Are you longing to reconnect with your partner and get back the closeness you once had?
Is it hard to talk about issues without it turning into a conflict?
Have the demands of taking care of children, work stress, or worries about finances zapped the energy out of your relationship?
Has your relationship been affected by some form of infidelity and now the two of you are struggling to repair your relationship?
Have you tried traditional couples counseling and looking for a more effective approach?
Over time, patterns begin to develop in a relationship. One of you complaining and the other shutting down. Or, everything begins to feel like a power struggle just to be heard. The two of you keep saying the same things over and over and not getting anywhere. And, the issue you started to talk about gets lost somewhere in the process. It’s so exhausting that you begin to think ‘I would rather not bring anything up than risk having another fight’. Life has become so stressful with fears of COVID 19, financial instability, children, and your relationship has been put on the back burner. You feel more like roommates than soulmates.
If you have experienced infidelity in your relationship it has most likely damaged trust between the two of you. The partner who had the affair may feel shame and is struggling to make amends. And the other partner feels so hurt and betrayed they are struggling to forgive.
The good news is things can change with the help of an experienced couple's therapist. In our work together, I will teach the two of you effective tools to contain reactivity and resolve issues while rekindling desire and connection.
Couples Counseling can improve communication
At some point in every committed relationship that loving connection that was once easy and effortless is replaced with frustration in moments of conflict. One of the most common reasons for this is poor communication. Communication problems are the number one reason couples split up, with 65% of couples citing this issue as the primary cause of divorce, according to a 2013 survey.
The way you and your partner communicate can either strengthen your relationship or create a buildup of unresolved hurts and resentment. Let’s face it, if you can’t communicate well about a problem, how can you possibly resolve it? And often, the way you communicate creates a secondary issue. Have you ever thought ‘I don’t remember what we were fighting about but I do remember the way you talked to me’? Or, ‘how you walked away from me, AGAIN’!
Two things everyone wants in relationship:
'to know that you matter and that you have been heard'
I use Imago Relationship Therapy as the way I work with couples because I have found it to be the most effective form of couples therapy that I have come across in my 20 years as a couples counselor. In this work, no matter what the challenges are in your relationship, you will learn an effective way to talk about them. The Imago Intentional Dialogue process is a powerful tool to help you to contain reactivity, stop shaming and blaming, and create a sense of safety to explore issues together in a more productive way.
You will spend much of the time in our sessions in dialogue with each other while my job is to guide and coach you. You will be able to deepen the conversation around your frustrations to explore what old wounds or unmet needs are also trying to be heard. When you bring these missing pieces into awareness, your current struggles and reactions will begin to make more sense. From there, you will then explore solutions to issues that will support you both to heal and grow as individuals and as partners.
You may still have questions about marriage counseling
What if my partner doesn’t want to do couples counseling?
It’s common for one partner to be more motivated to do therapy than the other. Imago sessions are designed to be a safe, non-judgmental space for you to learn more about each other and learn better ways to approach conflict. There is no arguing, shaming, or blaming happening in the sessions so both of you can feel safe and heard.
So, if your partner would be willing to come in for just one session with no commitment to do more, the two of you can experience the Imago process and decide if this is an approach you would like to try.
How long will it take before we begin to see changes in our relationship?
The beautiful thing about Imago sessions is they are designed to focus on the issues that are specific to your relationship. Often couples leave the first session feeling a softening of resentment or hurt and have a sense of new found hope. With each session from there, you will reach a place of deeper understanding about your frustrations and how to resolve them. The goal is not to keep the two of you in therapy for a long time. The two of you will become the experts of your relationship and be able to meet the needs of your relationship and each other. I then become obsolete.
What if we are not sure we want to stay together? Can you still help us?
Yes, making the decision to stay in a relationship or end it is very personal and should only be made by you. Exploring what led the two of you to this point is important. Developing a better understanding about old hurts and bringing closure to unresolved issues may be what is needed to clear negative energy out of the relationship and rekindle a loving connection. It will also be beneficial work to do even if you decide the end the relationship so you don’t carry those things into a future relationship.
If you are ready to take the first step toward healing and growth in your relationship, I invite you to contact me for a free 20-minute phone consultation to talk about how I may be of service.
Darleen has really turned our marriage around. We were on the brink of divorce...We were not able to make any decisions that would honor us both. Now, we are a lot more loving & understanding of each other. She not only kept us together by giving us the tools to strengthen our relationship, but she showed us how to heal our old wounds of the past in order to have a happy and healthy future together as a family.
Darleen has been the facilitator of my marriage’s growth. She has seen my wife and I through some perilous ups & downs and worked to give us the tools to survive whatever life throws at us.