In order for couples therapy to be successful, both members of the couple must be engaged in the process and motivated by a desire to make things better. If one or both members of the couple is mostly interested in playing a blame game and looking for the therapist to “fix” their partner, then therapy will not work. Each member of the couple must become dedicated to working as a team in order to understand their ineffective patterns of relating, learn how to deepen trust and intimacy and to repair the relationship.
One key task of the couple therapist is to help each partner to understand his or her own patterns and specific contributions to the negative dynamics in the relationship. Once the individuals can identify their problematic thoughts, feelings, behaviors and beliefs about themselves, each other and the relationship, they can team up against the negative cycle. The therapist helps the couple to prevent and heal the distress caused by these unhealthy patterns so that healthy communication can be exchanged.