so finding one soon is very likely. The key though is finding the right fit. Admittedly, sometimes that is more challenging for a couple than for an individual.
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Here are some tips to find a couples therapist in NYC:
1. Identify the relationship problems. Write down why each of you want to see a couples therapist. If only one of you really wants to go, and the other is only going for the sake of the other, write that down. You don’t have to share this with each other yet if that is going to cause a fight.
2. NYC Couples Therapist referral from a friend. Get recommendations from friends. If any of your friends have had good experiences that they have shared, follow up. Ask them to let you know if they are comfortable with you seeing the same person and ask for the couples therapist contact information.
3. Professional referral for couples therapy. Ask your physicians, or individual psychologist, clergy, or other professional for a recommendation to a marriage counselor or couples therapist.
4. Review the NYC couples therapist. Once you have at least two or three names, take a few minutes to read their bios. Pay attention to their approach. You may see terms like Behavioral Marital Therapy, Integrative Couple Therapy, Imago Therapy, Psychodynamic Therapy, or Eclectic. Make note of the kind of therapy the couples therapist does.
5. Call and ask questions. Contact the therapist and don’t be shy. Ask why they use the kind of therapy they do with couples. Ask them if they are familiar with the scientific support for that therapy, i.e., does it work for couples? And if you are comfortable, ask them how often they have treated the kind of issues you have. Don’t expect a free 30 minute session during the call, but whoever is answering the phone should be able to tell you about the kind of therapy they offer and maybe even point you to a website that explains the approach. If the person is defensive or seems threatened by these questions, you may want to consider someone else.
6. Schedule an initial session. I encourage people to be advocates for themselves when working with health professionals. That means asking any questions you have and recognizing that if it isn’t a fit, you can always stop going to sessions. I also recommend when it comes to therapy, that clients give it around four sessions before deciding (unless something occurs that is inappropriate or really uncomfortable). There needs to be a little time to build rapport and for the therapist to do enough assessment to really understand how best to help.