We all know that anything worth having is worth working for, and that goes doubly true with regard to our intimate relationships.
- Do you feel like your partner has your back? Did you know this feeling is probably the most important aspect of being a couple?
- If you can focus on the emotional needs behind the anger, withdrawal, or tears, you can address the real need your partner has.
- If you can overcome your own urge to defend yourself, the most important thing above all is conveying to your partner that you're supposed to be a team.
Although I incorporate elements of self-taught Gottman and Emotionally Focused couples counseling, my specialization is in doing deeper work with couples. I find that many, if not most, couples I work with need Depth psychology for real transformation, and not just tinkering around the edges. By the time a couple sees the need for counseling, their marriage or relationship will need a fresh, new beginning, and not just small adjustments here and there. Not all couples counselors will be able to do this deeper-level work.
Communication, sharing of emotions, and finding practical and workable solutions are all very important; but sometimes issues go deeper than that, and that is where I can help. What I bring to couples counseling is my working knowledge of Gottman and Emotionally-Focused therapy, but mainly my study and years of experience with Depth psychology work.
Set Rules For Conflict
"While every relationship has disagreements, the number and severity of those disagreements vary tremendously. You are never going to agree on everything, and you shouldn't try to agree on everything. But one vital agreement will help you reduce the pain of disagreements: choosing a method for your discussion. It is not uncommon to find two people in a relationship with wildly different ideas about how to deal with conflict. Some rush into it the first moment they notice the problem, others hint around the problem without directly stating it, and still others try to avoid the subject and perhaps the instigating event altogether. The real problem arises when two people in a relationship adopt different approaches. Now not only do they have to deal with the conflict at hand, but the difference in the approaches alone causes tension. Level the playing field in your discussions by deciding how you can air concerns to each other in a format that allows both of you to participate." David Niven, PhD
In couples counseling, you will learn to:
- Deal with frustrations, conflict, and arguements
- Work through differences in spending money and raising kids
- Work on feeling close, feeling supported, and feeling like a team
- Have a plan and go forward in the same direction together
- Deal with alchol use/abuse and/or other substance use
- Communicate more calmly and openly.
- Understand the fundamental personality differences between you and your partner.
- Understand the value and necessity of compromise and finding workable soluations, not perfect solutions.
- Work through anger and pain after an affair, discover if reconcilliation is possible, and begin to rebuild trust.
- Experience confidence and security in yourself, which is the necessary foundation of a strong relationship.
- Understand and resolve deeper, underlying conflicts in your mind that are the pattern for your way of relating.
- See the value of reinvesting your sexual energy in your partner --
- and the advantages of having a sexual partner who knows you very well.
- Learn to be proactive in keeping your bond solid.
In my couples counseling work, the Big Four concepts that I utilize most are:
1. Developing a positive, pro-active, and natural communication style
2. Understanding & working positively with personality differences
3. Understanding each other's "Love Language"
4. Attachment styles - perhaps the deepest and most important part of couplehood ~ Read More
Expanding your knowledge and increasing your skills in these and other important areas provides the basis for working out your differences as a couple, and finding your way toward greater harmony together.
Do you know the "Speaker-Listener" technique?
It promotes the two most important elements of communicating: staying calm, and keeping a warm feeling. This is one aspect of the new skill set you must develop in order to successfully address the areas of difficulity and conflict in your relationship.
In couples counseling, I will meet initially with both members of the couple together for several sessions, and then begin to include individual sessions with each partner. In addition to working on the couple relationship, each individual partner should develop personal goals for how they want to feel differently, communicate better, and interact more positively and productively with their partner.
Of course, when doing couples counseling, there is a no-secrets policy. There is nothing that can be shared with the therapist in your individual sessions that cannot be shared, appropriately, with your partner. In couples counseling, whether meeting together or individually, the "client" is still the couple, and the goal is still to make the couple relationship healthier and stronger.
Please feel free to contact me, and we can discuss your unique situation. Together we can begin to figure out what the next steps are that move you toward progress in your marriage or relationship.