There are moments in a relationship in which there are problems with jealousy, infidelity, codependency, low self-esteem. When the conflict exceeds other areas of a person’s life and becomes a situation that negatively influences work or school, it is when they usually go to different types of couples therapy.
“Many couples take therapy because they are confused, they do not know whether to continue the relationship or end it. In some cases, I have even received patients determined to break their ties, but they do not know how to express it to the other person or how much it will impact their children, ”he explains with Paulina Lopez from R&A Psychologists, who has a master’s degree in psychology from the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM).
It is increasingly common for couples who have been dating for months and who still do not live together decide to go to therapy, which is good, says the specialist, because it works preventively.
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Paulina López explains that emotional and mental well-being is individual. “The first goal in therapy is individual well-being. I can’t be good with another person if I don’t feel good about myself first ”.
Another fundamental point is communication. Do not talk to speak but express to the other person in an assertive way what you want and feel.
That there are no attacks, assumptions or that they are on the defensive. Knowing how to listen implies paying attention to what the other person says and not being predisposed to make excuses.
“Part of it is the negotiation: in therapy we work talking and expressing ourselves yes, but also reaching an agreement ”.
The confidence, It is closely associated with whether there was any infidelity, but it also has to do with trusting that if you have to take care of the child, supervise that they do the activities or that the finances of the house are carried out properly, he explains.
The sexuality it is another of the subjects that are touched in therapy. “It is one of the most important aspects in a relationship. and on many occasions it can be affected for various reasons such as having been in a relationship for many years, because the children arrived, because of worries, stress ”.
There are feminist, contextual therapies, but, Paulina López from R&A Psicólogos, proposes, so that there is no confusion, in addition to the fact that there are unregulated or supported alternatives, to talk about the theoretical approaches that exist in psychology and in which there is consensus among psychologists:
It is based on evidence and studies in which the patient is detecting which are the emotions and thoughts that are not leading him to an ideal behavior and how, by receiving tools in therapy, he can modify more effective, objective and rational thoughts and emotions starting a new learning.
It is a more specific and intense process that focuses on observation.
In this therapy, patients will become aware of unconscious issues, in past experiences and will see how much childhood and the interaction with their nuclear family could affect their relationship, or how much a person projects their fears and insecurities on the other person .
The therapist sees everything as a system. In the question of the couple, it is detected what is not working and what impact it is having on the other systems, both of the person and of the couple.
It helps to develop new modes of interaction in the couple’s relationship from these systems.
The main tool for change is the therapeutic relationship. It is very based on the here and now. Work on the emotional issue and on seeing the patient as a human.
It is a very empathic therapy so that the patient can open up, in such a way that changes are generated.
Rational Emotional Behavioral
It is based on guiding the patient to work on which are the irrational beliefs that are affecting him in his personal life as well as in that of a couple, on assumptions that do not allow the relationship to progress and will be changed by more adaptive ideas that help him to reach agreements, not to have so many discussions.
It is not properly a theoretical approach, but given that many of the conflicts may be due to sexual problems, it is an aspect that is worked on.
It can be both individual and couple. They are addressed from very simple issues such as concerns, not knowing how to approach the other person because there is an emotional distancing that affects the couple because children arrived, for work, to bodily issues such as dysfunction.
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Therapist Jaime Lugo comments that there are moments in life that represent a sentimental breaking point that call the person to rethink the schemes under which they have lived.
From his perspective, when a crisis occurs is when it becomes necessary to review concepts such as trust, patience, hope, faith, everything that is not given an important value, but that are vital for existence.
“We are creating a shadow from childhood that is full of parts of our personality that we believe is useless and that we had to throw away, such as my joy, because since I was little the adults who lived in bitterness in my environment did not allow me to be so, but later all those things that we had to put aside to look good, in adulthood we have to rescue them ”.
It has become fashionable that attachment is bad, but the specialist indicates that it is inherent to the human being.
“Attachment is natural, if we do not have attachment to anything or anyone, it would be as if we had been programmed as robots with artificial intelligence. People think that the key to not suffering is to remove all attachments and it seems to me that this is not the case, it is about eliminating harmful attachments that do not build, which are codependency ”.
And he exemplifies with questions that he has heard frequently in his office:
“Why don’t they love me? Why do I put all the meaning of my life in what this person says or does to me? Why can’t I make him love me the way I want? Why is he cheating on me? Why does he not care about me? Why do I have to become someone else that I am not in order to be with my partner? “
He adds that this search has to do with that narcissistic wound that we all have and that it goes straight to finding my “I am”.
When we are in a relationship, it is the ideal breeding ground to realize how they saw us since we were little, how they loved us, how they taught us to love, how our parents taught us when it was good or bad according to what I did.
The therapist indicates that 98% of the cases that come to the office are due to relationship problems, conflicts that start from the mother and father.
But beyond a couples therapy, Lugo considers that it is more important to start with an individual therapeutic process.
Since it is from the individual discomfort and the perception of “something is not right” that changes can be made and that is a personal exercise, later, it is analyzed if the process converges to work together.
Jaime Lugo talks that it is an approach to the human being with a holistic perspective.
Understanding that before others we assume characters or masks, if we go further we can find forces, energies, invisible emotions that move us. It opens up to something spiritual, to recovering the concept of the soul.
This proposal is far from traditional approaches because conflict is not seen as a pathology.
We work on the unconscious, the archetypes, aspects that are not visible, but that move us and it is a complex, a reflection, an impulse that becomes visible through a word or behavior.
“Life is to realize how we have been deformed (sometimes), restore ourselves and live a fuller life but through taking away those things that we are not, that made us believe that we were.”