Recently I had a couple write to me and ask how I would help them in couples counseling. I thought I would send my response to them as a way of sharing with you what we do in counseling and how this might help you or someone you know. It might also serve as a review to assist you in your successful and happy relationship.
With a relationship of many years, you will want to each devote 100% of your commitment to improving your real understanding of each other. How couples handle their differences determines the success of their relationship. Learning to resonate with each other’s expectations, beliefs and actions is important. The priority requires you to listen carefully so you can validate the other’s experience and affect. If you can actually “feel” some of the other’s feelings, you step into their experience, deeply understanding and feeling their perspective. A successful marriage necessitates this kind of connection.
Of course, then you will need to focus on negotiation and compromising. That becomes easier the more you resonate with the other’s perspective. Giving up the small things and holding out for the most important (just a few) makes it easier. A couple can only have a few areas of “battleground”. Understanding each other’s “deal breakers”, expectations, and backgrounds means you have to raise your level of kindness, as well as the understanding.
Spending time improving the friendship relationship will give you a “savings account” which will lead to better intimacy. Dating, having shared interests and activities, and spending time enjoying life together will develop this. Then addressing specific intimacy and sexual issues will be timely with an easier flow than addressing it too soon. The intimacy issues are simply symptoms of the deeper lack of connection and skill.
This is the general overview of your goals and treatment plan, with your specific patterns and goals in the forefront. We will look from your childhood on to identify the patterns you each have and how they create a dynamic that is not working. I take a very practical approach to helping you learn to adjust the “gears” of your relationship.
I hope you find this helpful in making your decision about counseling. Feel free to email or call (702-242-4222) with any questions you may have. I assume you have looked at my web site and may have read some of the articles, Blogs, and resource items available there.
I look forward to meeting you and helping you both with your marital journey.