Couples Counseling

Very often couples get caught up in patterns of negative interactions, having the same fights over and over. They don’t like it, would like to change it, but don’t know how to talk about it. Over time they become less and less connected to one another, leaving them feeling frustrated and alone in the relationship.

As Emotionally Focused Couples Therapists, we help you and your partner identify the problematic interactional patterns that have developed in the relationship that often leave you feeling alone and frustrated. By exploring each partner’s experience in the relationship, we will discover your unmet needs and gain new and powerful insight into how they have been contributing to the patterns that leave you feeling disconnected from your partner. Understanding each other and these patterns in a new way promotes healing and allows for new, fulfilling patterns of interaction to evolve between you.

Through this process, you will learn how to communicate with your partner, gain a clearer understanding of what your partner needs, and learn how to remain connected with your partner in time of need so that you can turn to each other for comfort and connection.

We often recommend for couples to read ‘Hold Me Tight’ by Dr. Sue Johnson during the early stages of couples counseling.  Dr. Johnson is the founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy and wrote this book for couples to help them strengthen, revitalize or rescue their relationship and experience a more fulfilling connection with one another. We recently received this email from one of our clients who beautifully articulates the power of being vulnerable and the clarity that can accompany new insight into our own steps of the relationship dance:

Hold Me Tight and Love Sense introduced a radically different way to look at love and relationships that literally saved my marraige from divorce. My husband and I were on the brink of calling it quits, thinking that something must be wrong with one of us, or both of us, and that we weren’t cut out to be together.

Thankfully, I read Hold Me Tight first and realized that nothing is wrong with me, my husband or our marriage! We simply weren’t attuned to the natural behaviors and reactions of one another. We didn’t realize how much we needed one another and how important our bond was to our survival as humans.

I devoured both books and instantly saw my husband through new eyes - he was trying just as hard as I was, but in differeny ways. He was hurting just as much as I was, but showed it differently. He ached to be loved and accepted and appreciated. I started to see how things fit together, how our fights were cries to be loved by one another and how we could take steps to see our love for the beautiful bond it is. My husband has also read Hold Me Tight and we’ve both started the journey of recapturing our passion and living the kind of love story you think only happens in the movies. But actually, it’s real!

I recommend these books to everyone!! Thank you for introducing these ideas to us and saving our lives!
— IRTC Client

Is It Too Late for Us?

Some of you who are considering couples counseling are wondering if it’s too late for therapy. You have experienced too much pain, betrayal or ‘second chances’ and feel there is no hope for getting back ‘what you once had’. We encourage you to consider couples counseling anyway. Often, when couples reach this point where they feel they have nothing left to lose, they are more open and honest with themselves and their partner. This creates a powerful opportunity for true beliefs, feelings and experiences of each partner to emerge. This honesty is what is needed to allow the process of healing to begin.

Let the healing begin

Pre-Marital/Early Marriage Counseling

Are you engaged? Considering engagement? Recently married and want to get started off right? A fulfilling marriage can be one of the most rewarding experiences of life. Surprisingly, successful partnerships that endure life’s ups and downs also experience conflict and challenge. It is how couples manage conflict that separates those who endure, from those that last only a few years.

Many couples don’t understand the importance of premarital counseling, and have a hard time placing value in counseling when they are already in a happy, healthy relationship. Couples who pursue counseling during their engagement or very early in their marriage can significantly reduce their risk of divorce by developing a higher level of marital satisfaction. Here is what you can expect from premarital/early marriage couples counseling: First, we will highlight the strengths of your relationship and discuss strategies for utilizing those strengths to prevent marital strain and overcome unavoidable hurdles. We will provide a supportive, non-judgmental environment to discuss any areas of your relationship you wish to change or improve. Lastly, we will guide you through the process of discussing important issues that every couple should explore before engaging in marriage, such as having and raising children, financial issues in your marriage and establishing roles within the relationship. Discussing these subjects can sometimes be anxiety provoking; however, we will facilitate respectful, positive communication which will allow both partners to express their authentic desires and concerns in a way that is productive and ultimately results in mutual understanding.

The most functional way to regulate difficult emotions in love relationships is to share them.
— Sue Johnson

Ready to get started with couples counseling?

Book your first session now.