Are You Losing Touch With Your Partner?
Do you feel lonely, unacknowledged, or stuck in your partnership? When you try to communicate, does it seem like you’re talking to a wall—as if your feelings don’t really matter? Do you ever think you are not good enough—that you can never catch a break or get it right?
Perhaps you lack depth in your relationship and want to break down emotional barriers and enhance your physical connection. Conversely, maybe an act of infidelity has fractured your trust, and you want to know if there is still any hope for your marriage.
As a relationship evolves, it’s natural for couples to run into unexpected challenges. For instance, you may be having trouble coordinating your communication or parenting styles in a blended family dynamic. Or your partner may have put up emotional barriers, and you don’t know how to make a connection without feeling criticized or misunderstood for trying. And if you are recovering from infidelity, it can be extremely difficult managing the intense mix of emotions in a way that promotes internal healing.
We understand that you may be wondering if things will ever get better. However, at East Bay Couples Collective, we can help you repair and strengthen your relationship and enjoy a deep and meaningful connection with your partner.
Is therapy working for you?
One of the highest indicators for success in therapy is the rapport and relationship with your therapist. To determine if we would be a good fit, our relationship would start with a no-cost 20 minute phone consultation to determine if my style and areas of focus are aligned with what you are looking to address in your life.
Couples Often Run Into Challenges
Almost any couple at some stage in their lives together will encounter issues with communication, intimacy, empathy, or conflict resolution. Learning how to navigate that natural-occurring discord in a meaningful and productive way is how two people nourish a partnership. Unfortunately, most of us were never taught how to have a healthy relationship or resolve differences, which inevitably creates a great deal of fear and insecurity.
Relationships are so vital to our development and well-being that it can be devastating when something changes or doesn’t meet our expectations. For instance, simple compatibility issues or a lack of interest in the same things can create a sense that one partner isn’t fully invested in the other. It can feel as if there is something broken with the relationship when, in reality, these differences are to be celebrated and embraced. Oftentimes, we forget that we are all unique individuals. We come from different economic, cultural, and religious backgrounds and knowing how to harmonize those elements into healthy relationships is elusive at best.
Moreover, relationships naturally evolve with time and take on new characteristics that can be difficult to deal with. For example, the responsibility of caring for a family, raising children, or satisfying the demands of a career can slowly erode the intimate connection you once had. Or the challenge of co-existing with in-laws or integrating children from another marriage can present concerns that most of us are simply not equipped to address alone.
However, as a couple, you have the strength to truly make a change in each other’s life. We can give you tools and skills that will help combat the stress in your relationship and bring you to a hopeful place. In time, you can learn to communicate openly, appreciate each other, and reconnect with the one you love.
Enhancing Your Relationship With Couples Therapy
Many couples come into therapy thinking that they need to change something about themselves in order to get along. But therapy enables you to see that, rather than changing yourselves, you likely need to change the way in which you communicate and interact. It finds the common enemy in your communication styles that prevents you from hearing your partner and connecting with them authentically. With our help, you can learn to recognize each other’s pleas for validation and respond to those needs with empathy and understanding.
At East Bay Couples Collective, we meet each client with unconditional positive regard for the challenges they face. We offer a warm, non-judgmental environment in which to talk about where you are seeing the breakdown in your connection and what your understanding of it is. We’ll work to clarify what is actually happening in your relationship and identify the beneficial and harmful ways in which you both may be dealing with it. And we’ll explore what you each need to feel validated and consider some of the ways you may be internalizing stress or sabotaging the relationship when your needs are not being met.
At that point, we can begin to focus on developing tools for handling stressors—such as sex, finances, work, or children—more effectively. Over time, you can learn how to communicate in a way in which you can actually hear and respond to each other without criticism or insecurity.
We take a person-centered approach to healing couples. This means we consider the dynamics of both individuals, focusing on creating solutions and resources that will increase your capacity for trust, empathy, and connection. Our practice relies heavily on Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), which can help identify “footnotes” from past relationships that may be causing conflict now.
For instance, if you worry that you aren’t good enough or have a fear of abandonment, we can identify where you developed those beliefs, and in the process, change the way you perceive yourself. If you argue constantly, we can help you identify and avoid habitual patterns of conflict while offering you communication and resolutions skills that can de-escalate tense situations. EFT is all about talking through your challenges and recognizing that the negative cycle of interaction is the common enemy and not each other.
Right now, you may be unsure of what the future holds for your relationship, but you have the power to make that decision for yourselves. It is possible to gain a better understanding of yourself and your partner, which can make you feel safer and more secure together. With our help, you can heal and repair your partnership and finally get back to feeling valued and emotionally connected.
We are considering couples counseling but still have a few concerns…
I don’t know if we have the time or money for sessions.
Your relationship and its health represent some of the most important aspects of your well-being. Investing in your partnership and treating its health as a priority not only benefits your overall quality of life, it can also protect your finances down the road. Relationship counseling ensures that you are putting all of your energy and time into reaching your full potential as individuals, as well as a couple. This means getting ahead of any potential problems so that your work life, earning potential, and personal ambitions aren’t limited by having to continually troubleshoot relationship problems on your own.
We are a little skeptical about the effectiveness of couples therapy.
It’s very common for people, in general, to question the effectiveness of therapy. However, research has shown time and again that couples can learn how to connect in a more authentic and loving way. Therapy, particularly EFT, gives you space to meet your partner and tend to your relationship in a more compassionate and, yet, impartial way. We understand that it can be hard confiding in a stranger and trusting that they can help. However, with the skills, compassionate support, and impartial insight we offer, you truly can change the direction of your relationship.
Is therapy going to make matters worse?
When couples encounter negative cycles of interaction, it usually means that the hopes and fears of at least one partner are not being recognized. After a while, your brain starts to register this lack of validation as uncertainty and a fear that the relationship will get worse—or even end. However, therapy helps you feel safe in wanting and asking for the things that you need from the relationship in order to be happy. Rather than retreating or isolating yourself from your partner, you can learn to empathize with and accommodate each other’s needs so that you can improve and nourish your partnership.
Couples Counseling Can Bring You Closer
If you are looking for help overcoming obstacles to the health of your relationship, we can help. Set up a free 20-minute consultation or your initial appointment.