Psychotherapy for Couples

There is a cultural difference that weighs on couples from different backgrounds. These can affect how each person shares feelings and intimacy, handles money and child-rearing, or feels about future projects – purchasing a home, pursuing a career or returning to school, etc.

Difficulties for bi-national couples can be exacerbated by things that have nothing to do with the couple per se. Here in France, sometimes the partner who isn’t French has a hard time finding work in their field and/or has a language barrier. This makes the non-French partner feel more vulnerable and dependent, putting strain on the couple and creating resentment. A lot of the integration work of the non-French partner becomes the work of the couple together; such as finding friends who speak English or who are living through the same thing.

The goal of couples’ therapy sessions are to allow you to think together, show compassion for the other, and deepen your relationship while finding out how you can each pursue your goals and dreams.

The idea of “thinking together” isn’t clichéd. It’s a skill that helps you to hear each other in surprising ways, with the aim of developing curiosity in the creative pursuit of your evolving relationship. In other words, a relationship can feel rich and hopeful once again, because you don’t know each other as well as you think.

Each partner needs to feel that one can live a fruitful, meaningful life where they can make the best use of their skills. Most of the time, being in France is not an impediment to this, but it can put extra pressure on an unprepared binational couple.

The goal of any psychotherapy is to become more authentically one’s self, whether this is in a couple or individually. Ideally, a couple should support each partner’s growth at their own pace, and no one should feel pressure to change or behave just to avoid a split. Anxious people don’t learn to become confident overnight; silent people can’t be compelled to spill their feelings.

Coming to a few sessions of couple’s therapy may help to alleviate tension and get both of you back on each other’s’ sides once again.