I work with couples toward rekindling lost feelings and toward resolving long-standing problems that lead to distress, repetitive arguments, pain and divorce. Whether you are experiencing difficulties in your marriage, the discovery of infidelity, or if your marriage is in crisis and on “life support,” I would like to help you create and sustain a happier, healthier, more resilient and loving relationship.
When is Couples Counseling Recommended?
If you are struggling with any of the following relationship problems, couples counseling can help:
- Arguing over the same things with little or no resolution
- Your partner doesn’t understand you, hear you or take you seriously
- There has been an infidelity or affair and you aren’t sure if you can heal or how to begin. It’s hard to imagine you can trust your partner again (or if the affair was yours, that your partner will ever trust you again)
- You feel unloved, disrespected, ignored, criticized or unimportant
- The love and connection you once felt seems to have evaporated
- Your sex life is no longer what it once was or what you wish it to be
- You disagree on parenting issues and how to discipline or raise your children
- Your family has experienced a traumatic event and instead of finding a way to support each other through the situation, you are finding yourselves becoming angry, bitter and more distressed
These problems can be resolved when you engage in couples counseling in a safe non-judgmental environment. I would like to help you improve communication, trust and reduce painful arguments and disagreements while creating safety for productive and meaningful understanding, shared engagement and decision making; making your differences an asset vs. a liability–after all, these are the very things that might have attracted you to one another in the first place.
How Does Couples Counseling Work?
We will begin with an understanding of where the problems in your relationship lie. Many times couples have longstanding core misunderstandings or vastly different approaches to life and relationships. Until these are understood and explored, it is difficult to find and develop common ground. I work with couples in order to “bridge this gap” in understanding.
I listen to a couple’s struggle and help partners to reconnect by helping each partner to express his or her ideas and views in ways that can be heard and understood by the other. I also help couples to have understanding and compassion for the views, positions and feelings of the other partner. When misunderstandings are addressed, couples’ problems are minimized and solutions can be explored. Problems and conflicts that once seemed unmanageable and unsolvable can be considered in new and different ways; sometimes surprising solutions to long-standing problems can be discovered.
Working with Male/Female Differences
Another culprit in relationships relates to the differences between men and women. Although it may be politically incorrect to say this, I believe that men and women (generally speaking) have aspects of their personalities that are very different by nature. Women and men often see things differently, have different priorities, experience pleasure differently and have different ways of communicating. These differences are important and can actually enhance relationships when understood and respected–our differences can divide us or they can enrich us–we will work toward the latter.
Healing from Infidelity
If your marriage has been impacted by an affair, we will need to work toward addressing feelings of hurt and betrayal and toward re-engaging your commitment to one another with an understanding that the affair must be used toward healing and bettering your relationship. This is not to say that it will ever be considered a “good” thing, yet we will work toward transforming the hurt and pain into something that will be meaningful and unifying as opposed to being destructive and hopeless. While some of the same goals and methods described above will be useful, the tone of the counseling will be one of repair, forgiveness, acceptance and discovery. Feelings of betrayal will be addressed, explored and respected, however, at the end of successful counseling involving an affair, each partner will feel more commitment and appreciation for the other, regardless of which partner had the affair. Otherwise, resentment and doubt will continue to plague the couple and problems are sure to follow. We will keep this in mind in our work together, as well.
Working toward a Solution that Works for Both Partners
In marriage and true partnership, there is no winner and loser because, as a unit, if one of you loses, so does the other.
If your spouse or partner isn’t ready or willing to enter counseling with you, see Couples for One. There is still hope for you and your relationship.
If you are ready to heal your relationship, to experience again those feelings that brought you together in the first place and to create a more solid relationship founded on trust and respect, please call me or email me to set up an appointment.