Therapy for Children and the Adults in their Lives
- Creating intimacy and safety
- Parenting issues
- Money conflicts
- Healing from trauma
- Divorce or breakup
- Loss of attraction
- Sexual issues
- After the affair
- Blended families
- Work/Life balance
Are you and your partner having a hard time communicating and connecting?
Does it feel like you’re having the same argument or type of argument over and over without any meaningful or lasting resolution?
Do you miss the playful, intimate connection you once shared and wonder if it’s possible to reignite the spark that drew you together? Are you worried about your relationship? Is your relationship in trouble? It can be stressful and draining to be out of sync with your partner.
For most people, intimate relationships are both the most fulfilling and difficult area of life. Emotional intimacy can be beautiful, but it can also be extremely challenging.
Being appropriately vulnerable can be difficult for some people – especially those who have experienced pain in the past. Deep feelings can be triggered including both positive and negative emotions.
I believe that modern relationships provide an opportunity to heal old wounds if both partners can learn the skills needed to create safety and communication. I have seen this process transform stale or angry relationships into the kind of intimacy and life support I think everyone wants. Reaching this place does take a commitment, but it is well worth it.
I have experience helping couples work through the conflicts, disappointments and hurts that arise – so they can have the relationship they want.
I think most couples know the list of big issues: money, in-laws, the demands of work, sharing household duties, jealousy, balancing sexual appetites, trust, anger, and on and on. I believe that any couple that has the genuine desire to work through whatever is coming up can succeed in building a strong and rewarding relationship.
Working with Parents and Families
Beyond creating a relationship, becoming parents brings up even more intense emotional challenges for most people. These days most parents work and have to deal with their work life and the challenges of caring for children while still trying to have time and energy to keep their relationship healthy. While not every relationship can be saved, I strongly believe that most can and that working through relationship issues is as important for the adults as it is for the children involved.
Conflicting parenting styles can be a major source of family stress. It can divide the parents and is often the source of behavioral problems in children.
Couples counseling can include seeing all members of a family, including parents, kids, grandparents and anyone else who is part of the family.
Adoption can be joyful as well as bring up special issues for both parents and children. This is particularly a situation in which therapy can bring quick results, because everyone is new to the situation and there is a need to clarify boundaries, expectations and routines.
Trust issues are particularly difficult when infidelity or addictions are involved. In my experience these issues are not insurmountable, but do require a firm decision on the part of both parties to change behaviors and remain in the relationship. This often involves a combination of couples therapy and individual work to deal with the underlying issues that created the problems.
Healing & Moving on
I have also worked with couples and individuals who are in the process of ending a relationship. This is, of course, more difficult when children are involved. In either case the goal is to limit the damage, heal what can be healed and help everyone move on. Therapy can be enormously productive and can head off serious and long-term problems that are likely to arise if too many issues are left unresolved.
You deserve it!
Whatever the situation is, most relationships have room for more growth, more joy, and more connection. With the help of a skilled professional and the willingness of both you and your partner to engage in the therapy process, it is possible to have the relationship you want and desire – or at least move closer in this direction. Both you and your partner deserve this, and by improving your relationship you are likely to improve how you feel in all areas of your life.
Although you may believe that you and your partner could benefit from additional support right now, you still may have questions or concerns about couples counseling…
I feel that we really need help, but my partner won’t join me for couples counseling.
In all honesty, couples counseling is most effective when both partners are present and willing to engage in the process. That said, there is work that you can do on your own that can help to improve the dynamic of your relationship. In individual therapy sessions, you can explore your personal needs, desires and goals for the relationship as well as how you’re showing up (or not showing up) for your partner. You can learn new ways to communicate with and relate to your partner as well as methods to mitigate or deescalate conflict. Working on yourself can not only help you feel more satisfied and joyful in life, but making noticeable changes in how you relate to your partner can have a positive impact on your relationship and even soften your partner on the idea of therapy.
We’ve heard that couples counseling is expensive and can take a long time.
Couples counseling is more than an investment in your relationship – it’s an investment in yourself, your partner, your family and your life. If you have children, you know that what transpires in your partnership has an impact on your family. Your career is also affected by the quality of your relationship. When we are in healthy, satisfying relationships, we’re more likely to take healthy risks and experience happiness and success in work and other areas of our lives.
And, couples counseling does not have to take forever. Like anything of value in life, you get out of the experience what you put into it. If both you and your partner are present and willing to openly engage in the process, you can begin to experience results in a few sessions.
I’m afraid that therapy will shine a light on everything that’s not working in our relationship and it will be worse.
While some sessions may be difficult, therapy is unlikely to make your relationship worse. However, if you continue to leave issues unaddressed, there is a good chance that your relationship will become more tense and disconnected. In therapy, I can help you call attention to the places in your relationship that need work. You and your partner can develop effective communication skills and learn how to talk with and listen to each other with more compassion and connection.