Couples Therapy & Marriage Counseling
Are you in a relationship but feel alone and lack connection and intimacy with your partner?
Romantic relationships provide such a sense of fulfillment in our lives. The feeling of being with someone who truly connects with us, understands us, and has our best interest in mind is difficult to match. We often find our relationship with a significant other satisfies many of our needs.
However, relationships are complicated. They require a great deal of self-awareness and constructive communication, which is not always there when challenging situations come up. We all carry unresolved issues that can affect how we react at times and couples can fall into undesirable patterns.
As is natural, interactional patterns emerge over time where each person develops a specific role in the relationship and the couple responds to eachother in the same ways over the same issues. Sometimes it may feel like a broken record is playing and you are stuck repeating the same track of miscommunication, hurt, and distrust. You may wish you could get back to that place where you felt happy in your relationship. Maybe you don't know if you can be happy with your partner again. As more time goes by, the relationship will deteriorate if the underlying issues are not addressed. That's where I help.
Here are a few common issues I help my clients with:
Problem patterns of interaction may include:
getting into the same arguments over and over again
talking to each other with disrespect
escalating into fights
blaming the other person / feeling blamed
attacking or criticizing the other person with over-generalizations / feeling criticized
avoiding talking about important issues
It can be a vicious cycle hard to get out of.
How I Help
I provide the necessary coaching to help couples recognize their problem patterns of interaction and improve communication.
I provide a comfortable space for couples to address the underlying issues that are causing anger and resentment in the relationship.
I help couples find NEW meaning in their relationships after life transitions or hurtful events.
Improving a relationship takes work. It requires not only self-improvement, but also more awareness of your partner's feelings. I make sure to validate each person's feelings and thoughts while helping couples to clearly identify their goals. Couples Therapy is for those who are willing to learn how to overcome their problems, move out of their distress, and build a relationship that has connection, intimacy, and trust.
Communication / Perpetual Conflict
One of the biggest issues I see couples for is communication and perpetual conflict. How you talk with your partner and the messages your partner receives are very important fundamental qualities that set the tone for your relationship. When you notice that you or your partner gets frustrated with the other person, there are a few factors to consider. Effective communication requires that you be aware of and manage your own feelings while also taking into account your partner's feelings. You can do this by noticing body language and asking questions in a non-threatening way. Many issues become perpetual because of a lack of validation of each other's feelings and point-of-view. Research shows that 69% of conflict is perpetual and is not resolvable. This means that the focus of therapy is on utilizing empathy, a cognitive trait that can be learned, and managing the conflict so it does not escalate. Arguing with your partner does not mean the relationship is bad. In fact, many happy couples argue. What is important is how you argue and what happens after you argue. On the other hand, if you are a couple that never argues or has disagreements, I would question if there are things not being said that would actually improve the relationship if they were discussed, despite possible disagreement. I work with couples to recognize their patterns of interaction and provide activities that strengthen important parts of their relationships, building a strong foundation for the future.
Infidelity / Broken Trust
One of the most painful experiences a couple can have is broken trust due to cheating, doing things behind the other's back, and lying. Many times a person cheats because they were missing something in the relationship. Maybe the person tried to tell their partner what they needed and the need was unmet. Maybe the person did not discuss their unmet need with their partner for many reasons. Many couples I see who have experienced broken trust seek counseling to determine if the relationship can be saved. Through important conversations about the underlying emotions, couples can experience transformation and redefine their relationships with new meaning if the love and willingness to try are still there. I also help couples who have difficulty with trust due to past relationship experiences.
Lack of Emotional and Physical Intimacy
When two people are on different pages with regard to their needs, it can create friction in the relationship, and not the good kind of friction. In a committed relationship, emotional intimacy is very much intertwined with physical intimacy. The lack of sex drive can often be attributed to the couple being emotionally out-of-sync with each other and disconnected. For some couples, there may be a physical health issue that affects the ability to be physically intimate. This can be distressing for the couple, as well. I address these issues with my clients and provide outside resources if necessary. For many couples, emotional security and sex are important parts of their relationships, therefore, it's important to spend some time focusing on how best to meet your own and your partner's needs. I help you have these important conversations and offer guidance.
Life Cycle Transitions
(marriage, baby, etc.)
Certain events change us throughout our lives and sometimes it can be difficult to adjust to the change. These events include getting married, cohabitating, pregnancy, having a baby, changing jobs, aging parents, and health issues, to name a few. I work with couples to discuss their expectations, hopes for the future, and changing needs. Growth is a vital component to any relationship because we change as people. Although change can be difficult, I help you prepare and develop your support system. Becoming a new parent is a major change I help couples with because it redefines the relationship and is especially stressful in the first year after the baby is born. Parenting is a journey that has its ups and downs and I help you feel empowered to step into the new role.