Most relationships aren't perfect. Each person brings their own ideas, values, opinions and personal history into a relationship, and they don't always match their partner's. Those differences don't necessarily mean your relationship is bound for conflict. To the contrary, differences can be complementary and can also help people understand, respect and accept opposing views and cultures.
As time passes though, some couples find those habits and/or differences that were once charming now annoying. Or, specific issues, such as an extramarital affair or loss of sexual attraction, trigger problems in a relationship. Other times, there's a gradual disintegration of communication and caring.
Whatever the cause, distress in a relationship can create undue stress, anxiety, unhappiness, concern, fear and other problems. You may hope your relationship troubles just go away but typically this isn’t the case. If left unresolved resentment may set in and eventually the relationship may only worsen and eventually lead to physical or psychological problems, such as anxiety and/or depression. A turbulent relationship can also affect your job performance and/or affect other family members or even friendships.
Some of the typical issues that couples counseling can help you and a spouse or partner manage are: Anger, Blended families, Changing roles, Communication difficulties, Cultural issues, Divorce/Separation, Finances, Infertility, Infidelity, Substance abuse, Parenting differences , Physical or Mental conditions, Unemployment, Sexual difficulties.
In couple’s therapy, you and your partner will be assisted in resolving your existing conflicts while learning how to respect your differences. We all want to feel like we can be ourselves and be completely accepted for who we are by our partner. You will both be helped to communicate and listen to each other more effectively, to share responsibility within your relationship, to avoid criticism and to identify common life goals. My approach to couples counseling is to help you learn:
- Ways to improve communications skills
- How to gain and maintain respect for one another
- When, where, and how to talk about problems
- How long to talk about a problem, as well as when and how to 'agree to disagree'
- How to improve your problem-solving skills as a couple
- How to improve the relationship even without your partner's active participation