Wondering whether to seek couples counseling can be an intimidating and awkward endeavor. After all, it’s hard for any of us to admit that our most intimate relationship has issues that cause a great deal of pain, and it’s even harder to ask for help in healing that pain.
The good news is that none of us struggling in our relationships is alone. In fact, the struggle to connect with our loved one is universal. Attachment science tells us that the need for a deep and intimate partner relationship is built into our very humanness. Connection is essential for survival! And, everyday experience tells us that our most intimate relationships can deteriorate even in spite of our best efforts to keep them healthy. Fortunately, with the help of a well-researched marital therapy approach (EFT), we can re-create stronger, healthier bonds with our loved, bonds that fill our longings and bring us happiness.
The gist of how we “get stuck” with our partner/spouse is this. When we sense that something is not right with our spouse or in our relationship, we react in understandable and predictable ways. For instance, we may criticize or push while our partner may close down or freeze up (etc). These responses are reasonable, normal, and often repetitive reactions. Have you ever noticed, for example, that your fights with your partner often follow a rather predictable pattern? You’re not the only one; this is quite common.
As your therapist, I help you identify your pattern and individual behaviors, figure out what triggers them, and discover new ways of responding to your partner, ways that are more likely to result in safe emotional connection. Over time, as we work together, you and your partner can become more and more able to avoid the negative cycle altogether and instead provide a foundation of emotional safety and security for each other.
And the best part? You don’t have to be good at communicating or at relationship skills to participate. As your therapist, it is my job to guide you on the journey, and all you need to be successful is a willingness to try and a curiosity about how you, your partner, and your relationship work. With that, you and your partner have the potential to build (or rebuild) a healthy, safe, and secure connection that will be satisfying for years to come.