We long for connection, so why is it so hard?
In today’s world relationships are complicated by many factors including chronic work stress, too many obligations, social isolation, financial stress, and poor communication. Instead of turning towards one another for support, couples often become disconnected and disillusioned with their relationship.
Common couples issues addressed in counseling include improving communication, resolving conflict, restoring lost connection, intimacy, trust and infidelity.
Often couples come in and say to me, “I’m not sure we should be here. Our problems don’t seem big enough yet.” I always say that is the best time to come in for counseling. As with physical health issues, preventative and early treatment works best. When couples have the right skills to communicate and connect with each other emotionally, they are able to gain support and strength through their relationship and turn to each other to manage life stressors together rather than have the relationship be a source of stress.
There are different points in time when couples are especially vulnerable to experiencing increasing levels of dissatisfaction in a relationship: after the initial 3 – 6 months of dating when the “honeymoon” phase wears off, during the planning of a wedding or commitment ceremony, after moving in together, during pregnancy and/or after the birth of a baby, with multiple children under the age of 5 in the home, and when children go to college or move out.
If you’re wondering if right now is the time to come in for couples counseling, it probably is. There are many benefits to establishing and maintaining a healthy relationship. According to nationally-recognized researcher, author, and therapist, Dr. John Gottman, indviduals in healthy relationships:
- Live longer.
- Sustain more responsive immune systems.
- Are less likely to act out with violence on self or others.
- Experience 35% less illness.
- Report fewer emotional or mental health issues.
I offer counseling for couples at all stages of the relationship. My goal is to strengthen connection through couples, pre-marital, and marital counseling. I also work with couples who are trying to re-store their relationship after an affair.
“Love has an immense ability to help heal the devastating wounds that life sometimes deals us. Love also enhances our sense of connection to the larger world. Loving responsiveness is the foundation of a truly compassionate, civilized society.”
― Sue Johnson,