Cognitive-behavioral therapy with couples


Search for psychological help for any couple, in nine cases out of ten is an alternative to divorce. Appeal to the family psychologist, generally regarded as the last life-saving resort when all other options have been exhausted. And this, unfortunately, means that the crisis started already to such an extent that the partners are literally paralyzed by their negative feelings towards each other and exhausted family situation. Usually when a couple is on the couch of a psychologist, the most terrible words have been said, invalid faces are crossed, and the version of the future "without him" or "her" investigated in the most minute detail. That is why the first meeting with the psychologist, in fact, any therapeutic areas, not only in CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy), for the most part is dedicated to ensuring that partners have been able to reset the accumulated negative emotions onto someone besides each other. In this complete therapy may begin as soon as the second session.

What is the specifics of the therapeutic work can offer CBT for a married couple? It's easier to start with what is not in KPT pairs. Cognitive-behavioral therapist will not help to solve the question, match each other partners or not, will give tips on how to do this, I will not say who is right and who is wrong, does not tell us how to live right and not to swear. Behind all this is to psychologists of other areas, but it is unlikely their advice will give long-term effect. CBT couples to help partners in three things: to break the repetitive behavioral cycles that are harmful to relationships and is dictated by the destructive patterns of thought, to change these schemas and learn to communicate in a highly efficient language, which, as a rule, do not teach the parents and the environment.

Earlier, CBT is actively used in couples therapy training, positive interaction and effective communication. It showed 70 % effectiveness in restoring relations. The remaining 30 % of failures occurred for the following reasons: 1) the real problems of the spouses was not solved – they simply taught the right way to talk and care about each other; 2) forming the habit to behave in new ways – energy-intensive and long process, full of relapses and require a certain amount of patience that many couples incapable; 3) when one spouse ceases to use the acquired skills, the other can't continue using them is like talking to yourself.

that is why the assistance in working with couples it is one of the directions of KPT the "third wave" (directions in development since the beginning of the XXI century) – schema therapy. Methods of this direction help to find features of thinking (schemes) that prevent the individual to interact with other people. Such "destructive" scheme is for each person – they are the result of childhood experiences, upbringing and relationships with their peers at school. For example, the schema of abandonment that leads men to think that it must sooner or later give up (including the death of a partner) or betray. People with the schema of self-sacrifice puts the needs of significant others of the people above their own, and devotes life to caring for someone. People with a scheme of unity with others can not imagine their existence without friends, they are unable to make independent decisions and long isolation. The scheme's exposure to physical harm leads a person to a constant expectation that he is sick or will happen to him some misfortune. There are other schemes, a lot of them.

At the same time, probably every person in a relationship, I noticed that all of a quarrel with his second half are developing in the same scenario. It may for example look like the following: (she) begins to Express their point of view on some issue, (he) ridicules this view, (she) criticizes him for his disrespect to himself, (he) is beginning to prove that the behavior was not disrespectful (she) recalls examples where the line of disrespect still had them crossed, (he) criticizes her resentment, (she) began to criticize him for his lack of love and acceptance, remembering the other items which it previously did not suit him, (he) begins to make excuses, commenting on each item (she) locked in a room and crying, (he) leaves in the yard and buys a beer, (she) begins to write him messages, asking him to return home, (he is) letting him know how angry and offended, says he wants to "communicate with men" and will come when you see fit, (she) can't find a place for himself and begins to call him, to accuse of callousness and cry (Oh) returns (she) continues to cry and accuse him of callousness, (he) sits down to watch TV, (she) goes to sleep, (he) goes to bed in the morning, (she) is not talking to him the next day, (he) tries to be funny and pretends that nothing happened, (she) starts to discuss the outstanding domestic issues, (he) gets angry when she suggests that a number of issues are not resolved because of him, and starts to yell, (she) remembers yesterday's conflict and connects the two conflict in one – a new cycle begins the showdown by a new scenario. And this sequence is repeated from time to time. So – it is this sameness of behaviour, words, and thoughts during conflict and suggests that partners not only that we are at the mercy of his destructive thought patterns, and are influenced by the interaction of the schemas to each other. And each new state that is experiencing one of this pair triggered "predictable" reaction of another on the previous steps first: it's like throwing a ball, when you know in advance with what face and words every catch him. Sometimes even spouses choose each other because of their destructive schemes complement each other. For example, the schema of abandonment "fits" in the scheme of merging with the other, and the scheme's exposure to physical harm "interlock jigsaw puzzle" with a scheme of self-sacrifice.

Consisting of a pair sometimes not even understand that frequently reproduce the scenario, going from his own childhood. This does not mean that the person repeats the behavior or fate of their parents, though this happens often. This means that, for example, expecting your partner unconditional parental love, the other partner hears, instead of him, criticizing and punishing the parent message. That in trying to settle disagreements with a partner the usual way, the people did not understand that problem-solving methods that worked all his life with other people, do not work in the marital relationship. That worrying state of abandonment, betrayal, worthlessness and other negative feelings towards your partner, the person reproduces the conditions experienced in childhood.

And that cognitive-behavioral therapist can help to break the vicious circle of traumatic behavior, to go from the power of destructive schemes and write a new positive script relations. And the sooner a couple seek psychotherapeutic help, the faster and more successful joint work on the restoration of relations.

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