Couples therapy and marriage counseling is focused on understanding and adjusting the problematic patterns and behaviors in the relationship that are interfering with connection and communication. This is just a technical way of talking about understanding how people move from feeling very close and happy to distant and hurt. Often in that hurt people end up reacting toward their partners in ways that they would have never imagined reacting when they first got together as a couple. That hurt can build up over years and after many times of feeling that hurt without it being resolved, couples can become so distant that it feels almost impossible to talk about certain issues or reconnect in a truly open, loving and fun way.
Why Would a Couple Need Therapy?
I am an Emotionally Focused Couples (EFT) therapist, which means that I help couples explore each partner’s experience, needs, and longings to better uncover what it is that each partner is hoping for in the relationship. Often extramarital affairs or cheating is more about friendship, intimacy, and emotional needs than about sex. I help couples understand how to repair connection with their partner during conflict by changing the negative patterns and exploring how each partner can reconnect with their own needs and their partner’s needs. This process is often intensely emotional and helps the couple understand and reconnect with their emotional longings in the relationship. I find that when people learn how to access their own emotions and really begin to know how to express what they are feeling that they can find a way back to each other and heal the hurts in the relationship that were keeping them apart.
Often it becomes very scary to tell your partner that you are hurting or what they said reminded you of when your last partner cheated on you. We protect ourselves when people that we care about hurt us. Over time it becomes hard to find our way back to what it was like before our walls came up when we were “young and in love.”
How Can Couples Therapy Help?
One of the most important and moving parts of the work I do is watching the courage that couples show each other and how through their risks in therapy they are able to show that deep love and care that has always been there but has been so hard to show. Once that love and care come out in a genuine way and the hurts begin to heal, I have found that people feel so free and liberated in their lives.
It is so important and moving when the person you love the most in the world looks you in the eyes, holds your hand and says, “You are enough for me and you are the only person that I want to be with. I love you and I don’t want to ever live life without you.”
I think this is what makes us human. The courage, love, acceptance, capacity for forgiveness, resiliency, connection, compassion and hope that I see with my couples are the elements that make me laugh and cry with joy and keep me coming back for more each day.
Contact the office today to set up a free 30-minute couples counseling initial consultation to see how you and your partner could begin the work to repair or strengthen your current relationship.
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