Our romantic relationships can be our greatest source of joy and fulfillment, but they can also be incredibly distressing. When things aren’t going well in our romantic relationships, we often find ourselves feeling desperate to get our partner to understand something about our experience in the relationship. It can feel like we’re having the same fight or disagreement over and over again. You might even feel hopeless that your partner will ever see things from your perspective. Ultimately, we might find ourselves wondering, “if things don’t change, can I stay in this relationship?”
When you no longer feel like you are able to reach your partner, couples counseling can help. Couples counseling provides a space for both partners to communicate their frustrations, needs, worries, and hopes in a nonjudgmental space. If you find that your attempts to solve the issue at home result in a blow-out fight, couples sessions will foster an environment where both parties feel heard and safe to share. Your therapist will introduce alternative methods of communicating to your partner, so they can finally understand your experience in the relationship. Your therapist can also help to identify patterns and bad habits within the relationship that lead to that same issue arising over and over again.
The truth is, many couples find themselves in this place. All couples experience hardships and struggles at different points. When you are going through this, its easy to imagine that no one else has these challenges with their partner. Rest assured that it is not at all uncommon to seek couples therapy to restore health and happiness to your relationship. In fact, having the insight to know when you need professional help to move through challenges can save your relationship and improve you general well-being. Two willing partners can overcome the most difficult of situations with an effective therapist.
Of course, the question that most couples have is: “does this really work?” The American Psychological Association reports that modern methods in couples therapy are roughly 75% effective. If you have tried couples counseling in the past and have not had success, it is important to consider what didn’t go well and what you are looking for in your next therapeutic experience.
In my practice, I aim to go beyond the surface of communication strategies and improving quality time. In addition to those strategies, I begin to help couples identify core schemas or ways of thinking that lead to difficulties in their relationships. I help each partner take accountability for their role in their relationship challenges through examining their early attachment relationships, family systems, and cognitive distortions. My goal is to put words to the existing patterns of dysfunction in our relationships to enhance self-awareness and foster growth and long-lasting results.