Sometimes partners need to work together with a counselor to deal with their difficulties, which can often be extremely helpful in clarifying issues and improving difficulties in communication. Examining roles, relationships and unspoken “rules” not only of the couple, but also of the family environment in which they interact, can be very helpful as well, resulting in reduced conflict, better communication and a sense that parenting, if children are involved, is working the way you want it to.
Couples work can also take place in the context of other issues such as sexual addictions. While the clients have the ultimate choice, I do feel it important to include a partner or spouse in such work as needed. Partners and spouses benefit greatly from education about their loved one’s condition, and from having an appropriate inclusion into the work.