Tribeca Therapy was recently featured for our couples therapy expertise in an article on Insider that highlights the practical relationship advice that can be gleaned from the various relationships depicted in NBC’s classic comedy The Office. From Jim and Pam to Angela and Dwight to Michael and Holly, these couples are not only fun (and hilarious) to watch, but can provide some essential relationship lessons.
Speaking to our Founder and Clinical Director Matt, Meghan Cook delves into several of the specific couples on the show, and the relationship issues they raise. This ranges from Erin and Andy’s extended lack of communication to the potentially problematic dynamics inherent in dating a coworker, as illustrated by the unhealthy power imbalance in Michael and Jan’s relationship.
For example, Dwight and Angela kept their interoffice relationship secret for most of the run of the show. Matt observes, “Private relationships are incredibly problematic…Relationships need friends to help reality test what’s safe and not safe [and] nurture the relationship. Private relationships, by definition, can’t have that.”
Of course, the couple that is perhaps most central to The Office is Jim and Pam. According to Matt, they are “a solid example of a healthy couple,” and reveal how being friends first can often lead to a strong romantic relationship. Like Jim and Pam, being friends first is a huge asset, and, as the article explains, “allowed them to cultivate a relationship based on much more than appearances,” including having each other’s backs and a shared sense of humor.
Therapy even enters into Jim and Pam’s plot-line during the show’s final season as the couple begin to attend marriage counseling, which reveals how even stable, healthy relationships can benefit from couples therapy. As Matt explains, “While couples certainly come to us in crisis, most of the couples we see for marriage counseling have, overall, healthy marriages, but are stuck in some ways, often painful ways.”