Couples Counseling

Is Distance or Conflict Threatening Your Relationship?

couplesDo you feel unhappy, unsafe with or disconnected from your partner? Do you long for a return to the emotional, physical and/or spiritual intimacy and closeness that you once shared? Are you worried that your relationship won’t last if you can’t find a way to communicate effectively and together heal from past, ongoing or current hurts? You may feel like you are stuck in a pattern of negative interactions that you can’t escape no matter how hard your try. It may be that you have to walk on eggshells around your partner to avoid starting another argument or a tense standoff. Or, maybe you have tried to connect with your spouse or partner, but always end up feeling like you aren’t a priority or your opinions don’t matter. Has conflict or distance in your relationship left you feeling sad and discouraged?

You and your partner may be committed to closing the gap that has formed in your relationship, but can’t find the right way to connect and communicate. It can be hard knowing how to repair your relationship, especially if a breach in trust or other rupture has kept you from communicating and resolving issues. Perhaps you pursue your partner in an effort to recover from an argument so you won’t “go to bed angry.” But, he or she may need more time to process the argument, and your persistence—while well meaning— leaves your partner feeling misunderstood or even disrespected. Alternately, you may try to minimize or avoid conflicts, but your partner feels like you are being dismissive or aren’t taking his or her concerns seriously. Fostering a healthy relationship is a two-way street, and it can be hard knowing how to heal your relationship when your past efforts have led to arguments and left you feeling more distant. Do you wish you could create a sense of safety and closeness in your relationship and learn to communicate and connect more openly and honestly with your partner?

Relationship Challenges are Normal and Natural

There is an inherent longing for connection that is hardwired into all of us. We can handle almost any challenge when we feel connected and supported in a deep, meaningful way. It can be a sad, lonely and bewildering experience, therefore, when we don’t feel connected to our partner. But, struggles are a natural part of being in a relationship. You and your partner are two different people with your own experiences, goals and needs, and one or both of you may never have learned how to be in a healthy relationship. Many of us struggle to be vulnerable and honest with ourselves, let alone our partners. It’s no wonder so many of us feel overwhelmed by worry, doubt and insecurity in our relationships.

Two women with their arms around each otherIt isn’t always clear what is causing relationship conflict or how you can communicate in an authentic, respectful way that honors yourself and your partner. You may be reeling after a breach in trust, such as an infidelity. Or, perhaps one or both of you is spending so much time and energy at work or taking care of a difficult child or illness that you no longer feel like your relationship is a priority. And, to make matters worse, you may constantly worry that you are headed toward a separation or divorce if you can’t find a way to heal and grow closer.

Fortunately, there are steps you can take to address and resolve the pattern of distance or conflict that has you feeling confused, upset and disconnected. Emotion Focused Couples Therapy (EFT for couples) with a skilled and compassionate couples therapist can help you learn how to communicate deeply, honestly and kindly. You can connect with you partner again in ways that foster a stronger, more secure connection.

Foster a Secure, Healthy Relationship with Couples Counseling

The goal of relationship counseling is to help you and your partner gain the self-confidence, awareness and communication skills you both need to heal and grow as a couple. I provide a safe space where you can explore sources of relationship conflict and learn to listen to each other with empathy and understanding. You can recognize how emotions color the way you each think, feel and behave in different situations and learn to respond to your partner’s spoken and unspoken needs. When you and your partner come together to address the root cause of the disconnection in your relationship rather than just focus on surface-level issues, you can find healing and achieve meaningful and lasting change.

couples2Using Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, I will help you address the source of relationship conflict as well as learn to respond to thoughts, feelings and behaviors that may be keeping you stuck in negative relationship patterns. EFT is an extensively researched, empirically validated therapy approach that has been shown to help couples achieve immediate and lasting results by focusing on how individual and shared experiences impact emotions. Studies have found 9 out of 10 couples that participate in Emotionally Focused Therapy notice significant improvements in their relationship. Additionally, 75 percent of couples that were in a state of distress were able to move toward resolving ongoing conflicts and regaining harmony in their relationships.

The EFT approach can help both you and your partner understand, accept and share your feelings, attachment issues, vulnerabilities and needs. I can help you not only recognize how you feel from moment to moment, but to also understand why you are experiencing an emotion and how it is impacting your thoughts and behaviors. Instead of feeling embarrassed or self-conscious about how you feel, you can learn to articulate yourself confidently and communicate in a way that your partner can understand and that won’t leave him or her feeling blamed or attacked. You can come together to resolve relationship issues and work through disagreements instead of letting conflict or distance build or fester between you.

I have been helping couples find healing and growth throughout my 25 year counseling career. As a couples therapist with advanced and ongoing training in Emotionally Focused Therapy, I offer a variety of proven tools, techniques and strategies shown to help partners foster greater emotional intimacy. You, too, can feel happy, secure and confident in your relationship.

You may have questions or concerns about working with a couples counselor…

My partner doesn’t think this will work.

Many couples feel hopeless and a little fearful that relationship therapy won’t work. Others worry that counseling will bring up painful issues and actually make things worse. One thing is certain, however: waiting to find help will only make things worse. I use a scientifically validated approach that has been shown to help 90 percent of couples achieve significant improvement, and I have seen that healing is possible.

man and woman hugging smilingIsn’t couples counseling expensive?

When a relationship isn’t working, it can feel like everything is falling apart. Your performance may suffer at work, or perhaps you spend money on food or entertainment to avoid thinking about the relationship. Your relationship health can impact all aspects of your life, and your happiness is worth the investment.

I’m worried I’ll be blamed.

I create a safe, compassionate space where no one will be blamed or judged. Rather, I can help you and your partner work together to understand the relationship patterns that you’ve co-created. You can learn how ineffective patterns are creating conflict or distance, understand why the other may become protective or defensive or shut down and develop ways to respond to one another with empathy instead of judgment or blame.

You Can Feel Secure in Your Relationship

If you are ready to foster a deeper, more meaningful relationship with your partner, or if you still have questions about couples counseling in Seattle, WA, I invite you to email or call (206) 715-0831 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.