Often when couples reach out for help, they are in a great deal of pain and conflict, and their relationship is fragile. At times, couples “white knuckle it” to survive in their relationship and reach resentment and desperation before seeking therapy. Making the appointment is a first big step. It shows you care enough about each other on some level to make the commitment to invest in your relationship. With a willingness to learn as a couple, be understanding of one another, show compassion, implement new skills, and work towards change and growth, a healthy rewarding relationship is possible.
Sometimes one or both partners are skeptical about therapy as a tool in improving their relationship. When couples are unsure how therapy can help, I ask them to commit to participating in three sessions before making a decision. This allows them to get firsthand experience of therapy and evaluate if it is a tool they want to use in working on their relationship. It helps a couple know if they can trust in the process and the therapist. Once open to the process of therapy, I provide support, and guide couples on their journey towards repair and harmony and creating a healthy, loving, and thriving relationship. At times couples discover through this process that the relationship needs to end. The work then turns to a healthier way to end the relationship while having respect and compassion for each other.
Some common issues of focus with couples in therapy are:
- Conflict and communication
- Connection and isolation
- Individual issues and the impact on the couple
- Extended family
- Parenting issues
- Responsibilities of the relationship (finances, chores, etc.)
- Hopes, dreams, aspirations
- Trust, infidelity, betrayal
- Intimacy and sexuality