Relationships are about communicating your innermost thoughts and feelings – this is emotional intimacy.
First, there is dating, trying to meet someone special, and then there is chemistry. This is how you know you have found someone special. Similarities you share allow you to feel comfortable with each other, and the differences are, hopefully, complimentary.
Some couples talk about how everything changed after they were married or had children. As life gets increasingly more complicated with more responsibilities, the need for conversations grows.
Couples, like children go through developmental stages that affect their relationship and calls for revisions in the ways they relate to each other. Some couples become hyper-focused on tasks, and don’t make time for sharing feelings, or don’t know how.
Often couples plow along, growing their careers and families, and attempt to keep up with shared calendars. In the process, time-starved marriages become the norm with dwindling affection, and feeling distant takes over. Some couples lapse into blaming and defending games that escalate their conflicts. Sometimes, the hope is that if I am louder than I am more likely going to being heard.
In therapy, I focus on the relationship – communication is more than just talking. Partners learn about the impact of their verbal and nonverbal messages, and develop skills for having respectful and meaningful conversations. Couples practice asking questions before reacting, to deepen their understanding of each other’s perspective. Couples start to understand that no one has the “one truth, there are just different perspectives – opening eyes to seeing many new possibilities.
My approach to therapy with couples is varied, this depends on the couple’s life stage and reasons for seeking help. Trained in relationship dynamics, the focus may be on current stresses and problem solving or patterns of interaction negatively affecting partners’ communication. For couples seeking a deeper understanding of the strengths and want to identify growth areas for their relationship – I offer: Gottmans Couples Therapy.