Many people come to couples therapy because they feel stuck and don’t know how to move forward. This is what they say:
“We’re growing apart”
“It feels like we’re just roommates”
“We never have sex anymore”
“I can’t get past the affair”
“We fight all the time”
“I’m lonely in my relationship”
“We can’t communicate”
It is a helpless feeling when you don’t know how to rescue your relationship. The good news is that in couples therapy, there is so much a couple can do to heal, revitalize, and move through and beyond problems. In fact, it’s normal for couples to encounter difficulties. The key is to use these challenges as a springboard for growth. Whether it’s healing from the devastation of an affair, creating a more secure relationship, learning to communicate without tearing each other down, or rekindling the spark, there is so much hope for struggling couples. If you are ready to address your relationship issues, it would be my privilege to provide support and guidance in couples therapy.
Every couple has struggles from time to time. I have experience working with straight couples and same sex couples.
Become Best Friends Again
Couples are often deeply distressed about missing the friendship they once had. What happened and where did it go? Couples counseling can reawaken the friendship by helping partners see how they inadvertently push each other away when intending to draw each other closer. Talking, laughing, and feeling understood are cherished parts of the relationship. Couples counseling can help you find your way back to each other rather than living as roommates.
Learn to Talk, Not Fight
What is all the bickering about anyway? You sit down to have a constructive conversation and before you know it, defenses are up and the discussion is spiraling out of control. Couples therapy can help you understand what is underneath those seemingly insignificant fights and help you and your partner develop new capacities to have the conversations you are longing for. What a relief to have tools to help you start talking again.
Reignite the Spark
When it feels like there is no spark anymore, it can remove the sweetness, the pleasure and heat from the relationship. It can feel like everything is all work and no play. Many times couples don’t know how to renew their relationship. Couples counseling can help you rejuvenate playful energy and break away from humdrum interactions. Making the relationship a priority and taking new risks can bring great rewards.
Heal from Past Hurts
Healing from an affair or other betrayals can be tremendously challenging. The hurt goes so deep for the partner that was cheated on, and the guilt can be overwhelming for the person that stepped out. Professional couples therapy can provide a framework to hold a couple steady as partners explore what went wrong, begin to repair deep hurts, and find ways to restore trust.
Create Secure Attachment
Our families of origin can leave a legacy of faulty relationship imprints, which can sabotage our present relationships. We repeat old patterns without realizing we are performing the relationship dance of the past. It may feel familiar, but leads to repetitive and discouraging outcomes. Couples therapy can help partners become conscious of what was once unconscious, and learn new ways to be in a secure relationship.
Can we talk about Sex in Couples Therapy?
Sometimes relationships hit roadblocks in the sexual arena. Couples often have no idea how to deal with these matters and how to make things better. What used to feel natural and enjoyable, now feels awkward or difficult. Or maybe the relationship never got off to a good start in the bedroom. It’s okay to discuss sex issues in your couples therapy. I have studied with The Institute For Relational Intimacy and completed the training, Assessing and Treating Sex Issues in Psychotherapy. While I am not a Sex Therapist, I have learned many effective interventions and treatment strategies to help couples with their sexual relationship. I am also aware of when to refer a client for help from a specialist.
Coping With Cancer As A Couple
When cancer or other health problems strike, it is devastating. Not only for the person who has the illness, but also for the partner who may feel helpless and unsure of how to be supportive. Fear, anger, sadness, changes in roles and responsibilities, confusion around sexual intimacy, all pose new issues to manage. These kinds of tragedies can either divide a couple, or bring them closer. While the doctors are addressing the medical aspects of the crisis, the emotional components are often left hanging. Couples therapy can provide a safe place to navigate these changes without losing touch with each other.
Why Meg Luce? Training and Expertise for Helping Couples
One of my greatest passions as a psychotherapist is helping couples learn to strengthen their relationships. I have years of specialized training in working with couples to achieve their goals. Beyond my Master’s Level training as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I am a graduate of The Couples Institute Advanced Training Program. The mission statement of the Couples Institute Training program is to train world class couples therapists and prevent unnecessary divorces. The program integrates key aspects of human dynamics including differentiation, attachment and neuroscience. Consequently, I am well-equipped to help struggling couples and if you are ready, I would like to help you.
You may have more questions about Couples Therapy…
What is couples therapy like?
Talking, listening, developing new capacities and learning new skills are all a part of couples therapy. Learning to take an active role in being the partner you want to be, rather than allowing yourself to react in ways that just make you feel worse. My job is to find the sweet spot between creating a sense of safety, so clients can explore and share deeply, as well as encouraging each individual to stretch toward change. The sweet spot for one client is different than another and so I ask that clients let me know how the therapy is landing for them. I am always open to feedback and ready to shift gears to make the therapy work for whoever is in the room.
What if my partner doesn’t want to attend couples therapy?
If your partner doesn’t want to come to couples therapy, you can make the appointment and say that you hope they decide to join you because you want to work on the relationship together. Your partner may be afraid to come because of some past transgression. You can let your partner know that shaming and blaming is not a part couples therapy. If your partner still isn’t on board, you can attend on your own and learn about yourself, your part in the problems, and what you want to do to address these issues.
How long does it take?
It’s natural to wonder how long couples counseling will last. The answer to this question depends on many variables. For example, are the problems longstanding and firmly entrenched? How badly have partners hurt each other in the past? I believe it’s never too late for couples to find joy with each other, but with deep-rooted problems it will probably take awhile. The goals that couples present with also determine the length of the therapy. Whether the couple wants to address a single issue and be done, or whether they’re in for a major relationship remodel, this will have an impact on how long they will be in therapy. Every couple can decide what they would like to work on, and for how long.
Does Couples Therapy work?
This is another question that depends on many factors. How motivated is the couple to use what they are learning? Can each partner learn to take some ownership in their contribution to the problems? Does one of the partners already have one foot out the door? Is a partner attending a few sessions just to say, “I tried.” Is there a trauma history, or active addiction? There are no guarantees for a successful outcome; however, when each partner is active and engaged in addressing their own part, the sky is the limit. Feel free to read my blog post, Get The Most From Couples Counseling.
What if we can’t work things out?
It is true that some couples decide they will be happier living separately and choose to dissolve their relationship. For those people, couples counseling can help the couple part on amicable terms. People that have made a careful and thoughtful choice about dissolution, often have more of a sense of peace with the choice they are making. As your therapist, I don’t have a “stay together at all costs” agenda and I will respect your choice, even it if is to go your separate ways. That said, I am VERY optimistic about helping you reconcile your differences. I have seen so many couples grow happier and more connected even when they had given up hope.
How will you know if you don’t try?
How do we get started?
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