When you bought your first car, you learned that to keep it running smoothly, you would have to continually maintain and repair it. Unfortunately, the car salesman did not provide a car mechanic with your first car to teach you the skills needed to do that! However, over time you learned from friends and additional resources on how to work with your car. But when the job needed specialized care, you turned to a car mechanic to get the specialized care you needed.
Consider couples' therapy like seeking the skills of a mechanic. If life is a highway, your vehicle is your couple relationship. To keep it running smoothly, you need to continually repair, maintain, and enrich your relationship.
If you or your partner finds yourself snapping at the children, purposefully driving home extra slowly, ignoring each other, constantly bickering, or feeling stressed about how the two of you are doing as a team, it may be that your couple relationship is deteriorating, and is not providing the support in life that you need. Maybe something unexpected has happened that has rocked your relationship to the core, and you're not quite sure what to do. Perhaps the daily stresses of life seem to be getting in the way of your relationship. You may even spend you day feeling anxious, depressed, or hopeless, wondering if you can ever feel joy in your relationship again. If you're noticing that your relationship needs specialized care, that's where we come in.
Here at Soul Space, our couple's therapist can work with you and your partner to evaluate your relationship needs and goals. She can then counsel with you to reach those goals using techniques from research-based couples' therapy methods such at Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) or Gottman Couples Therapy.
This is the most common reason for a couple seeking counseling services. While driving your "relationship car" down the highway of life, you may get in a wreck and need some serious repair. You find yourself in a relationship panic because you are so overwhelmed by the problems you are facing with your partner or spouse. You are looking for hope, healing, and guidance. Couples' issues in need of relationship repair include the following:
-Betrayals of trust
-Grief related couples' issues
-Feeling a loss of relational "spark"
-Considering divorce or breakup
-Supporting a partner with a mental health issue
...just to name a few
(Note: Sometimes we need to seek out even more specialized care to meet our relationship needs. If you are working through a couples issue that includes domestic violence and abuse (physical, sexual, or emotional abuse), or substance abuse or addictions, there are other great resources available. For domestic violence issues, consult with Tucson's Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse (https://www.emergecenter.org/). For substance abuse concerns, please visit pyschologytoday.com to find a psychologist near you that specializes in helping those with substance or alcohol addictions.)
While driving their "relationship car", some couples notice the air conditioning is going out, or the engine is having trouble. Left unchecked, these and other maintenance issues can lead to greater problems. Couples who have maintenance issues in their relationship do best if they work on resolving them as soon as possible, so they can avoid needing serious relationship repair in the future. Maintenance-related issues may include some of the following:
-Conflict about parenting
-Blended family issues
-Communication about intimacy and/or sexuality
-Military spouse deployment and return
-Empty-nester or recently retired couples issues
-Other relationship difficulties
Many couples benefit from coming in and exploring ways to deepen their relationship, fine tune their abilities, and respond to each other's needs in a more fulfilling way. This approach is also great for couples who will be making big decisions together and want to make sure they are on the same page before starting that new adventure. Enrichment-related issues may be some like these:
-Adjustment to marriage or living together
-Creating boundaries with extended family
-Creating date night ideas and exploring new ways to make marriage fun
-Creating new couple life goals
What Does Couple's Therapy Look Like? What Can We Expect?
In couples therapy, the therapist will work with you and your partner to evaluate your relationship and find out what steps needs to be taken to meet your relationship goals. It is a process of listening to both partners and taking an objective view of the issues being faced. Depending on the issue, therapy will typically focus on the process of your arguments--looking at the patterns and quality of your communication. Therapy will also focus on strengthening the love and bond between you and your partner, resolving past hurts, and providing hope and healing. As a couple you will then gain the insight and skills you need to make the necessary changes to reach your relationship goals. How many sessions this may take will vary on the couple and the issue that is presented. We are confident that as the loving bond between you and your partner or spouse is strengthened, your anxiety and hopeless will begin to turn to increased joy and confidence in your life.
Our hope for you and your partner or spouse is to find joy in each other and to have a lasting love relationship. If something has gotten in the way with that, we are honored to provide the specialized care you need.
Ready to get started? Let's connect!