Couples therapy is designed for two partners who are committed to making their relationship work. They may not know what to do quite yet, but they’re willing to do what it takes.
Couples therapy is ideal for partners who are motivated to improve their relationship with one another, and what that means will differ from one couple to the next. Every couple will bring their own unique strengths and challenges into the therapy room, some of which you may already be aware of and some of which we can uncover together. As your therapist, it will be my job to help you identify the processes and patterns at work in your relationship and to help you come to a clearer understanding of how these patterns either help or hurt your chance for successfully reaching your relationship goals. Together, you will dismantle the walls and other defenses that tend to get built up between partners, and then get to the heart of the issues that really matter.
Common Relationship Challenges
The most common couple complaint, communication issues take multiple forms, ranging from frequent and intense arguments to cold shoulder silence and disconnection. Couples therapy can help partners address the issues that come between them and examine why these issues tend to create such conflict, as well as help couples learn to communicate about how they communicate about the issues that challenge them.
Falling out of love
Over the years, there is potential for partners to notice a loss of attraction and a decline in their relationship satisfaction, even to the point of wondering if they have indeed fallen out of love. If these feelings go without being addressed, it is all too likely that the relationship will be at risk for infidelity or permanent injury. Couples therapy can help partners turn toward each other in this time and reignite the love and desire they have for one another, before the weight of unhappiness pulls them apart.
Affairs, whether they are emotional, physical or both, can be detrimental to a couple’s relationship, but with couples therapy (which can include individual sessions for each partner as well) it is possible to not only salvage the relationship but improve it to the point of being stronger than it ever was. It will take hard work and commitment, but you can have the healing you need to grow as a couple.
Family and Parenting
Dealing with the challenges of raising children and the issues that can come up with regard to in-law family relationships can put any couple under stress. A strong partnership is essential to navigating these challenges, but it can sometimes seem like the issues come between you more than anything else. Couples therapy can help partners who may be asking whose side are you on, anyway? shift their focus and come together as a team on these family issues.
Emotional intimacy and sexual intimacy are both important to a healthy relationship. The two are interconnected and it is common to find that dissatisfaction in one area affects satisfaction in the other. Couples therapy can help partners uncover how emotional and sexual intimacy are connected in their relationship, and how they can work to improve both.
While many typical couples issues are similar for couples who have children outside of their relationship, there are unique challenges that couples face when one or both partners are co-parenting with someone else. Therapy can help couples through issues such as role expectations and child discipline, dealing with ex-partners and/or custody schedules, and handling split finances that might otherwise get in the way of a new or even a veteran couple being able to build a solid relationship foundation.
Dealing with Trauma
Trauma in the lives of either partner can have a significant impact on a couple’s relationship. The loss of a child or parent, a chronic or life-threatening illness, military combat experiences, or any other traumatic experience can bring with it feelings of anger, grief, and confusion that have the potential to throw a relationship off balance. Couples therapy can help partners process the effects of trauma and strengthen their relationship in the process.
Financial stress can lead to a sense of instability and division between partners and it can heighten the insecurity or anxiety in the relationship. While it can be difficult to focus on your relationship when you’re fighting to keep things together financially, you will be able to deal with finances better if you’re fighting on the same side. Investing in couples therapy can not only help you avoid being driven apart, but also strengthen your ability to face these challenges together.
COUPLES THERAPY FORMATS
50 Minute Session
Couples therapy in a 50 minute format is convenient for couples who are interested in weekly sessions. It is best suited for couples who are not currently in crisis and whose therapy goals include things like premarital counseling, relationship repair and enhancement, and rebuilding communication skills. The format allows us to get right to the point and allows you to spend the week between sessions working on specific skills.
90 Minute Session
Couples therapy in a 90 minute format is available for couples who would prefer two weeks between sessions, as well as those couples who are in crisis or dealing with issues such as infidelity, trauma, or considering divorce. The longer session allows us the time necessary to address more emotionally-charged issues and do our best work possible. Two weeks between sessions lets you take new ways of thinking and interacting into daily life situations.