Couples/Marriage Counseling

 

~Do you feel misunderstood in your relationship?

~Does talking things out only seem to make it worse? 

~Does your marriage not feel like it used to?  

I specialize in teaching couples the skills they need to understand their struggles and build the relationship they want.

As  frustrations in a marriage or a committed relationship grow into  misunderstandings, criticism, and distance, hurt feelings make it hard  to move forward. It is hard to know what to do, or even what not to do.  Many couples feel that anything they do or say makes things worse, and  feel that there is simply nothing that will make a difference.  

Marriage counseling/couples counseling can get you moving in the direction you want for your relationship.

Psychologist  and marriage researcher John Gottman has identified four patterns that  can indicate serious problems in a marriage or committed relationship:

 1.Criticism-  this is a direct criticism about your partner's character or  personality, which is very different from a complaint, that comments on  an event or occurrence.  

2.Contempt-this can be a poisonous element  in a relationship, because it conveys disgust. When this is the message  that is being communicated, it is virtually impossible to settle a  disagreement. Contempt can be sarcasm, name-calling, eye-rolling,  sneering, mockery, or hostile humor. 

3.Defensiveness-Though it is  easy to see this as a response to what the other person did,  defensiveness is really a way of blaming your partner. It is a way to  shift the focus off of you and squarely onto the shoulders of your mate.  This is dangerous because it does nothing but escalate the conflict.  The attack/defend cycle is very easy to get into, and tricky to get out  of. 

4. Stonewalling-When conflict gets heated, or returns regularly,  it sometimes feels safer to just tune out and not get involved. When the  negativity  in the relationship has gotten quite common, one partner  can simply  tune out by hiding behind a newspaper,  not responding to  questions,  turning away, or leaving the room. By turning away from  fights in this way, the marriage is being avoided.  

In couples  counseling, you learn what is needed to make a difference in your  relationship. You receive special attention on what knowledge, skills,  or approach is needed in your unique situation.

What many  people want most from their relationship is a close emotional  connection. We want to be able to reach out to the other person and know  they'll be accessible to us, to feel that they are responsive to our  emotional needs, and to experience a feeling of emotional engagement  together. This often feels impossible when conflict occurs regularly,  but it is helpful to see that much of our conflict is at the core a "protest against disconnection" as Dr. Sue Johnson says.  She has helped detail very common traps of frantically trying to get an emotional response from the other, or freezing up to try and calm the other person down. There are clear ways of understanding the patterns that keep us emotionally apart and how to reverse them. Modern brain science has shown that the ideas we've  heard from poetry and music for so many years are true: feeling close to other people makes us feel better.   

Each relationship is  different, and has its own needs. In marriage counseling at Moving  Waters Counseling, you will be treated as individuals that each have an  important perspective on the strengths you can celebrate now and the  challenges you face.  

You can build the relationship you want, and feel respected, close, and happy!  

More Questions?

 I offer FREE 15 minute phone consultations to discuss the needs of your relationship. Call 722-1920 or email today to schedule!