Relationships can be difficult to maintain. You get tired of having the same arguments over and over without resolution. Or the arguments change but you end up in the same pattern; you work it out, but then days or weeks later you’re back in the same rut. Or you don’t argue but are merely co-existing. Work. Eat. Parent. Rinse and repeat. Normal life stressors can cause chaos and bring out deeply rooted patterns that negatively impact each other. You may have settled into a comfortable relationship, but often take each other for granted. You forget to make each other a priority. Life transitions like the birth of a baby, the death of an elderly parent, or an empty nest can add to your tension. You don’t always support one another as well as you could, and fears and anxieties get in the way.
Obviously, you’re having a hard time working out your problems, and now you’re thinking it may be time to consider couples counseling. Good idea! Research conducted by the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapy indicates that 97% of surveyed couples said they got the help they needed from couples therapy, In addition, 93% of couples said therapy gave them more effective tools for dealing with conflict.
We assess your relationship at the very start of couples therapy. We learn about what’s been working, what hasn’t, and the major areas of concern in your relationship. From here, we build out your unique set of goals. Knowing what you’re wanting out of couples therapy is essential to our process. Your family history has a direct impact on how you act in your adult relationships. Some of us are modeling our parent’s relationship, and others of us are rejecting it. By understanding your family-of-origin, our aim is to build awareness. We believe that with awareness brings choice, and with choice, you have the option to do things differently. Our therapists provide direct feedback and transparency. We also know tools and resources are essential to creating change. And when given the choice to do things differently, we want our clients to pull from healthy relationship tools, learned in therapy. We teach new ways to communicate and connect so that conversations can move forward rather than getting stuck in emotional mud. We help you break harmful patterns and learn how to not overreact or trigger old wounds.
Ideally you have both agreed to go together for the first time. If your partner is reluctant about going, ask if he or she is willing to go just one time to have a safe place to get some things off your chest. Most partners are worried about getting dumped on or of getting locked into going forever. Get a commitment to go once. We can take it from there. That said, it’s common even in the best of circumstances for one person to be more motivated about therapy and working on the relationship and one person to be more ambivalent about the process. That’s fine; we are experienced at working around these differences. If need be, go alone. It is exceedingly possible to change relationships with only one person in therapy. Many relationship struggles are about changing dysfunctional patterns that create barriers to problem solving. You may want to go yourself, too, if you need help figuring out what you really want so you can present that to your partner; or if you are uncertain how committed you are to the relationship; or just to clarify what you may want to ultimately get out of therapy. As the old saying goes, the journey begins by taking the first step. Begin today and you will thank yourself for a lifetime.
“Deep human connection is the purpose and the result of a meaningful life – and it will inspire the most amazing acts of love, generosity, and humanity.” -Melinda Gates