Do any of these statements sound familiar?
We’re always arguing and just going around in circles.
What’s the big deal?
Well, you’re the one who started it!!!
I don’t like who I become when we argue.
The spark is gone. Can we ever get it back?
No, not tonight – I’m really tired.
If you really loved me, you’d know what I want.
No, that’s not what I said!!!
Turtle or hailstorm during arguments?
Shy away from disagreement or conflict?
These are just some of the fairly common issues that can develop in a relationship. Trying to figure out how to solve them on your own can be difficult.
Couples and individuals normally come to counseling for three main reasons. First, for change, growth and personal development and development within the relationship. Life transitions i.e. birth of a child, kids going off to college, retirement and death of a loved one also can impact a partner differently. Second, couples come for help in making a decision including “should or shouldn’t we get married”. And, third, couples come to counseling in order to decide if they want to dissolve their relationship.
You don’t have to be headed for a break-up or even a break down in your relationship to do couples work. Actually, it’s never too early, or too late, to do couples work.
We live in a uniquely American “do it yourself” culture. Research has shown that Americans place higher demands on their marriages than they did in the past; one reason being the intensity of 21 st century life. Increased expectations, together with life in the digital age, leaves individuals with less energy and emotional capacity to meet the needs of their partners.
What follows next is disappointment and, perhaps, even blame as partners fail to meet the illusion of perfection. Putting all of our eggs in one basket we expect our mates to be our best friends, best lovers and best support system.
It’s not the differences between you but the lack of resolution regarding the issues that stem from those differences. Plus the buildup of resentment that follows.
How are you handling those differences? How does your partner handle them?
I work with couples that have a baseline of health so that no one is threatening to harm him or herself or his or her partner. Being passionate is one thing; domestic abuse is another. If domestic violence, addiction or a major mental health issue is a current or past concern, please seek help from a specialist in that area.
I offer specific interventions and techniques for you to work on at home starting from the very first session. I believe in engaging with you and not simply listening and reflecting back to you. Our work together is achievement oriented, making use of evidenced based therapeutic techniques while staying focused on desired outcomes. What we do together is more than improving skills. My goal for you is lasting change .
Couples counseling will help you to…
- Explore strengths, identify triggers
- Understand existing expectations and patterns in thoughts and behaviors
- Realize the underlying cause of your relationship distress
- Increase motivation for change and action
- Improve communications without arguing, criticizing, bickering or blame
- Learn how to handle major conflicts
- Learn calm couples discussions and interactions even when the subject is uncomfortable
- Learn how to work through your anxiety when tough topics arise
- Receive tools and worksheets so you’ll know exactly what to say and do
- Re-establish emotional and physical intimacy
- Get through a crisis such as infidelity, grief and loss
- Repair trust
- Become the best version of yourself
Learn all of this in:
A supportive environment where the relationship is respected
If your partner is unable or unwilling to come, you may choose to pursue solo couples counseling. More information is provided under the website’s section titled Individuals . Sometimes a partner decides to opt in for future sessions or to get help in processing thoughts and feelings as your counseling progresses.
Please review both the couples and the individual counseling services sections of my website for information that may be of a cross-over nature. I also work with individuals focusing on anxiety, stress management, bereavement, grief and loss and internal dialogues.
My website can’t replace an informative one-on-one conversation. So, I welcome any questions you may have. I can be reached at 470-461-7211 or at [email protected]
You’ve only been married a year or two. Maybe you’re engaged to be married or you’ve been dating each other for a while now and your relationship is going nowhere. Isn’t it time to address these issues early on before they escalate into major conflicts and one or both of you ends up feeling resentful?
Walk away from a difficult conversation feeling demoralized, resentful,
exhausted and out-of-synch?
Usually move on and hope you don’t have to discuss it again?
Give in during a discussion in order to avoid confrontation?
Feel angry and resentful as if it’s no use?
There are predictable reasons why a couple is struggling and why relationships fail. They often don’t understand why they’re struggling. Or what to do and where to start. Many believe that there’s something wrong with them or something inherently flawed about their relationship. However, a breakdown in a relationship doesn’t have to mean a breakup.
What’s different about the way I work with clients?
A chief complaint among clients is the embarrassment they feel in the therapist’s office. It’s important for you to know that I don’t just sit and listen and let a couple unleash their anger and conflicts, feeling embarrassed as they bring out the worst in themselves.
We work together to address not only your relational symptoms but also the wounds carried over from each of your histories. You’re here to save the relationship and to see actual change not just compromise .
Hope is not an option. Denial is not a solution.
Intimacy is a state of emotional closeness and understanding that is acceptable to each partner without causing discomfort for either person. It characterizes close, familiar and usually affectionate or loving personal relationships. An intimacy issue might involve difficulties with sex, trust, self-disclosure or commitment.
Let’s discuss sex for a moment. Not only is it a common issue but it can also be the most difficult to discuss. Sex is one of the most exciting, intimate connections we can share with our partner. Yet many experience sex as a source of frustration instead of joy. Intimacy issues may be the result of physical, emotional, sexual, or spiritual aspects all of which exist in a relational context.
Having a discussion about sex is deeply personal. In order to let you know that I’m comfortable discussing intimacy, I begin by asking you if there’s anything you might want to talk about regarding sex during our therapy. If you say “no”, that’s ok. You may decide to bring it up later. You have the power of choice.
If you say “yes”, I’ll begin by taking a brief assessment. If necessary, I’ll do a deeper assessment of the relevant issues and relational components. As we progress, I’ll introduce interventions and provide psycho-education as needed.
Many issues are more common than you may realize. Please know that as your counselor I’m committed to providing you with a safe space to discuss intimacy issues.
SOLO COUPLES COUNSELING
Sound confusing, contradictory or impossible? Sometimes, one person refuses to come in; continually declaring that there’s nothing wrong with them. It’s you.
Why do I have to do all the work?
Fair question. You don’t. However, if you choose to…..
Couples don’t grow hand in hand and you can’t force your partner to grow with you. However, you can start growing on your own and consequently, once you start the work, your changes will, in time, begin to influence your partner and your relationship. We can change how people respond to us.
Acting alone you can also create far-reaching positive change. It does mean, however, that you will have to let go of your need for fairness and the expectation that partners should work together at the same time. You can be the fore-runner for change. A great book on this topic is It Takes One To Tango by Winifred M. Reilly.
I offer a complimentary phone consultation so I can answer any questions and discuss your situation and concerns. In addition, I integrate spiritual/faith based counseling upon request. Telecounseling in the form of phone and HIPPA compliant video is also available as needed. You may reach me at 470-461-7211 or at [email protected]
Your time is precious. Many thanks for sharing it with me. Please don’t hesitate to come back often, make use of my resources and read the relevant information in my upcoming Blog posts. The information is here to serve you.
I hope to see you soon.
With the deepest respect for your journey.