Are you feeling disconnected in your relationship? Feeling more like roommates than a couple? Or do you find yourself snapping and yelling at your partner most of the time? Couples counseling can help!
How do I know if I need marriage counseling?
A certain amount of conflict is normal and even healthy in a committed relationship. When both people are engaged and assertive, conflicts are inevitable because you have two separate people with needs and desires that they're trying to express. But if you find yourself having a lot of conflict that's not getting resolved and communication issues, it could mean that there are problems in the relationship that need to be addressed in therapy.
At the same time, if you find yourself avoiding your partner and rarely sharing feelings about the relationship with them, that also could be a sign that relationship counseling is needed.
How does couples counseling work?
In marriage or couples counseling, the therapist works collaboratively with you to identify the issues both people in the relationship are having. Their role is not to take sides or gang up on one person, even if there's been a major betrayal in the relationship that's brought you both to couples therapy.
After an initial intake session with both people, I like to meet with each person in the couple one-on-one to get to know each person and hear their perceptions and experiences in the relationship with more depth. After these initial sessions, the work of couples therapy really begins. This is when I work to really hear each person and understand the problems you're having but also the strengths and assets you have as a couple that may have been forgotten or harder to see right now.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy
I have been providing relationship counseling for the past 9 years. I also have extensive training in a very effective model of couples counseling called Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT for short). It is a well-researched approach that acknowledges how hard it can be to share our more vulnerable feelings and hurts with our partner. In this approach, I as the therapist help the couple slow down the interactions that fuel an argument and uncover the deeper feelings and needs that are often unspoken but are fueling the disconnection and conflict. It's in the sharing of these unspoken parts that couples can find healing and re-connection.
Why focus on emotion for communication issues?
If you've been to marriage counseling or couples therapy before, the therapist may have spent a lot of time trying to teach you communication and conflict resolution skills. Though this approach can be helpful in the short-term, the gains often don't last in the long-term because a focus on skills doesn't touch on the deeper emotional issues at play in the relationship. People are hard-wired for human connection, and if we're not able to connect with and share our feelings, needs and wants in a relationship, then authentic closeness & intimacy is just not possible.
Results from relationship counseling
The biggest predictor of success in couples counseling is how vested both people are in the process, their willingness to look at their role in improving the relationship, and the trust they feel that the therapist can help. Couples engaged in the process of relationship counseling often find themselves:
Feeling closer and more connected to their partner
Listening more attentively to their partner's concerns, feelings and desires
Feeling less anxious, less depressed, and more alive
Being more physically and sexually connected to their partner and themselves
You likely won't feel or experience these things right away. In fact, things can get worse before they get better because couples therapy may involve bringing up hurts from the past that were never processed or resolved, but are still influencing the relationship. That said, couples invested in the process typically see and feel change begin to take place in the relationship on average after 6-10 sessions.
Why I am a couples therapist
I am passionate about my work as a couples therapist because I find deep joy in seeing people rediscover the love and connection they had for their partner when they first fell in love. I also feel satisfaction in helping couples communicate better so they can feel the goodness of a true life partner in facing the challenges and opportunities of life together.
Growing up I saw my own parents struggle in their marriage and eventually get divorced. I knew I wanted something different and work hard to live out in my own relationship the values that guide my work. I feel connected to my wife and know in my heart a fulfilling, strong and joyful relationship is possible for you!
Fill out this form or call me at 678-701-7545 for a free 20 minute consultation. I serve couples in Cumming, Alpharetta, Johns Creek, Suwanee, and the surrounding areas. I also provide Premarital Counseling for couples just starting their relationship. Change is possible and your relationship is worth the investment.