Do you feel lonely in your relationship? Do you find that you and your partner argue about the same issues over and over again with no resolution? When you attempt to talk about concerns you each have, does the conversation end up in stormy confrontation or icy withdrawal? Do you find yourself less involved with, less attracted to, or even avoiding your partner? Do you find yourself wishing you could return to the times when you felt close to one another?
When communication is not working in an effective way, it is common for couples to report feelings of disconnection, loneliness, frustration, and emptiness. The more these feelings become a common experience between a couple, arguments often will intensify, as well as distancing emotionally and behaviorally. All of this leads to a downward and increasingly negative spiral that can feel hopeless and stuck.
Almost Every Couple Faces Bumps In The Road
As a therapist specializing in Couples Communication Counseling, I commonly see couples that are experiencing conflict. For any couple, each individual brings his or her own opinions, expectations, values, needs, desires, ways of thinking and solving problems. Each person has different emotional styles, and the way any two people express (or do not express) emotions such as love, joy, fear, and anger will likely not be the same. These are some of the normal sources of strife that are present in couples’ communication conflicts. It is not a question of if there will be conflict, but how will you manage it when it occurs?
The good news is that even though you did not get an owners’ manual with your relationship, with the help of a skilled, compassionate, and experienced couples counselor, you can get back to feeling fulfilled and satisfied.
Couples Communication Counseling At Ann Arbor Couples Clinic Can Help You Enrich Your Relationship
Couples Communication Counseling at the Ann Arbor Couples Clinic provides you with a safe, confidential, and compassionate environment that is focused on helping you better understand your relationship needs and how best to meet them. You will be guided by a therapist with over 25 years of experience in assisting couples and individuals in transforming conflict and dissatisfaction, into resolution, harmony, and a more enduring bond between partners.
Therapy sessions are structured to provide customized, evidence-based techniques and tools specific to your needs. “Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy” has been researched and validated as very effective in reducing couples conflict and strengthening a more positive emotional connection between partners. In addition to in-session learning and practicing new ways of interaction, I may provide homework that supports your goals and helps bring relationship communication and connection to an optimal level.
As you learn to resolve existing conflicts, as well as those from the past, it becomes easier to feel the emotional safety that leads to greater joy and expressed love in your relationship in present time.
You May Still Have Questions About Couples Communication Counseling
Couples Communication Counseling is an effective way to improve communication between partners that reduces tension, stress, and anxiety that are side effects of unresolved conflict in the relationship. Even though Couples Communication Counseling research has demonstrated such benefits to couples participating in “Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy,” it still may be intimidating to initiate a first contact for counseling. There may be several reasons for this. First of all, it may be difficult for you to fully admit that your communication efforts have not worked the way you hoped that they would. Even with the best of intentions, you still end up feeling frustrated and unhappy. You may feel like a failure, either blaming yourself or your partner or both, for what is not working. You may try harder next time and hope things will be different. Or you may move to a position of avoidance and denial that things are that bad. Unfortunately, these strategies are usually not productive in bringing couples closer together and only serve to worsen the conflict that is present.
Secondly, some couples recognize the need to talk with a couples counselor but hesitate, based on a fear that the therapist will single out one of them as “the problem.” No one wants to be seen as “the cause” of communication problems and the reason things are not going well. We seek not to blame or find fault with one person. We work to understand the dynamic that is occurring between the two. Couples Communication Counseling at the Ann Arbor Couples Clinic operates from a model that sees our communication efforts as attempts to gain and to provide security, attention, and affection from and to our partner. Since relationships are co-created by each partner, we look at each person’s contribution to what is working well and areas that can be improved. It may feel challenging at first to take an honest look at painful, partner interactions, yet this is the first step toward discovery that leads to a transformation of your relationship from stuck and frustrating, to one of openness and the possibility of greater emotional and physical closeness.
You Can Grow In Your Relationship
The Ann Arbor Couples Clinic provides a safe and confidential environment that assists couples in improving communication and resolving conflicts that erode intimacy. We will work together to understand your needs as a couple and tailor methods and techniques that specifically address areas of communication that you identify as important. You will be guided by a counselor with over 25 years of experience in helping couples to transform their relationships to ones of greater emotional connection and intimacy.
If you would like to schedule an appointment or discuss any questions you may have about Couples Communication Counseling, please call 734-417-9522. I try to return voicemail and e-mail within 24 hours.
It may be that when we no longer know what to do,
we have come to our real work
and that when we no longer know which way to go,
we have begun our real journey
the mind that is not baffled is not employed
the impeded stream is the one that sings
Wendell Berry, Standing By Words (1983)
Everything depends on inner change;
when this has taken place, then, and only then
does the world change.
Emotions consist of energy and a story.
If we let go of the story, only the energy
If you wait for the ideal, you’ll never start.
Always you must take what is nearest at
hand, no matter how unpromising, and
accept it as the only and therefore best
thing you can do and by sheer hard work
transform it into this thing you need.
The greatest gift a parent has to give a child-
and a lover has to give to a lover-
is emotionally attuned attention and
Susan Johnson Ph.D (Creator of “Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy”)
Do not abandon the longing that comes from the sense your life could be much more, that there is a state in which you can function on a level of inner resilience, contentment and security; where you are capable of deep feelings, of blissful pleasure; where you (can) meet life without fear because you no longer fear yourself.
Eva Pierrakos, The Pathwork Series
The more you are identified with your thinking, your likes and dislikes, judgements and interpretations, which is to say the less present you are as the watching consciousness, the stronger the emotional energy charge will be, whether you are aware of it or not. If you cannot feel your emotions, if you are cut off from them, you will eventually experience them on a physical level, as a problem or a symptom.
This being human is a guesthouse.
Every morning a new arrival.
A joy, a depression, a meanness,
some momentary awareness comes
as an unexpected visitor.
Welcome and entertain them all!
Even if they’re a crowd of sorrows,
who violently sweep your house
empty of its furniture,
still, treat each guest honorably.
He may be clearing you out
for some new delight.
The dark thought, the shame, the malice,
meet them at the door laughing,
and invite them in.
Be grateful for whoever comes,
Because each has been sent
as a guide from beyond.