Teaching Couples To Be Allies

Long before a couple comes to a counselor seeking support, they come to one another seeking support. Without always realizing it, one of the reasons we enter into romantic partnerships in the first place, is to create relationships where we can heal our pasts. Our unconscious, intuitive attempts to heal our pasts lead us into the biggest conflicts in our partnerships.

As a couples counselor, the most powerful thing you can do for the couples you work with is to teach them to be allies for one another. When people in couples become aware that they’re trying to get help from one another in healing, conflicts can be transformed into healing opportunities. Couples counseling alone is not enough to make this happen, as couples spend far more time with each other than they do with a counselor. That’s why you want to teach them to be each other’s allies even when you’re not around.

About the Author

Steve Bearman, Ph.D., earned his doctorate in Psychology from the University of California, Santa Cruz. He founded Interchange Counseling Institute in 2002 and is the lead teacher of Interchange's San Francisco-based year-long counseling and coaching training. When he's not counseling people, leading workshops, and advocating for social justice, Steve climbs mountains, adventures in the urban wilderness, explores the edges and limits of what's possible, deconstructs everything, and finds new ways to put it all back together.