I Don't… You Don't… It Don't Matter, Depression and Anxiety in Couples and Couple Therapy
Depression and anxiety are at the root of many relationship problems or are intricately and mutually related to several emotional, psychological, and intrapersonal or interpersonal dynamics. Feelings of not mattering combine with messages to the partner that he or she does not matter trigger. The therapist is shown how all therapy is essentially about depression and anxiety that almost inevitable comes up in intimate relationships or marriage. Resolution of needs to matter or not matter to each other determine whether relationship triggered depression and anxiety is transitory or becomes problematic and chronic. Ineffective and inefficient efforts to alter negative circumstances lead not just to depression, but also to anxiety that anticipates harm not just for an individual but for the couple. There are gender and cultural aspects to depression and anxiety that the therapist should incorporate into treatment. Identification of stressors- both proximal and distal and the individual and the couple's habitual responses lower or increase depression and anxiety. Therapy needs to address these issues along with underlying issues in the family-of-origin including attachment styles, communication patterns, and problem-solving models. The therapist is cautioned to avoid becoming infected with client depression and anxiety. Therapeutic frustration can lead to the therapist feeling his or her clinical actions: feedback, interpretations, caring, sensitivity, wisdom, interventions, and suggestions do not matter. Interrupting client-therapist depressed or anxious infection can be the key intervention to break negative partner mutuality.
I Don't… You Don't… It Don't Matter
Depression and Anxiety in Couples and Couple Therapy
by Ronald Mah
Table of Contents (links to chapters and sections)