Is Your Relationship in a Rut?
Every relationship hits rough patches. It’s natural for life situations to add stress to the relationship on a temporary basis. But some signs point to more serious issues that can lead to relationship breakdown if they aren’t addressed. Couples counseling provides a neutral space for couples to address and work on the issues that rob the relationship of joy.
Couples Counseling With Me
In my marriage therapy practice, I start by having both people talk about what they consider to be the pain points and what they’d like to see different, and how they’d like the relationship to evolve.
Throughout our sessions, my role as your couples counselor is to remain impartial and not take sides. Both people have valid perspectives. The work in couples therapy is to help each person understand the other’s perspective better and develop more effective communication skills.
Over time, I see the protective walls that have been raised slowly start to come down. It’s truly encouraging! I love watching couples go from a place where they’re not really hearing each other anymore — where they’re stuck in a familiar dance of routine and resentments — to a place where they’re choosing the steps together as partners in the dance of life.
I approach each couple’s situation from the beginning and utilize an integrative approach based on a couple’s personalities and specific concerns. My techniques draw primarily from the Gottman Method, Imago Relationship Therapy, and a psychodynamic approach. The Gottman Method focuses on working with couples to increase closeness, affection, and respect, manage conflict, and communicate more effectively. Imago Relationship Therapy explores the unconscious components each partner brings to the relationship and explores the root of negative emotions while the couple learns to communicate differently and understand conflict patterns.
We started listening more and arguing less. I never noticed how quickly we went on the defensive instead of actually hearing what each other were saying. Date nights became fun again and we remembered why we got together in the first place!
–Marriage Counseling Client
Generally, I meet with my clients once a week for 60-90 minutes. In between sessions, I ask my clients to engage in outside assignments to practice what we’ve worked on in the session and help create change. Typically, I start to see the signs of positive change after 8 to 10 sessions.
Warning Signs of a Troubled Relationship
- Lack of Communication
- No Time for Each Other
- Emotional Unavailability
- Lack of Physical Intimacy
- Constant Conflict, or You’ve Stopped Fighting
- No appreciation
- Constant talk of separation
If you’ve experienced a number of the warning signs, a happy and healthy relationship can seem hopeless. Don’t let discouragement keep you from trying to save your relationship. I’ve found that with the help of a skilled couples counselor, and a willingness to try, many couples recover and rekindle a loving relationship.
Couples Counseling Gets to the Root of the Issues
In my experience, many relationship issues stem from ineffective communication and poor conflict management. When couples hit a tough spot, they often stop talking and wait until they’re at their boiling point and then wind up in a fight. Or they avoid the real issues and engage in passive-aggressive behaviors. It becomes a persistent cycle and part of the work done in a couples therapy session with me is about breaking that cycle.
Family origins and how people grew up often play a role in the relationship patterns. Sometimes, I’ll have my clients engage in a written exercise to help paint the picture of how childhood taught certain behaviors. Like interrupting, for example. That’s a learned behavior that can harm communication between couples and it’s almost always something learned in childhood. Most people don’t even realize they’re doing it until we start exploring.
Of course, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Once that happens, couples start to reconnect even more. With the guidance of a skilled marriage therapist, couples then begin to understand the patterns in their lives that are detrimental to their relationship, and start changing them. I find it incredibly rewarding to help couples find their way back to each other.
Often, when couples start marriage therapy, they don’t realize that relationships need constant attention and tending to. I’ve found they often get so focused on achieving the next milestone – co-habitating, marriage, children, career advancements, etc. – that they forget to care for each other.
Unlike input from friends and family, working with a couples therapist, I offer my clients an objective perspective and professional experience from years of work in helping to heal human relationships. While the support of friends and family is wonderful, the objective input and expertise I provide helps my clients create real change in their relationships.
If you’re ready to start healing your relationship, I encourage you to call or e-mail to schedule your free consultation. Having a safe place to share and reconnect with their partner gets the ball rolling in the right direction.
After even just a session or two, couples typically feel like they have some tools to work with and a better understanding of what the key issues are for the other person. From that point, we set goals and work towards them.
Are you Ready to Rekindle your Relationship?
Start Healing Your Relationship Today
Schedule your FREE 15 Minute Phone Consultation by contacting me at 954-947-0774 or firstname.lastname@example.org to see if we’re a good match and if therapy is right for you.