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Top 6 Questions Fielded in Couples Therapy – By a Couples Therapist

Kali Purnell, MSW, LSW
Insight Clinical Counseling and Wellness

  1. Do you enjoy couples work?
  2. Why do you work with couples? I love getting this question from couples! While I enjoy working with a variety of people, I enjoy working with couples and look forward to it. Couples work is rewarding and challenging. I like learning people’s background and connecting how their background influences current behaviors within their relationship. I like developing trust with couples and witnessing couples find connection, love and friendship again.

  3. What do sessions look like? Is there a structure?
  4. I do my very best to tailor all services uniquely to each couple. Generally speaking, sessions last about an hour. The first we will meet together and I will ask about a bunch of questions about your relationship and current state of your life. Then we will schedule two sessions where I meet with each of you individually. This is unique to each couple. It might be a full session or a half an hour with each person. These sessions give me an opportunity to learn more about you as an individual and your own perspective on your relationship and life. After that, we will meet together and dive into learning about your current communication style and learn skills to improve communication and connection.

  5. How often do we need to come in?
  6. For couples sessions, I generally recommend weekly or biweekly. It depends on the severity of the issue(s). However, I recognize that life happens. We will work together to ensure your needs are met and are able to attend sessions without sessions adding additional stress and/or frustration.

  7. Do you take sides?
  8. Short answer, no, I don’t take sides.

    Long answer, my role in sessions is to teach each of you skills like active listening, supporting, reflecting, summarizing and asking open ended questions. Even further, my role is to facilitate and support discussion among couples to help them better connect and understand each other.

  9. What training do you utilize in sessions?
  10. I have completed Level 1 and Level 2 of Gottman Couples Therapy. This modality of therapy focuses on the Sound Relationship House, which was developed by John Gottman after years of relationship research. The Sound Relationship House is the basis of this couples therapy method and focuses on trust, commitment, friendship, positive sentiments, positive perspective and shared goals.

  11. Will you fix our problems?
  12. Short answer: No.

    Long answer: I will help you each learn ways to connect and understand your partner in a new way. Life is crazy and busy. Connection is easily lost when we have jobs, mortgages, kids, soccer goals and bake sales. People evolve and grow. Couples can evolve and grow, too. Sometimes, couples need some help evolving and growing. That’s my job. To help you evolve, grow and connect together.

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