Jim Tauber and Laura Newman

Jim Tauber & Laura Newman

Couples Co-Therapy

With two therapists in the room, a unique and balanced dynamic emerges….ensuring support for everyone

Therapy with couples as co-therapists is a dynamic way of working in the here and now.  By collaborating on modeling a creative and loving partnership, our goal is to nurture safety and security.  We reflect with the couple by turning toward each other and commenting on what we notice. The dynamic between us is attended to and made explicit, thereby modeling awareness, attentiveness, and attunement. Just because a couple is expressing their feelings does not mean they are really understanding each other.  Our feedback to the couple creates an opportunity for everyone to examine values around mutuality, fairness, sensitivity, protection, and care. 

We work with couples in all stages of relationship including, but not limited to, early stages of coupling, partnerships, marriages, and divorces.  Our work is creative, dynamic, and playful.  We provide a safe environment while guiding our clients toward good fighting and letting go of the idea of right and wrong.  We demonstrate how disagreement can be palatable.  

We get curious about how couples work together, nurture connection, and reach agreementsWe explore intimacy, physical affection or the obstacles to them.  We look at rigidity and flexibility, tension, yearnings, what is working and what is not working.

We help couples differentiate between patterns and themes, comfort and discomfort, what is hoped for and what is entrenched. Couples are usually doing the best they can which is why we take a ‘no fault’ approach.  When couples understand how to care for each other, they feel better.  

A relationship is like a long conversation.

OUR PRACTICE 

New realities can be created for partners & families when there is awareness and acknowledgement of what is really happening. Partners bring with them a snapshot of how they think the family should look.  We inquire into how expectations may not be congruent with reality, how integration may be stalled, and how we can support a new outlook.  We make explicit the effect individuals are having on each other.

We actively question what supports ‘keeping the conflict’.  While acknowledging how messy relationships can be, we encourage getting messy together. We believe everything in a relationship is a shared responsibility.

Unresolved conflict is anxiety producing and erodes the health of any relationship.  We help couples repair rhythms and resources. Polarizing differences in the ways partners connect may undermine their bond and trigger old fears, hurt and anger. We remind couples that shutting down is an abandonment of the other.  We also support the idea that you can be different and still be deeply connected.

When couples unpack their different styles of being close (or far), they can acknowledge different styles of connecting. We encourage mindfulness of partner flooding, withdrawal and aggression in session, and each other’s defenses. We help couples identify the old wounds that affect current responses.

We want couples to see the different possibilities in their communication styles by accepting the differences in who they are…

 

Press & Testimonials

PACT NEWSLETTER 

Stan Tatkin's Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy

“We have found that couples, more often than not, will put off initiating a discussion about the betrayal that has brought them into therapy – even if they divulged this during a pre-session phone conversation.  The fear around confrontation may be intolerable, therefore it is a reasonable protective mechanism. While we empathize with this instinct towards safety, our position rallies us to bring the betrayal into the light.  Undoubtedly, either or both clients will be dysregulated by the exposure– otherwise they would have worked this out on their own.  Yet it is precisely this dysregulated relational moment when we can slow things down, unpack feelings, and explore thoughts. Within the difficult discussion of the betrayal lies the possibility to move through it.  We are the compass they need in the eye of the storm.”