You’re trying to make a relationship work, but past experiences seem to get in the way. If you or your significant other had difficult childhoods you may struggle with developing healthy adult attachments. The two of you may trigger each other, feel disconnected, or engage in constant conflict.
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.
Maybe you’ve tried to resolve these differences yet you’re having trouble getting on the same page. You want to be able to communicate your hurts, feelings, and needs to your partner yet something gets in the way for both of you. As a result you’re misunderstood. This may cause feelings of anger and resentment or loneliness and disengagement.
At this point you’re ready to do something to change this cycle you’re both stuck in. Couples therapy can help you begin to forge a more trusting, secure, and loving relationship.
“Learning to love and be loved is, in effect, about learning to tune in to our emotions so that we know what we need from a partner and expressing those desires openly, in a way that evokes sympathy and support from him or her.” ― Sue Johnson
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. We will explore both your family histories to seek to understand how the past informs your present difficulties. As you and your partner learn more about each other’s histories, triggers, wounds, and fears, you will be in a better position to change your relationship 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 soothe and 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). Additionally, I bring a trauma-informed perspective to relationship work. If you’re interested in getting started with couples therapy please call 512-270-9002 or email me. I also offer a 6-session couples package to get started improved your relationship.