Commonly asked questions
What will we gain from Couples Therapy? How will my relationship improve?
The needs of each relationship are different and so too then is the outcome. In general, however, you can expect the following gains:
- Reestablishment of hope
- Strengthened commitment to the relationship
- Increased levels of trust
- Improved ability to have honest and vulnerable conversations, communicating real feelings and needs
- Reduced defensiveness and increased understanding of the feelings which compel either of you to attack or to withdrawal
- Reduced power struggles
- Increased mutual respect
- Increased awareness of the dynamic nature of the relationship and reduced blaming
- Increased awareness of the triggers and negative patterns that hinder the quality of your relationship
- Improved ability to communicate with sensitivity and care
- Improved ability to manage conflict in ways that are respectful and constructive
- Increased awareness of your partner’s needs and desires
- Increased ability to meet your partner’s needs and desires
- Increased awareness of the daily stressors that interferes with connection
- Improved desire and ability to prioritize the relationship
- Improved quality romance and passion
- Engagement in a satisfying and fulfilling relationship
What should I expect - The Process?
I believe that life is about relationships and that the effectiveness of a relationship depends upon chemistry – finding the right person for you. This is true when it comes to therapy as well. Hence, finding a therapist who “fits” with you is necessary for success. Because of this, I offer a brief telephone consultation that will allow you to describe your situation and to get a general feel for our connection. This consultation is offered free of charge. If you and your partner are comfortable with me as your choice, the first session will be scheduled. I recommend the first two sessions be 1.5 hours. During the first session, both members of the couple are asked to be present. The second session will be split into two 45 minute sessions where each person will meet with me individually. After the second session, you and your partner should reconvene to decide if you would like to move forward. If so, I recommend a three month commitment to the process. At that point, it is expected that your primary issues will have been resolved and that you will feel hopeful and happy about your relationship. Follow-up sessions to maintain your gains are recommended once per month for the next three months, unless more or fewer sessions are deemed needed. I always am available to address crisis situations with current clients through phone call or text. Payment is requested in keeping with your scheduled commitment. Canceling appointments is not recommended as the progress of your relationship is predicated upon consistent care. Like everything else in life, relationships prosper when they’re consistently nurtured.
When is the right time to seek couples counseling?
It sometimes is not easy to acknowledge that your relationship needs help and many couples wait well beyond what they should, allowing conflicts and unresolved issues to erode feelings of love and connection. By the time they reach out for help, they’re feeling quite misunderstood and unappreciated by their partner. Often, communication has become limited or aggressive and conflict is high and persistent, they have stopped being “nice” to one another and communication is biting and harsh. Often they’ve prioritized other things, such as work and the rearing of children, leaving the relationship devoid of intimacy and sexual pleasure. In short, each person is unhappy – wanting more, but feeling unsure whether that’s possible. Before this happens, it may be time to consider getting professional help. Specifically, It may be time to consider Couples Therapy if you are dealing with any of these issues:
- You have concern that your or your partner’s commitment to the relationship is waning.
- You’re having more frequent or more intense conflict.
- You repeatedly argue about the same issues.
- There is diminished trust.
- You aren’t sure you envision the same life or life goals.
- You’re experiencing diminished passion, romance, desire or sex.
- You’re struggling with infertility.
- You’re having difficulty adjusting to parenthood or to a blended family situation.
- One or both of you is thinking about or is having an affair.
- You’re feeling disconnected and distant.
Can a relationship heal after an affair?
The effects of infidelity are difficult to overcome and the need for professional help is almost always indicated. If your partner has been unfaithful you may feel like everything you believed about your relationship is untrue. You may wonder if you contributed to the situation or if the other person has qualities that you lack. You may feel taxed and continuously vigilant. You may wonder how you could ever trust your partner again. You may be struggling with feelings of anger, resentment, distrust, insecurity and vigilance. If you have stepped out on your relationship, you may question your own value as a partner, feel like you’ve made a mistake, wish to go back in time, fear loss of your partner and/or family, or experience self-deprecating thoughts. You may wonder how to answer your partner’s questions or to restore trust. You may be experiencing feelings of guilt, unworthiness, shame, or regret. One thing is for sure, when infidelity has occurred, both parties are suffering on some level and getting help to heal is vital.
Note: The impact of infidelity is great, but it doesn’t have to be fatal. Each person can heal individually. Additionally, the couple can reestablish trust and peace and create a relationship that is even stronger and more fulfilling.