Couples work has been the “Centerpiece” of Janet Miller Wiseman’s Private Practice, The Negotiation Collaborative. Whether the couples are married, partners, pre-married, in a decision-making mode, parents and their parents, parents and their children, Couples therapy is designed to strengthen individual self-esteem, competence, taking responsibility and to strengthen the ability of pairs to stay separate as individuals, not merging together, or projecting their own weaknesses onto their partner, while joining with and caring for the other, communicating his and her desires and needs in a way that may be heard and deeply understood.
Janet Miller Wiseman LICSW, Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, and Certified Family and Divorce Mediator was trained from 1969-1972 at the then Boston Family Institute as a Couples and Family Therapist and has been working with all manner of couples since that time.
She learned as a professional “neutral”, to equally hold and embrace both parties’ perspectives, values, interests, and desires. She is not incapacitated by the need to see everything through the lens of one individual. There are always two sides to every issue. While being “right” or “wrong” is necessary for scientific endeavor, Janet urges couples to talk about their own and the other’s perspectives being different, not one “right” and the other “wrong”.
Too much time is wasted in people’s search to place “blame” on the other partner, in essence pointing a child-like finger at the sibling, when Mom says “Who let the cat out?” — “She did!”. Janet encourages people to live in a “no fault/no blame universe”.
Each person makes his and her “contribution” to a relationship’s difficulties, or even its downfall, but no one person is to “blame”. In a relationship that seems to be becoming unglued, Janet encourages people to reach the highest level of mutual agreement or at least understanding as possible. There need be no “victims” and no “victimizers”. Childhood patterns of thinking in terms of blacks and whites, rights and wrongs, it’s a “catastrophe” if someone thing is out of order, are identified and traded for new, more rational and adult thinking.
Of course, the goal or goals with which the couple entered the therapy is the most important agenda, and when they have achieved their goals, the therapy naturally evolves to an ending. Ms. Miller Wiseman has been trained and provides training in brief, goal, and solution focused psychotherapy and decison-making mediation therapy and mediation. Most clients’ intentions are not to continue treatment over a long course, but many clients do return for “tune ups” over the years and some do want to make core changes in the way they interact in their relationships and in their communities, taking a longer period of time.
Couples coming for marriage or relationship counseling have stayed together as their goal, long with strengthening their relationship, deepening their connection and intimacy, building or rebuilding their trust and radically improving their communication.