“The only reason we don't open our hearts and minds to other people is that they trigger confusion in us that we don't feel brave enough or sane enough to deal with. To the degree that we look clearly and compassionately at ourselves, we feel confident and fearless about looking into someone else's eyes” - Pema Chodron
Many couples often believe if they are seeking couples counseling their relationship is hopelessly falling apart; that there are fundamental and unworkable differences negatively impacting the relationship and couples counseling is a last-ditch effort to save the relationship.
When we enter into an intimate relationship, each partner brings in their total life experience – their wonderful qualities, as well as their imperfect flaws - into the relationship. Each partner has their own internalized messages about acceptable and unacceptable behavior, met or unmet needs, personal and cultural values, “bad experiences” from past relationships, fears, expectations, and assumptions. When partners bring their “unfinished business” into the relationship, miscommunication, conflict, tension, disconnection, enmity, anxiety, infidelity, and abuse often result and, without help and support, spin out of control.
Common Problems Couple’s Experience:
* Lack of communication about important matters
* Lack of physical or emotional intimacy
* Sexual frustration (loss of libido, differences in sexual desire, lack of interest or arousal, impotence)
* Frequent conflicts, fights, arguments
* Relational sabotage or self-destructive behavior
* Codependency (jealousy, emotional manipulation, victimization, enmeshed relationships, over-controlling)
* Distrust * Potential divorce/separation
* Open relationships/polyamory * Disengagement
* Affairs/Infidelity/Cheating * Pre-marital counseling
* Conflicting values or beliefs (i.e. child-rearing, morals, spiritual/religious, political, cultural)
* Life stages (you’ve ‘outgrown’ each other or have ‘changed’ significantly for whatever reason)
* Traumatic or life-changing events (significant death, major illness, significant loss)
What Can You Expect from Couple’s Therapy?
While it is easy to get into a relationship with another person, most couples struggle to deepen their relationship once the glitter and champagne of the “honeymoon” phase is over. This is when the common concerns and problems begin to surface in the relationship, gradually eroding passion, intimacy, and commitment in the relationship without additional help and support.
I fundamentally believe creating, growing, and maintaining an intimate, strong, and collaborative relationship requires 3 fundamental ingredients: communication, vulnerability, and compassion.
I wholeheartedly believe most barriers and problems couples face evolve from each partners’ “unfinished business” of the past being projected onto the other person, and influencing underlying relational dynamics.
My style working with couples encourages and supports each partner to explore your negative self-concepts, defenses, personal survival strategies, and anxieties through real play – one partner explores and processes while the other witnesses and supports. While this can be a challenging and a frightening task for many couples, this process helps couples learn how to more effectively communicate with their partner, cultivate empathy and compassion, and build deeper understanding of the “how” and “why” their partner reacts in certain ways.
Of course, I encourage couples to speak directly to each other about what’s coming up in the moment rather than directing the majority of the conversation towards me.
Benefits of Couple’s Therapy:
Couples who work with me commonly feel as if they are more willing and able to openly communicate with their partner, express greater empathy and compassion for each other’s personal and relational struggles, feel more engaged in the relationship, and connected in times of conflict. While old behavioral patterns may still be present, couples report a reduction in intensity and frequency, uncovering new ways of relating and connecting to each other.
I seek to help you get back to the way you felt about and your partner before you fell in love; and through this process help couples create greater intimacy, stronger bonds, and deeper connections in their relationships.
Couples Counseling Services:
My services include comprehensive assessment of complex relational dynamics and systems by uncovering underlying patterns of each individual which influence the relationship. This assessment is used to help couples understand the roles they play in the relationship, processing “unfinished business”, and past family roles which are limiting the sense of intimacy, connection, and belonging many seek in their significant relationships.
While couple’s therapy isn’t a wholly linear process, couples collaborate with each other to create an overview of their relationship, develop mutual goals, and forage a new path in their relationship.
Sliding scale fees are available, limited, and based on affordability
I offer 50-minute Couples Counseling sessions.
If you have any questions or are interested in starting couple’s therapy, please Contact Weston for more information. I offer a FREE 30-minute consultation for any couple interested in exploring the opportunity for couple’s therapy.