Why do Couples Counseling?
Perhaps your wife has been asking you to do this for years and she’s finally threatened to leave you if you don’t. Maybe you’ve discovered something on your wife’s Ipad that proves the suspicions you’ve had for a long time. It’s possible that you feel horrible about the way you’ve been fighting in front of the kids. It could be that you haven’t had sex for a really long time. Sometimes it’s that you just feel like you’re stuck and you can’t imagine living like this for the rest of your life.
For many of us, our happiness and fulfillment is profoundly impacted by the quality of our intimate partnerships. If things are good with our partners, we are ok. But when they are not good, it can make our lives a living hell.
The suffering we go through in our marriages comes about because we hurt, or are hurt by, those we love and need the most. Why would we do damage to that which is most important to us and contribute to our own pain?
Things go awry in our relationships because most of us have the talent for love, but few of us have honed that talent into a reliable skill. After all, where would we learn how to do that? We rarely see good models of marriages in our upbringing, we don’t learn it in school, and few of us see examples of good relationships around us.
That’s where I come in. Despite your fears that nothing will change and doubts that anything can help, it is possible to take your talent for love and learn the skills you need to heal or improve your marriage, and to foster a vital, secure, passionate relationship that can sustain over a lifetime. It won’t necessarily be easy or fast – developing a great love takes continuous cultivation, both of the self and the relationship, but with effort, and expert help, it can be done.
Do you want to know more? Read on. Or, if you’d like to set up an initial consultation, contact me here.
How Do We Start?
Through many years of experience I have honed a technique that I find to be the most successful in helping you have a great relationship.
I use a unique combination of techniques that I learned from the creator of Imago Therapy, Harville Hendrix, from John Gottman’s research, EFT Couples Therapy, my Gestalt-therapy mentor David Yarosh, the work of Erich Fromm, and my own innovations.
I work in a highly structured way. The process requires patience, but I promise that if you take the time in the beginning to do it right, you will have the greatest and fastest amount of progress in the long run.
Usually, problems in relationship are made worse by cracks in the relationship’s foundation. We may not be aware of those cracks, but when the system, or the marriage, gets stressed, let’s say by having small children, then those flaws in the foundation make themselves felt where they come out as conflict, acting out, or shutting down.
Creating safety and security is necessary to begin shoring up that foundation and so that is the first order of business in our work together.
We work on Creating Foundational Safety and security in several ways. Though ultimately the method I use involves dialogue between partners, in the beginning you will not be discussing your problems together. Nor will you tell me how horrible your partner is with the other present. (After an initial meeting, I will meet with both partners individually to give you an opportunity to let me know about your issues with your partner).
We establish Safety Rules and I teach you methods of expressing the most difficult feelings in a way that your partner can hear without feeling attacked or getting defensive.
We practice techniques to begin Rebuilding Positive Feeling between the two of you.
This part of the process serves several different purposes. Significantly, it is what begins the process of enabling your partner to learn and change. What we now understand about brain chemistry is that it is only when we feel safe that we become receptive to take in new information and learn. So, if we want our partners to hear us and take in what we have to say, they need to feel safe.
In my introductory session you will not only begin to build that safety, but you will also take the first, easy steps in learning the basic techniques that I will use throughout our treatment. I will lay out the path of our work together, and finally I will explain the fundamental philosophy that I operate by.
The next step after our introductory session and meeting with each of you individually, is to take a session each to learn your Family History. The shadow of the past looms over our present. Though you may know each other’s stories very well, through my interview techniques we learn more about each other through this process, and grow compassion as we understand on a deeper level some of the hidden reasons why we act and react the ways we do.
The next step in our process is to create a Vision Document. You will create a consensual document where you define your vision for your life and relationship, and set measurable goals for the therapeutic process so that you have the greatest likelihood of realizing your vision.
Once we get through this part of the process we have established enough trust and safety for the foundation to be strong enough to begin engaging in dialogue together.
One thing we are attempting to do is to break old dysfunctional habits and replace them with more satisfying ones. In order to do this, you have to practice stuff you’ve probably never done. The Connection Method you will be taught is like practicing the scales on the piano. You wouldn’t ultimately play the instrument like that, and you won’t speak like this in your day-to-day lives, but by practicing in this way you develop muscle memory. Through this, you will achieve a fluency and mastery in your connection and communication skills that will enable you to begin building the secure, vital, and passionate relationship that you seek.
Are you ready to start? Contact me now. Want to learn more? Read on . . .
What is The Connection Method?
In order to have a deeply loving intimate relationship we need to open our heart to its limit. This means making a commitment to being authentic, vulnerable, and present with your loved one. It means treating the other with as much value as we treat ourselves.
In order to open your heart, you will learn Emotional Attunement. This means that you will be aware of what your partner is feeling and be able to provide an appropriate response to either soothe, join, or build on your partners experience.
You will practice Deep Listening so that you can fully enter your partner’s world, and give your partner the experience that they are being fully heard, understood, and validated.
You will gain the skills of Mutual Positive Support where you prioritize creating an environment of harmony in your home rather than being right or winning.
You will be encouraged to risk Mindful Honesty, learning to express yourselves in ways that resolve issues rather than create conflict.
You will grow the courage to practice Total Openness, exposing your deepest vulnerabilities, which ultimately cements our deepest bonds.
You will both be challenged to commit to Radical Change in order to give your partner what they need, heal your deepest wounds, and realize your greatest potential for love.
Finally, having a great love involves developing your ability to experience pleasure and joy. You’ve got to have some fun in life to be your true self! There are many pathways to pleasure, but one of the greatest, that involves the emotional, the physical, and the spiritual, and provides one of our best opportunities for opening our hearts fully in our closest relationships, is to have Ecstatic Sex. Through cultivating your love in all the ways listed above, you will discover an unending source of desire and passion.
The deepest expression of our humanity comes through our loving relationships. You deserve, and can have, a great love. All you have to do to begin is to take the first step. Contact me now.
I learned how to really communicate with my then girlfriend (now wife!), and we continue to use and rely upon the strategies we learned in those sessions.