Couples Counseling

“Love Is Composed of a Single Soul Inhabiting Two Bodies.”   Aristotle

Being in a relationship can be exhilarating and emotionally exhausting.  A romantic relationship offers an opportunity for emotional and physical intimacy and connection at a very deep level. Feelings of security, love, invincibility, and harmony often emerge as the relationship blooms.  These feelings also nurture pain, conflict, and communication challenges.

Couples Counseling seeks to help heal small and large ruptures that can occur within the relationship.  It is an effective way to foster growth and move towards one another versus turning away and breaking apart.  Patterns or trends are powerful signs to where the relationship is heading.  It is important to understand that every relationship will have conflict from time to time.  That is typical. If you are experiencing more frequent and longer lasting arguments that often end without resolution or finding yourself holding onto resentments instead of sharing your feelings with your partner than its time to seek out professional help.

There are five keys to relational happiness:  Openness to express one’s feelings, Commitment to change and growth, Accepting and receiving vulnerabilities, Willingness to take emotional risks, Being both honest and faithful.  Couples therapy is about learning these skills.  Its not about taking sides.  All behavior is learned.  Our first social circle is our immediate family.  If we never saw our parents talk openly about their concerns, compromise, provide empathy, or find new ways to engage with their spouse, how can we expect to know how to do these things with our partner?

My approach in working with couples is holistically and strength based.  I work to create a safe and open space for each partner to be free to share thoughts and feelings.  I begin by having each partner express joys and concerns with the relationship.  I seek to understand the needs of each partner and focus on teaching the skills that help build the relationship with each partner desires.  I utilize the Gottman Method, which focuses on conflict management, developing empathetic and providing empathy to their partner, and increasing trust.  I also apply techniques from Cognitive-behavioral Therapy.  CBT focuses on understanding where and how false thoughts impact the couple’s relationship.  It is used to help the couple identify their core beliefs and values to shape their relationship.  Family Systems orientation is also utilized.  Family Systems examines the family from an open or closed system.  It identifies roles that each partner plays and how those roles affect the relationship.

                  Effective and assertive communication skills are taught in every session.  I help couples learn how to listen and understand their partner’s perspective. Will work on building the couple’s identity and how each can promote their other person.  Will reduce conflict and find better ways to talk about difficult situations or ideas.  For couple’s with children will work together to learn co-parenting techniques so there is a consistency for the children.

If you are experiencing any of the following it may be time to contact a professional:

  • Arguments that are becoming more escalating and lasting longer periods.
  • It doesn’t feel like you are both on the same page.
  • Sexual fulfillment has changed or decreased.
  • Finding it harder and harder to trust your partner.
  • Not sure how to move to the next steps in the relationship.
  • Having issues or concerns regarding your partners family or friends.

Why not take the first step in creating a better relationship.  Fill out my contact form on the contacts page.  Call me directly at 503 841-2142.  Email me directly at angelie@pillarsofhopecouseling.com.

 

3 Tenants of a Healthy Relationship

Video: Trust in Relationships

Video: Vulnerability in Relationships

Call Today and Let’s Talk Through Life’s Challenges!
(503) 841-2142