Have You Encountered Roadblocks In Your Partnership?
Are your needs not getting met in your intimate relationship?
Does your connection with your partner lack safety, acceptance, or trust?
Would you benefit from a safe, neutral atmosphere where you could open up and have tough conversations?
“Attachment” can feel like a big, intimidating word, but it simply encapsulates the human need—a need we all possess—to feel safe, connected, and desired in our relationships. When attachment within our most intimate relationship is compromised through conflict, injury, or a lack of emotional accessibility, it becomes increasingly difficult to build a strong, healthy bond with our partners.
Maybe you often experience fear and uncertainty in your relationship. Because you are unsure of how your partner feels or convinced that they are disappointed with you in some way, you may feel a strong emotional need to connect—even if that’s through a destructive pattern of conflict. Perhaps your relationship dynamic has introduced a cycle of anger, tension, clinginess, and despair. And though you understand this pattern and can predict when it’s developing, you don’t have the tools necessary to stop it.
Instead, you and your partner end up having the same arguments or look elsewhere for comfort when what you’re really seeking is the comfort of one another. It may be that the tension between you has grown so strong, you are beginning to consider separation or divorce.
A skilled, objective couples counselor can help you stop the cycle. In therapy, the two of you can come together as a couple to learn strategies for fostering love, acceptance, and security. As you nurture your connection, you’ll experience new ways of relating to one another, further enhancing mutual feelings of intimacy and support.
We Bring Complicated Emotional Histories Into Each Of Our Relationships
Though you may have convinced yourself that the rut in your relationship or marriage is specific to you as a couple, the truth is that relationship setbacks are incredibly common. Every relationship is an evolving organism, with each partner bringing their own individual experiences into the mix. If either or both partners lack self-understanding and self-acceptance or fail to grasp the ongoing, evolving nature of their relationship, distress and conflict are likely to ensue.
Furthermore, intimate relationships are mirrors of ourselves as individuals, often emphasizing the elements of our personality that are wounded or still in progress. For example, partners can off-load negative feelings and experiences onto one another instead of looking within for healing and self-assurance—this is usually because they were not given the proper tools to comfort and heal themselves as individuals.
We’re all doing our best with the emotional blueprints that have been made available to us—blueprints we learned from other vital attachments in our lives (especially those with parents or caregivers), even if those relationship models were not always healthy or affirming. The prospect of therapy forces us to confront these shortcomings, which can be frightening, uncomfortable, and, in some cultures, stigmatized.
But couples counseling is a chance to enhance not only our relationship with our partners but that with ourselves. Through couples therapy, each partner can better understand their role in their relationship, their contribution to the cycle of conflict, and their strengths for repairing emotional wounds.
Working together from the inside out, I can help you make more sense of your internal emotional landscape so that you can respond to relationship conflict and challenges more effectively as a couple.
Couples Therapy At MINDplexcity
Conflict arises when partners don’t feel safe or secure in the relationship, and it is perpetuated when an atmosphere at home has been transformed into one of chronic conflict and disconnection. Couples therapy offers you a safe haven to come together with your partner and calmly sift through the experiences that have shaped your response to one another.
As you slow down the process of observation, identification, and response, you can be more aware of your own feelings and the patterns you have created together. In other words, once you understand your own shortcomings and misperceptions, you will be able to approach your relationship more effectively.
Eventually, both of you will be able to make room for the unknowable or immutable aspects of your relationship that you cannot change—and find peace with them.
As a couples therapist, I draw primarily from Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), which was developed in the 1980s as a marriage-specific modality and is based on the science of adult attachment. Attachment science relies on the premise that all of us are wired for genetically relational, social, and intimate relationships, with EFT focusing on how individual experiences shape relationship dynamics. As such, the primary function of EFT is to improve the emotional regulation process so that interactions can move from dysfunctional and damaging to being healthier and more supportive.
Following the EFT model, couples therapy through MINDplexcity begins with an initial session wherein I will meet with you and your partner to go over presenting issues and goals for counseling. From there, individual assessments will be scheduled so I can get a better sense of your respective backgrounds and how your emotional templates were formed from a young age. After these individual sessions, we will continue couples therapy with each partner present, working to create a safe, secure connection where emotional accessibility is emphasized.
As an EFT couples counselor, I believe it is my job to appreciate each partner’s viewpoint and expose how certain thoughts, feelings, and behaviors make sense, given the emotional tools they currently possess. Moreover, as a culturally competent therapist of color, I welcome couples whose experiences have been shaped by systemic barriers and generational trauma. Together in therapy, we will identify the long-term conflictual dynamics that are contributing to the rut in your marriage or relationship and learn new tools for understanding, appreciating, and connecting with one another.
Counseling is not always easy, and the therapeutic process can often feel worse before it feels better. But I am here to be your beacon of hope, your cheerleader in this process. Not only will you feel more securely attached in your relationship through couples counseling—you will thrive on an individual level.
Still Unsure If Couples Counseling Is Right For You?
Does seeing a couples therapist indicate that we are at the end of our rope?
Many couples avoid therapy or wait until a last-ditch effort to go to counseling until conflict has become unbearable, which can make the prospect of seeing a therapist daunting, challenging, and downright scary. The function of couples counseling is to offer clarity and skills building so that you can cultivate more emotional accessibility in your marriage or relationship—but it’s ultimately up to each partner to use the strategies they learn and enact positive change in the relationship.
Going to therapy can’t fix our marriage or relationship because nothing will change.
It’s true that habitual behaviors can become ingrained in the relationship dynamic and might reappear even after progress has been made. Therapy is not some kind of magic wand that can unilaterally undo the damage that has been done to the relationship if discord and disconnection has been the norm for years. However, couples counseling—when combined with ongoing and sincere effort—can make a world of difference, creating substantial space for authentic, transformational change within the relationship.
We don’t want everything to change between us—there are some dynamics of our relationship that we’d like to maintain.
The fear that “everything will change” because of counseling is often the most feared—and the most wanted—aspect of couples therapy. The therapeutic process forces us to change the non-serving patterns of relating to one another and ourselves, often causing us to fear the process. Sometimes the new way of doing things after therapy is not the new way of doing things that we anticipated. Yet, as human beings we are all subject to change both in and out of our relationships—and it’s essential to learn how to evolve with and alongside our partners.
I am confident that if you can use the opportunity of therapy to cultivate more openness, compassion, empathy, and sustainability within the relationship, then you will land on the same page for how to move forward as a couple. Working together, we can determine which elements of your relationship will be useful to hold onto and which elements are no longer serving your shared dynamic.
You Can Create New Patterns With Your Partner
Couples therapy through MINDplexcity is an opportunity to become more attuned to one another’s desires and needs as you replace conflictual patterns with open, emotionally accessible ones. To schedule a free, 20-minute consultation, please contact me. Note that all sessions are currently being done online via telehealth.