Couple/Relationship Counseling – Are You Feeling Lonely in Your Relationship?
Are you struggling to communicate and connect with your partner? Have problems with sex or intimacy led to dissatisfaction, increased tension, or feelings of loneliness? Perhaps an affair or another breach of trust has you worried and wondering if healing is possible. Or maybe after years of living together and tending to careers and/or kids, you have begun to feel more like roommates and less like lovers. Do you often feel unseen, unheard, or taken for granted? Are you and your partner having the same fight or same kind of fight over and over, without ever coming to an effective, sustainable resolution? Do you wish you could rekindle the spark that brought you together, repair ruptures, fall back into alignment and enjoy a more loving, intimate, and connected relationship?
Struggling in your primary relationship can be a frustrating, lonely, and even hopeless experience. Falling out of alignment and into perpetual cycles of unresolved arguments can create strain, secrets, and loneliness. You may want to reach out to your partner, but hold back for fear of creating more unease. The person who you were once crazy about may now feel like a roommate or even an adversary. Maybe you once took care of each other, but now it seems that you are both focused on just taking care of yourselves. And, with that disconnect can come the big emotions of sadness, helplessness, and longing.
All Couples Bump Up Against Challenges
Every couple–at some point–is going to experience unease and discord in their relationship. Most of us were not taught how to be good partners, what healthy, intimate relationships look and feel like, and/or what good sex is. We just do not know. Furthermore, our culture tells us that we should all be independent, productive people who achieve great success and never show weakness. These autonomous qualities may allow some people to achieve professional success, but they do not lend themselves to creating and sustaining healthy partnerships.
Healthy relationship role models are scarce for all couples, but maybe even more so for those in LGBTQIA communities. Non-heteronormative couples must manage many of same struggles that heterosexual couples encounter, but often with an added layer of complexity concerning acceptance, identity, and community.
While relationship challenges are extremely common and almost all couples could strengthen their communication and connection through couples counseling, there are times when couples really need guidance and support. If you and your partner are engaging in ongoing arguments, struggling through an infidelity, falling out of sync, or feeling really disconnected, a compassionate and skilled therapist can help you slow things down. With support, impartial feedback and a safe space for healing and growth, you and your partner can discover harmony and healthy communication.
A Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT) Can Help You Create a Strong, Connected Bond
Couples counseling has proven to be extremely effective in helping couples work through challenging issues and return to a place of love and connection. But, like any truly meaningful experience, you will get out of the therapy what you put into it. If you and your partner are committed to healthy self-exploration and developing a better understanding of how you can best support one another, anything is possible.
I offer those I work with a safe, non-judgmental, and compassionate space to explore any and all issues. I welcome diversity in my practice, and enjoy working with all kinds of couples and relationships, whether you are heterosexual, same-sex, monogamous, polyamorous, open, or anything in between. I firmly believe that–regardless of sexual orientation and preferences, history, life, and relationship goals or personalities–we are all inherently healthy and healing is always possible. And, in relationships, when we learn how to truly care for our partner, vast possibilities for happiness and connection emerge. We can connect deeply, take healthier risks, and experience more ease and joy in all aspects of our lives.
In couples counseling sessions, I can help you and your partner begin to experience what it feels like to be in each other’s care. Working collaboratively, we can deescalate tension and slow down conversations so you and your partner can develop a better understanding of who you each are and how to best respond to and support each other’s needs. When the focus is shifted from “me” to “you” in an intimate relationship and we learn how to regulate our partner’s emotions, an amazing synergy can occur. While it can be scary at first to let go of self and put yourself in another’s care, taking that leap can lead to a secure and powerful connection.
In sessions, we will also work in the moment–navigating issues as they arise. As a third-party witnessing your dynamic exchanges, I can offer suggestions about communication and attachment styles that may bring about a new level of understanding and awareness. Using a Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), I can help each of you bring awareness to the moment-to-moment level of activation in your bodies, such as stress, anger, fear, or excitement, and explore how each of you does or does not regulate that activation. The Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT) framework allows each of you to gain clarity about your own thoughts and feelings and to better understand and be more attuned to those of your partner.
With the support of a skilled PACT therapist, the right approach and a willingness to explore each other, you and your partner can create the conditions for a beautiful connection to naturally emerge. Your relationship is not broken. You can reconnect with what drew you together and rediscover the intrinsic wellness that exists in you both and in your relationship.
Although you want to reconnect with your partner, you still may have questions or concerns about couples counseling…
We have heard that therapy can be expensive and take a lot of time. Will it be worth it?
I invite you to consider couples counseling as an important investment in yourself, your partner, your relationship, and both of your lives. When we experience turmoil in our intimate partnership, all other aspects of our lives suffer. However, when we are in a loving, supportive relationship, we feel more confident in other areas of our lives. A healthy relationship can generate ripples of positivity and productivity. Furthermore, couples counseling is not a life-long sentence. You get out of it what you put into it. If you are both committed to improving your relationship and engaging in the process, you can begin to see results in just a few sessions.
I believe that we really need help; however, my partner is resistant to the idea of therapy.
In all honesty, couples counseling is most effective when both partners are present and willing. If your partner is not interested in couples counseling, I offer individual counseling. In individual sessions, you can work on your personal issues. When you start making meaningful changes in your life, not only can you experience more overall joy, but you may also see a positive ripple effect into your relationship.
We tried therapy in the past and it did not work. Can we really be helped?
Of course you can be helped! Many traditional therapists approach couples counseling using a story-telling model, which allows each partner to tell his or her own “truth” from their “side.” While this can work for some couples, it sets up the distinctions of “right” and “wrong” and positions each partner against the other. By using a Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT), we put right and wrong away and, instead, focus on how you can best communicate with and relate to each other as a team–how you can truly be in each other’s care. By taking the focus off of individuality and story, you and your partner can begin to collaborate and build a strong bond.
from the blog
You can share a joyful and connected life together. You do not have to navigate relationship challenges on your own. I provide couple/relationship counseling in Denver, Colorado. I invite you to email me to discuss how we could best work together and answer any questions you have about my counseling services, or log in to schedule an appointment.
-Scott Church, MA, LPC