Couples come to therapy for many reasons but most frequently for one or more of the following: better communication, more trust, more emotional intimacy or more sexual intimacy.
Often, one partner wants the other to have more empathy, compassion and a better understanding of their perspective. Sometimes people don’t feel safe asking for what they need or want in the relationship. Sometimes people ask for what they want but never seem to get it. Whatever the reason, couples often reach an impasse, unable to get the empathy and understanding they need from each other by themselves.
Statistics today identify the four predictors of divorce to be:
Criticism, Defensiveness, Withdrawal, and Contempt
By eliminating these adverse coping skills and replacing them with loving and effective skills and techniques, relationships improve. Trust, communication and a loving connection can be restored and re-established.
How Couples Therapy Can Help
Therapy can provide lasting and positive results for couples to have increased satisfaction, and feel more love and connection in the relationship. Couples get faster results when both people are committed to making a positive change.
Therapy gives both people insights about what they want to see differently in themselves and what they want to see differently in their partner and the relationship. It focuses on discovering unmet needs, lost parts, and overcoming defensiveness that prevents intimacy. Therapy promotes insight to give you additional ways to perceive the problems and additional ways to get results.
Together we will:
- Identify the issues and conflicts that prevent intimacy and safety.
- Identify factors that you and your partner do to sabotage what you want
- Help you develop insights and skills to let go of what’s not working and get what you need.
- Use cutting edge communication skills and techniques to change counterproductive and upsetting behavior
- Look at how you can support each other effectively and genuinely through the changes you make
- Create a space where you reach a new level of success in your relationship
On the first visit, I usually ask the couple to come up with three responses to:
“This relationship would be better for me if……1)…. 2)….. 3)….. ”.
How I Can Help
I see my role giving attention, support and direction to help couples develop what they need to make a break-through rather than a break up. Most therapy is short term. I teach effective skills that you can use at home. The goal of therapy is to make changes so the couple will have increased satisfaction and feel more love and connection in the relationship.
I also meet with couples prior to weddings and holy unions. Pre-Marital counseling gives couples the opportunity to look at issues that often come up in relationships before they come up! This gives the couple the chance to see where they have differences in values and beliefs, and how they can prevent conflict when these differences arise. You don’t have to agree on everything to have a good relationship, but you have to respect the differences. I have a pre-commitment questionnaire that addresses relationship issues. These include: money, relatives, children, vacations, work, household chores, sex, dealing with crisis times of life, fidelity, romance, use of alcohol, tobacco, marijuana and other drugs, communication rules, personality differences, role of friends, physical appearance, jealousy, cultural background issues, personal goals, pre-nupual agreements and blending families. Discussing your areas of concern prior to your big day, will give you an insightful and valuable approach to minimizing future problems and maintaining respect for your partner and your relationship.