You’re trying to make a relationship work, but past experiences seem to get in the way. If you or your partner haven’t had safe and trusting relationships as children, you may lack a model for how to have healthy bonds as adults. You may have difficulty trusting your partner to truly love you and be there for you. During times of conflict or disconnection you may perceive your spouse as attacking and critical, or cold and withholding. Often, these views create rigid cycles that perpetuate conflict and lack of communication in your relationship.
How Couples Therapy Helps
As we begin to work together, my first goal is to help you de-escalate conflict and destructive patterns of communication. By reducing blame of one another, couples begin to feel safer expressing their feelings to each other. Together, we will seek to identify and understand the patterns and feelings underneath current interactions. In therapy it is important to understand what meaning you assign to each other’s behavior and how we can begin to change these dynamics.
A longer-term goal for couples is the development of safety, trust, and reliability in the relationship. In adult attachment (as with children) it is crucial to view your partner as a “secure base,” a reliable source of comfort and support. Therefore, it is important to help you develop safety and comfort in sharing your feelings and needs with one another. Truly understanding your partner, and what they want and need, contributes to improved emotional connection and relationship wellbeing.
Of course, we also can’t always expect our partner to know what we want and need and to be there for us 100% of the time. Therefore, it’s also important to develop your ability to manage relationship frustration and be able to comfort yourself when your partner is unavailable.
In my work with couples I use methods and techniques from family systems theories, attachment theory, and Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) which are evidence-based treatments for couples. If you’re interested in getting started with couples therapy please call 512-270-9002.