Cotherapy for Couples

WITH JOY LANZANO AND REX WEST

There’s two of you, so why not use two of us?

Cotherapy for couples is a natural reflection of the dynamic between two committed human beings. This unique approach to couples therapy places the couple with two therapists at the same time, which ensures that each person is supported, challenged, and met. Grounded in attachment theory, mindfulness, and interpersonal neurobiology, the Grounded Hearts approach effectively strives to create a safe container for couples to explore what is truly possible in a committed, healthy, dynamic, fun and passionate relationship.

“The brain is a social organ, and our relationships with one another are not a luxury but an essential nutrient for our survival.”
~ Dan Siegel

 What We Offer

Presence

WE ARE HERE FOR YOU

Cotherapy is a unique and dynamic form of couples therapy that utilizes two therapists. The therapist dyad works to reflect the present-moment dynamic of the couple, in order to work with your relationship as it is happening.

Balance

WE ARE HERE FOR EACH OTHER

Having two therapists helps to alleviate challenging transference issues. The cotherapy model can provide a more balanced approach to the issues facing each couple by always having two perspectives on what arrises in your relationship.

Attunement

WE ARE IN IT TOGETHER

The therapist dyad can replicate the gender make-up of the couple to provide each partner with a potential gender ally. The therapists can function as a couple to model constructive communication and relationship skills and strategies.

Communication

IT ALL COMES DOWN TO THIS

Improving communication is the most common goal of couples therapy.  Utilizing a wide combination of approaches to shift the communication imbalance, Grounded Hearts cotherapy works to clarify, simplify, and equalize how couples communicate.

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Why We Do It

WE KNOW IT FROM OUR OWN EXPERIENCE

We enter into our relationships with deep hopes and dreams.  This represents a basic human drive and desire for a loving and supportive relationship.   As we build our lives together we begin to notice how we each are changing and how the relationship is also changing. These changes can be welcome and challenging. Sometimes we can find ourselves stuck in negative patterns, which we can’t seem to control or understand.  We realize that we are suffering and not able to express the truth in our hearts.  What happened to the dream we once shared so passionately?

YOU CAN’T DO IT ALONE

Many couples come into therapy with a goal of trying to “fix” the other. “If only he/she would . . .”, then everything would be fine. Sometimes we seek relationship believing the myth that the other will complete us and give us the love and deep intimate connection we have always wanted. Our battles in relationship are about trying to change the other without working to change ourselves. This is a fruitless endeavor – like banging our heads against the wall. Our frustration and suffering can be a wake up call that allows us to seek a better way. Grounded Hearts Therapy for Couples teaches a way out of dualistic thinking.

How it Works

OUR COTHERAPY MODEL

Our revolutionary approach to working with couples is grounded in systems theory work, a psychobiological approach (PACT), and attachment theory, We utilize the natural dynamic of the couple’s dyad. These sessions are at least 90 minutes in duration and may be longer.

We have developed a systemic and organic approach to working with couples that emerges from the proposition that to support health in any system, all elements of the system need to be addressed. To address this, we work with the couple’s dynamic in the ample geometry of the cotherapy matrix (two therapists with the two partners of the couple) to help foster secure functioning as a unit.

GEOMETRY OF COTHERAPY—DYAD, TRIAD, QUAD

As the diagrams below demonstrate, in one on one therapy, there is a direct dyad exchange between therapist and client.  In the triad of traditional couples therapy, there is one therapist with the couple, creating a triangle.  This configuration can be effective and tends to illicit the effort of both partners to get the therapist to align with them.  Cotherapy with couples effectively shifts and opens up this triadic alignment to create many more possibilities in terms of relationship, gender alignment, and cross-gender alignment.  It also opens up the possibilities for the therapists to work in many different ways that are not possible in the traditional approach, such as modeling effective communication as a couple.

DYAD

TRIAD

QUAD

Couples Therapy Goals

DEVELOP COMMUNICATION

Improving communication is the most common goal of couples therapy. Utilizing a wide combination of approaches to shift the communication imbalance, Grounded Hearts co-therapy works to clarify, simplify, and equalize how couples communicate.

CULTIVATE EMPATHY AND COMPASSION

In intimate relationship, we all want to be heard, seen, felt, and understood, yet our words so often get in the way. Using effective and proven techniques, we can teach you the basic language and offer the experience of giving and receiving empathy and compassion in a safe container.

INCREASE INTIMACY AND RESPECT

You’ve probably experienced giving and receiving respect with each other, but over time we start to lose these qualities. When we give each other a chance to truly express our emotional experience, intimacy, connection, and love return almost effortlessly.

“This process of the good life is not, I am convinced, a life for the faint-hearted. It
involves the stretching and growing of becoming more and more of one’s potentialities. It involves the courage to be. It means launching oneself fully into the stream of life.”
~Carl Rogers 1961

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