Last Sunday's New York Times (May 4, 2012) included an interesting article on couple's therapy, "Does Couple's Therapy Work?" It began, in good journalistic fashion, by claiming that it is "an open secret" that "couples therapy stresses therapists out." It made me wonder if writing about psychotherapy stresses journalists out. For myself, I have have found couples therapy to be some of the most rewarding and invigorating work I do in my practice.
I appreciated the observation later in the article that couples who seek therapy early have a much better success rate. The article refers to research that "the average couple is unhappy for six years before seeking couples counseling" -- at which point the patterns of discord can be firmly embedded and difficult to address. But I think the opposite can also be true: after such a length of time, the patterns can be clearly visible and ripe for change.