The couples I see in my office come for a variety of reasons. All are suffering from conflict and disconnection. Sometimes it’s after years of feeling unheard, misunderstood, believing they have nothing in common. Sometimes it’s earlier in the relationship, and they recognize the loving bond they had created is being worn away by some sort of negative influence or pattern. Then there are those who feel that something specific created a shift in their connection. Maybe it was starting a family, changing jobs or careers, moving away from extended family, a crises, infidelity, an addiction, or a partner’s depression, PTSD, or anxiety. Whatever the cause, they seek couples counseling because they want to stop the arguing, they want to forgive or be forgiven, they want to feel heard, and they want to feel close to their partner again. The most important question they are asking themselves is “Will my partner be there for me when I need him/her the most?”
If you have found my website and are reading this today, you’re probably curious about couples therapy, what it entails, and you’re wondering if it can help you and your partner. You’re also wondering if I would be a good fit for the both of you. It’s important to do your research so I encourage you to spend some time doing so. While you are looking, pay attention to those who have training and experience with working with couples.
The relationship between the partners is the client in couples therapy. Marriage and couple therapists who have the training and backgrounds in this field of therapy understand this and honor the unique aspects of this type of counseling. Couple therapists use their knowledge of attachment, communication and emotional engagement as well as their own therapeutic skills to assist partners in creating closer bonds. A skillful therapist will recognizing the places the couple gets stuck, and then will guide them through a change process that leads to the closer and more loving connection they are seeking.
Relationships are critical to our overall health and well being. When we are stuck in negative patterns with our partner, and no amount of talking or arguing is getting us anywhere, it impacts us deeply. Communication styles, experiences from our past relationships, and even our childhoods, affect our current relationships. I have the training and experience required to understand all of these dynamics, and create a safe and private haven to explore a couple’s particular and unique issues. I then guide the partners in communicating to each other in a way that fosters compassion, acceptance, healing, and a more loving bond.
My approach is a structured form of couples therapy called EFT – Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. EFT is used all over the world and is supported by empirical research and data that has been collected for over 30 years. Most of the couple’s I work with move out of distress within 8-10 sessions.