Monday, March 12, 2012

No Cheating, No Dying by Elizabeth Weil

Imagine my surprise when I opened the Book Review Section of the New York Times Book Review section and saw a review of a book by the author who I mentioned in my previous post. Did you follow me on that?

In last week's Sunday NY Times she wrote a piece about how most therapists are intimidated by couples therapy. As a couples therapist, I took umbrage at that but ultimately knew it to be true. I too was a less then seasoned couples therapist once and I know how complicated a treatment modality it is. I shot off an email to Ms. Weil and a letter to the editor at the NY Times. Imagine my surprise at a prompt reply from Liz Weil.

If you're following this blog, you might want to check out her book which describes her and her husband's sojourn through the land of marital improvement - including following a do-it yourself-remedy from a self-help manual, a psychoanalytic couples therapist, a marriage education class and an Imago therapy workshop, and surely not least, sex therapy. I should mention that they started with a reasonably happy marriage. I don't know about you all, but personally, I can't wait to read it.

Maggie Scarf, the reviewer who is one of the best writers on the subject of marriage who I have stumbled across over the decades likes the book. That's a pretty good endorsement. If you read the book, let me know what you think. How does it compare to your journey? I'll let you know my 2 cents worth.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

How Not to Find a Couples Therapist

Elizabeth Weil revealed a dirty little secret in her article Three's A Crowd in this past Sunday's New York Times. The secret which is pushed back in the recesses of most seasoned therapist's consciousness goes something like this most therapists are intimidated by couples therapy. There I said it. To quote her quote by Richard Simon editor of Psychotherapy Networker, "It is widely acknowledged that couples therapy is the most challenging." Mon Dieu! No wonder there are so many unsatisfied former marriage therapy customers running around. Marriage therapy is a very tough treatment modality and lots of therapists are not comfortable with it.

Lest I do her essay an injustice, read it for yourself. Here's the link. Or go back and read it later.

There are however a few of us ripe and seasoned therapists kicking around who by virtue of professional and personal experience love marriage therapy, are not remotely intimidated by squabbling couples and, in my case, feel as proud as a mother hen when couples report greater intimacy and peace in their home. It does happen as an outcome of marriage therapy.

Given that marital therapy is a very complex treatment modality and given that therapists are coming out of the closet and admitting they are "intimidated" by marital therapy, finding a competent marital therapist requires a specialized search. Do not. I repeat do not pick a marital therapist off of your insurance panel just because you will only have to pay a $25 co-pay. Randomly picking a marriage therapist off a list is a bad idea. Your marriage is a precious investment. I always tell my clients that I am a lot cheaper then a divorce attorney - I don't mention by more then 50% from a low end divorce attorney but that is also true. If you want to save time and money pick someone who knows what they're doing.