Couple in crisis


  • Why do couples get into a crisis and look for couple-therapy?

The term “couple” rifers to “two people, two lovers, or two things joined together for some purpose” (Dictionary Garzani 1986).

The Greeks gave to the word “crisis”  the meaning of  “test” and of “passage”, the Chinese indicate the crisis with an ideogram that condenses the idea of “possibility” and of “risk.”

In its etymological root, the word crisis encloses the deep sense of change, which is both birth and death, opportunity and danger. Without crisis there would be no change, and therefore, no life. The moments of crisis are therefore in the couple also vital, because, if they are overcome, they allow a change and a growth of the couple, although often result in interminable discussions, betrayal and infidelity or in lack of intimacy…

Couples therapy can help recover the relationship overcoming the crisis, that is turning it into an opportunity of growth.Or it can be useful for coppia-3couples who decide to separate, because it helps to go through the separation peacefully, avoiding conflicts and resentments.

Going at the first session can be source of anxiety and preoccupation. The first meeting is really important, however, to see if therapy could be useful, and also in order to design a plan of intervention.

Usually at least one individual session is raccomended in order to let you communicate your needs, any concerns, and you will be free to communicate your current situation. This helps the psychologist to understand what each of you thinks about the situation you are facing. Depending on the circumstances couple sessions may be implemented since the first meeting.

The frequency of meetings goes from twice a week to once every two weeks and must be decided together with the therapist in accordance with the objectives and the moment that the couple is going through.

  • Myths: the therapist doesn’t act like a referee who says who is right and who is wrong …

Instead the therapist highlights the characteristics of that specific relationship, not only the negative aspects but also the positive ones. How? Through the therapeutic relationship, the therapist helps the couple recognize what are the factors that create an imbalance and which then produce difficulties and crises; proposes behaviors and ways to communicate that may be more functional to the life of the couple, particularly by using the potential and the resources of the partners, in order to recover the lost balance.


  • What are the causes that may be connected to a crisis in a marriage?

Infidelity: to find out that your partner is having an extramarital affair may result in the end of a relationship as it may be seen as an extremely upsetting and destroying experience. The support provided by the therapy may help you understand why the betrayal took place,supporting you and sustaining you in trying to create a new bond before eventually deciding to interrupt the relationship. Betrayal may not always be caused by the end of love, but also by a distress of the couple that needs to be heard and dealt with through couple therapy.

coppia-2traumatic experiences: accidents, illness, aggression, violence, bereavement, suicide attempts … both present and past.

loss of one’s feelings: it can assume forms of hostility and anger, or silence and denial. They are often related to problems in the sexual sphere (vaginismus, impotence, ..)

  • What can I do if my partner does not want to attend the meetings?

You can suggest an individual therapy, your partner may not want to start couple therapy because of the fear that it will make things worse or even destroy the relationship.


Recommended readings:

Amarsi amando: Michele Minolli and Romina Coin, 2007.

L’amore può durare? Mitchell, 2002.

  • How can I book an appointment?

Our studio is in Milan, in Piazzale Vesuvio 14, just 10 minutes away walking from metro station sant’Agostino.



Psychiatrist Licia Lietti: +39 338 5019524 Clinical psychologist Martina Trinchieri: +39 393 5564912,

Clinical psychologist Martina Larsen Paya: +39 349 1696270, (italian, english, spanish)

Psychotherapist Marcello Florita: +39 348 795 5929