In my professional and personal experience it is important for couples to share space and time with other couples who are also seeking to make changes and who are also willing to be honest about it. This allows them to get a better perspective on themselves and ultimately bring about enduring change.
To deal most effectively with a behavior patterns and dynamics that are injuring and damaging, couples are show how to work these patterns in a conscious way, the moment they are activated. Typically at those moments, both partners will usually leap on to their habitual attitudes and opinions—unconscious of their own roles in the situation and thus blocking themselves from seeing what is really going on. Once the injuring and damaging pattern has been activated and both partners have taken up their roles in it, changing that pattern or behaving in a creative, healthy way becomes almost impossible. Only later when the energy in the pattern is temporarily exhausted, do couples actually have a chance of working with it. But even that take huge determination, when all kinds of other forces are pulling the one way or another.
In observing other couples in therapy who are also caught in these patterns partners can discover things about themselves they just can’t see when they themselves are acting out the patterns. Nothing activates increased awareness quite like witnessing another emotionally blocked couple passionately speak about life situations that you and your partner usually talk about. Once you become conscious in this way, defending and blaming each other for the difficulties in your relationship becomes harder and harder.
The Couples Circle is extremely beneficial because when couples have problems they tend to think their own situation as uniquely complex and difficult. They feel alone and believe everyone else seems to be doing okay. Some are actually reluctant to seek help because they believe they shouldn’t be having the difficulties they are having. Joining the Couples Circle is a great way gain, offer support and meet other couples on a similar journey.