Psychoanalytic Therapy for Couples
High expectations in our close relationships
In our busy lives, we expect and need ever more support from those closest to us. As well as companionship and love, we expect our partners to respect us, to show loyalty and to help us overcome our problems. With such high expectations it's little wonder that we can end up feeling hurt, let down and even betrayed when things go wrong. It's very easy to apportion blame and to get into a destructive mind-set that stops us recovering from past grievances.
What happens in psychoanalytic therapy with couples?
One of the main purposes of therapy is to replace a cycle of negative thoughts with a deeper understanding of each other's personal story. It’s not an easy process, but when understanding rather than blame becomes the driving force in a relationship, it allows both sides to see the potential in it. Recognising and releasing that potential can trigger a healing process. For many couples this can be a profoundly intense experience, benefitting not just themselves but those close to them: children, friends and family. Our aim in therapy is to get to a point of mutual understanding through dialogue, so that issues which were once off limits are out in the open and no longer stifling the relationship, enabling you both to get on with the rest of your lives.
Psychotherapy or counselling?
The most important thing about both these approaches is that they depend on the honesty of each person in the relationship. Both types of therapy use conversation between partners to identify triggers for hurtful or destructive behaviour. This is the key to uncovering the potential of your relationship, tackling any issues, and helping you make decisions based on the future you want. In many ways the most important consideration in this kind of therapy is the openness and honesty between clients and their therapist, rather than the approach. This is also backed up by research studies.
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Melike Kayhan, Psychoanalyst, Psychotherapist, Couple and Family Therapist