In the last blog (Part 1) we began our interview with Laurie Abraham, author of The Husband and Wives Club: A Year in the Life of a Couples Therapy Group. Here we continue and ask Laurie about the group leader, what really happens in the group, gender differences, and whether couples therapy can actually make things worse.
Can you tell me a little bit about Dr. Coche and how the group felt about her?
She was a very experienced and active leader. I think the couples respected her. They did not always agree with her. She came across as a tough maternal figure. I think what mattered most was that they felt she was the expert.
Was there actually a process between the couples themselves or mainly between the leader and each of the couples?
Well, she would set the stage by asking something like “What do you want to take away today?” In the course of the group, she would often work with a certain couple and ask for input from other members. In addition, over the course of the year, the couples did jump in on their own to point out each other’s patterns. Someone might say “That sounds so harsh” or disclose a feeling they were having. Someone might begin crying while observing the painful reactions of another couple or share a similar crisis or loss that they had experienced.