Couples Counseling

Are You Struggling To Communicate With Your Partner?

Couples Counseling

  • Have difficulties in your relationship left you feeling confused? Do you feel like something is wrong with you or like you don’t measure up?
  • Are you and your partner stuck in an unhealthy and unproductive pattern of “attack & defend” communication? Are misunderstandings or miscommunication interfering with your ability to solve problems?
  • Do you find yourself caught up in the same arguments or fights without ever truly resolving the conflict?
  • Do you feel overwhelmed by anxiety about the future of your relationship?
  • Are you worried that if you and your partner do separate, you will end up alone?

You may spend so much time and energy quelling fears about your relationship that you are too exhausted to stay present. Or, one or both of you may be emotionally or physically avoiding difficult conversations and situations in an attempt to maintain peace in your relationship. As a result, you may feel even more disconnected from your partner, like you are living with a stranger instead of a lover.

Alternately, you may be having trouble adjusting to a new family dynamic. Perhaps you recently brought a baby home or have become a new step parent. You and your partner may not know how to work together to make difficult parenting decisions. When you experience repetitive communication struggles, it can leave you wondering if your relationship can ever work. You may feel hopeless that, despite your best efforts, you don’t know how to make it better. Do you wish you could build a stronger connection with your partner and feel happy in your relationship?

Couples CounselingMany Relationships Hit Bumps In The Road

Almost all couples face rough patches where one or both members feel unhappy or dissatisfied. People often believe that something is wrong with them because they don’t look like other happy couples they see. But, you are essentially comparing the external image that people want you to believe about them against how you feel inside. There is no place where we are taught how to build an intimate, loving relationship in the real world. So, we all try to figure it out for ourselves, observing our parents and other adult relationships. We see these how these people connect and decide what to do different and how to avoid recreating unhappy relationships we may have grown up in. And, as many of us have learned, being in a relationship can be a lot of hard work.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to build a stronger, healthier foundation with your partner. Couples counseling can help you develop the communication and relationship skills you need to foster compassion, love and trust in a meaningful and lasting way.

Couples Counseling Can Help You Feel Confident And Loved In Your Relationship

I approach counseling as a partnership; I believe that therapy is something you do with someone, not to them. I recognize that you are the expert on your situation, and I work with you to identify and address the specific challenges you are dealing with in your relationship. With relationship counseling, you and your partner can learn new coping skills and communication techniques to manage and reduce conflict. I provide a safe space where you can come together to identify and address the hidden reasons behind your relationship difficulties.Couples Counseling

We all bring our own learned behaviors (baggage) and coping skills into our relationships. But, these techniques may not always be effective in helping us respond to conflict with our partner. One of the first steps I take during relationship counseling is to teach you how to recognize the meaning behind your behavior and communication. You can understand how childhood influences have affected your ability to be vulnerable or open with one another. With the right guidance and support, you and your partner can learn how to express your wants and needs more clearly. Rather than drawing lines in the sand, you can work together to find resolutions where you both feel happy and satisfied.

During our sessions, I help you and your partner develop positive rituals and enhance your emotional and physical intimacy and attachment. You can build awareness and skills that allow you to replace the “attack/defend” pattern of communication with a calmer, more understanding conversation. By coming together to face conflict and learning to listen for understanding, you can restore a sense of safety and fun in your relationship.

young couple embraceAs we begin, I will meet with you and your partner together to explain what relationship counseling will look like for you. We then meet individually for a confidential session. You will each be invited to participate in an independent online assessment provided by the Gottman Institute. The Gottman protocols for couples therapy are based on 40 years of research. Using these protocols, we will be able to develop an individualized plan as well as a strategy to support your relationship as a whole. We can identify patterns you learned during childhood that may be interfering with your ability to foster an open, honest and healthy relationship as an adult. With this new understanding and awareness, you can recognize and replace harmful patterns of behavior and communication that are creating conflict with your partner.

I have been helping couples understand and address relationship issues for over 25 years. In that time, I have seen how effective couples counseling can be in resolving conflict and finding relief. With my help, you and your partner can understand why you have been struggling and rekindle the trust, love and passion in your relationship.

But, you may still have questions or concerns about couples counseling…

I’m afraid relationship counseling will make things worse.

One of the most common concerns about beginning counseling is the fear that something will come up that you can’t overcome, or that one member will be targeted or “ganged up on.” But, avoiding issues or keeping secrets won’t help you heal your relationship. Additionally, an unwillingness to discuss difficult topics may be what brought you to this point to begin with. I provide a safe space where you and your partner can feel comfortable exploring challenges and developing solutions together.

Our relationship needs help now! What if counseling takes too long?

Many couples believe that therapy will take years to work. But, there are resources and skills you can use to find immediate relief in your relationship. You can learn to identify communication topics that trigger conflict and take steps to work through those disagreements before they get out of hand. And, when you feel confident that you can recognize and respond to challenges, we can put the proper time into achieving lasting healing and growth. We’re constantly revising our sessions and identifying what worked or didn’t work. In my experience, most couples begin to see results within the first few weeks.

Can I still see you if my partner can’t or won’t come to couples counseling sessions?

While it is ideal to work with both members in a relationship, there are many relationship challenges we can work on through individual relationship counseling sessions. You can see that you aren’t alone in the difficulties you are facing, and you can take steps to foster healthy communication and trust with your partner. And, as your partner starts to see the positive changes in your relationship, he or she may even volunteer to begin attending sessions.

If your partner does decide to join couples counseling later, I will schedule an individual appointment so he or she has the same opportunities as if you had come in together.

I’m not sure we can afford couples counseling.

I understand that finances can be tight, and it isn’t an easy decision to pay for therapy. This can be especially true when other solutions you have tried haven’t provided any relief. But, what is the cost if you continue to avoid addressing the challenges you are facing? Can your relationship afford not to try couples counseling?

You Can Heal And Strengthen Your Relationship

Are you ready to build a deeper, lasting connection with your partner? Do you still have questions about couples counseling? I invite you to call my office in Brandon, Florida at (813) 759-3278 to schedule an initial appointment and discuss your relationship goals.