Finding Leverage in Couples Therapy: Ask What They Want to Work On

Too often sessions focus on what the therapist thinks is important, and the couple are not with us. Instead, in The Doherty Approach, we ask both spouses what they want to accomplish in that very session and focus on that! Clients should have goals and we as therapists have much more leverage to deepen their goals and bring in related issues when we prioritize what they want to actually work on. Too many case consults involve being lost or frustrated when it turns out the therapist was trying to work on something the spouses weren’t highly motivated by or wishing to prioritize. Note: this does not mean just working on surface “content issues,” but rather on the underlying dynamics around what couples say they want to work on and change.

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