By Nina Lei
I was recently watching one of my favorite shows, The Office, and (spoiler alert!) while it was somewhat disheartening to see that Jim and Pam are having marital issues, I was happy to see that they decided to try couples counseling to repair their relationship.
But it was portrayed in a way that continues and almost adds to the stigma of seeking marital therapy, which was really disappointing. When Jim asks Toby about couples counseling, Toby’s reaction is that once couples start counseling, their relationship is pretty much over. (Well, no one on the show cares what Toby thinks, but still..) As a therapist, it was very saddening, because this couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Couples counseling has helped to repair (and save!) countless relationships. Not only can counseling help to restore the connection between partners, but it can strengthen the relationship so that the bond is even better than it was before. Imago therapy, the form of couples counseling that is used at the offices of Dr. Michael DeMarco (www.mytherapist.info) has helped millions of couples improve their relationships with their significant others.
Jim and Pam try the theoretically good technique of consistently telling each other how much they appreciate each other. But it sounds forced and awkward. And may even sound stupid to viewers. While appreciating one another, and voicing that appreciation, is a way to reestablish the connection between partners, just saying the words is unlikely to help rebuild the relationship. Without getting too far in depth about Imago therapy, it is important to start by first listening to and understanding your partner and what he or she is saying. Then you can understand each other’s concerns and start to reestablish a connection from there.
On the show, Jim and Pam tell each other they appreciate each other, but it doesn’t seem to be working. First, as I mentioned before, that is of course not all that’s involved in couples counseling. Second, relationships aren’t repaired or strengthened overnight, just like a relationship doesn’t form and develop overnight. But for the people and things we value, there is no question that it is worth it to dedicate our time and efforts to them.
Contact one of our therapists today at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on how to get the love you want!
Feel free to follow me on Twitter @nina_mhc14 and email me at email@example.com.