After my first information gathering session with Kelly and Ted, I had them read a manual that I routinely give to couples. This manual describes how successful couples discuss issues and themes with each other.
In our first working session, Kelly and Ted discussed how to address a challenging situation with their adolescent daughter. In counseling sessions, I typically give feedback regarding how couples can be more effective talking with each other. It’s not unusual to give a lot of feedback in the first session, when couples are just learning a new skill set.
Because I needed to intervene with Kelly consistently, she was getting frustrated with the process. She was struggling to learn this new skill set, and her frustration reflected this.
I sensed Kelly was being hard on herself. Despite just starting to practice, she was expecting to be proficient. It’s like starting to play piano, and expecting to play Mozart—Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star is more like it when learning a new skill.