Couples Counseling Los Angeles
Couples therapy can be a fantastic addition to any relationship – whether a couple is looking to strengthen an existing bond, improve intimacy or repair a marriage or partnership that is experiencing difficulties. In this type of counseling, the connection between two individuals is explored. It can lead to tremendous growth and intimacy improvements as well as a deepening of individual’s sense of self. Whether two people are in a committed relationship or already wed, this form of therapy can be extremely beneficial.
Going into a session involves looking at the relationship as a whole. With this being said, behaviors, perceptions, and attitudes of each will also often be considered and worked with to promote greater harmony within the relationship.
Conflict resolution is one of the goals of couples counseling. All relationships experience conflict at different points – marriages and partnerships alike. Conflict can be used to facilitate growth when there is healthy and open communication between both individuals. In couples therapy, I work to facilitate a setting of safety and honesty to help both people grow closer together.
Who is Couples Counseling Recommended For?
Relationship therapy can be a great choice for couples in many different settings. Healthy, happy partnerships can benefit from the increased closeness and understanding that it often provides. It is also very helpful when a couple is struggling.
Some of the most common problems that couples will seek therapy for can include
● Infidelity, Unfaithfulness or Cheating
● Sexual Dysfunction or Lack of Passion
● Unrealistic Expectations of One Another
● Depression of One or Both Partners
● Anxiety Both Inside of and Outside of the Home
The sooner a couple seeks help for any of these issues, and the better the chances are that they will be able to work together towards a good solution. Ultimately, everything that we do in the session is focused on helping to develop and move towards a healthier solution for both parties.
Premarital therapy is another common form of couples counseling. This can help both sides prepare a solid foundation for their partnership and get in touch with what to expect when married. Choosing to go this route often leads to healthier and longer lasting marriages because any issues that may have been overlooked inside of the relationship can be addressed and worked on in a safe and solution focused environment. Some religious denominations strongly encourage and even require this to be married in the church.
Effective Counseling Techniques
Many different methods can be utilized in the successful course of relationship therapy. Some of the most effective are
The Gottman Method
This technique focuses on helping couples to incorporate the nine components of healthy relationships. There is an emphasis on improving communication skills, learning to rely on one another and becoming supportive of each other’s goals. By becoming better friends and handling conflict in new, productive ways, a couple can get closer together. Communication is a huge part of all forms of relationship therapy, and better communication has been shown to lead to longer and happier marriages.
A great way for couples to move closer together is through working toward enhancing intimacy within the relationship. Intimacy does not just refer to sexual relations, though. Friendship, partnership and loving companionship are all equally important in allowing both individuals to feel connected and in sync with one another. Using different exercises to promote closeness, couples learn to connect better within the relationship. This is beneficial even if there are no significant problems currently being experienced.
Self-sabotaging and resentful behaviors can take root over time in relationships. Often these hurtful behaviors become extremely ingrained in how individuals act within a relationship. By looking at the behavior patterns without judgment, both members of a partnership have the ability to start to redirect their energy and learn more healthy ways to interact. This can often help to repair even the most damaged relationships.
Looking At the Whole Relationship
Since there are so many different aspects of a relationship to work towards, relationship therapy has to be treated holistically. Learning how to avoid unhealthy battles for power, address conflict head-on and reach a place of good resolution after a disagreement is crucial to building and strengthening a relationship. Marital unhappiness can stem from many different areas, but research has shown that one of the biggest contributors is the lack of good conflict resolution. Accomplishing this can be done to a great part by addressing communication skills and helping both partners to see the emotions that one another feel.
While it would be ideal for both partners to be equally motivated going into relationship therapy, this is not always the case. I work to help both individuals and the union as a whole to develop realistic and achievable goals that can be used to guide the progress of the emotional work within sessions. Taking ownership, learning that consider the emotional needs of the partner and working together for a more harmonious union are all pieces of the puzzle. When or if a conflict does arise during the session, we use proven therapeutic techniques to resolve, process and explore in a safe and productive setting.