Are You Tired of the Same Old Relationship Problems?
Does it feel like, as partners, you don’t have fun together or even enjoy each other’s company any longer? Is the increased disconnection, strain, and silence have you believing you are living with a roommate, rather than with the partner you fell in love with? Are you exhausted from the chronic and unresolvable arguments related to finances, sex, time together/time apart, parenting, household chores, or other challenges that seem to be void of a resolution?
Facing relationship challenges can be a confusing, overwhelming, and disheartening experience. Several reasons might have emerged in your time together to cause increased relationship strain such as a significant life event (new baby, blending of families, or a child leaving home), relocation, death of a loved one, disagreement over new life goals, health problems or chronic illness, or a struggle with many forms of addiction. Your relationship may have suffered from a breach of trust (affair), leaving one or both of you feeling betrayed, angry, and uncertain about your future together.
Most Couples Face Times of Disagreement and Challenge
Regardless of what is happening in your relationship, if you are feeling distressed and unsure about your future together, you are not alone. When couples first meet, they often enjoy a rush of new energy, attraction, and excitement. While this honeymoon stage can be blissful, it’s usually not sustainable.
This does not mean that there is anything wrong with you or that your relationship is doomed to fail. Life gets chaotic, and when other opportunities, interests, and obligations arise, it’s often not possible to give as much attention to your relationship as you did when you first met. Couples naturally move through many different chapters of life together with some requiring each partner or both partners to shift attention to other areas of importance.
Relationships are similar to an accordion. As life ebbs and flows, couples grow together, pull apart, and then work towards coming back together again. However, sometimes this pattern is interrupted, and a couple finds it difficult to come back together again.
With the help of a skilled, experienced couples’ counselor, you and your partner can develop the understanding and tools you need to come back together and rebuild a solid foundation for your future
Couples Counseling Can Help You Reconnect
The primary aim of therapy isn’t only to increase your knowledge about yourself, your partner, and the patterns of interaction between you. Treatment becomes effective as you apply this new knowledge to discontinue ineffective ways of relating and then develop new ones meeting both people’s need.Through couples therapy, you and your partner can discover new ways to see each other in a positive light, resolve conflict, rebuild your bond, and reignite the passion and love in your relationship, once again. As an experienced psychologist, I offer guidance, support, and practical strategies to help you shift your primary thoughts away from negativity, conflicts, and hurt, so you can also realize you have areas where your relationship works and keeps you together. I can help you identify the relationship patterns keeping you stuck, get to the issues at the root of your disconnection, and develop positive-focused and solution-based strategies to create lasting and positive change.
In addition to Solution-Focused Brief Therapy, I am trained in empirically validated couple treatment methods of Positive Psychology, Emotionally-Focused Couples Therapy, and the Gottman Method. I will draw on my extensive experience and skills to create a treatment plan that best suits you and your partner’s personalities, needs, and shared relationship dynamic.
I will respect each of you as individuals – without taking sides or assigning blame – while also working to support your growth as a couple. As we address your challenges, we will also look at areas related to your existing strengths, positive relating, and factors of individual well-being. Often, during periods of conflict and strain, couples feel overwhelmed by the negative cycle and lose sight of the positive aspect of relating between them.
As you nurture the strengths in your relationship, positive interactions, and build resiliency and connection, you can replace old, unproductive patterns with different ways of expressing your needs and desired outcomes. It is possible to recreate your relationship guided by mutual kindness, love, trust, and respect.
I think that couples therapy may be helpful, but I have questions and concerns.
“I already have one foot out the door. What’s the point of couples therapy now?”
The more you believe your partner is at fault and needs to change for your relationship to improve, the less initiative you will take to change the patterns that are held in place between you. Discernment or mixed agenda counseling is different from counseling where both partners are wanting the same outcome of staying together. If you are seeking treatment to determine if you’re going to stay together, therapy can offer you a safe, nonjudgmental space to share your thoughts openly and honestly. Solutions-focused couples counseling is an excellent theory to assist you in understanding why you are keeping one foot in the door. We can build on that!
“My partner doesn’t want to come to couples counseling.”
For relationship counseling to work most effectively both you and your partner attend should attend joint treatment. You both contribute to your shared relationship dynamic, and for real healing to occur, it is best to have a shared commitment and willingness to grow together. However, if your partner does not want to attend couples treatment, but you crave support and guidance, I encourage you to consider individual counseling. You can make positive and profound changes in your own life.
“If I’m vulnerable in sessions, I’m worried that my partner will use what I say against me at home.”
An excellent place to start is when a couple can determine their goals for coming to therapy. I use many therapeutic interventions to help you reach your goals, and they are most effective when you both are clear about how you want us to work together. During our initial session, I will ask you both to agree that nothing shared in sessions can be used as ammunition at home. Similarly, the therapy session is not a place to continue the same old arguments you’ve had at home. Therapy is about creating new patterns and learning how to avoid falling back into old ones that have proven to be destructive. In sessions, you can learn new ways to manage heightened emotions and how to respect one another’s need for space and resolution.
There Is Hope for a Positive and Loving Relationship Once Again
I invite you to give me a call at 714-783-8500 or contact me for a free 20-minute consultation. I am happy to answer any questions you have about marriage counseling, couples counseling, and my practice.