Connection

Couples Counseling with Strongest Approaches for Creating Lasting Change

“No one can dance with a partner and not touch each other’s raw spots. We must know what these raw spots are and be able to speak about them in a way that pulls our partner closer to us.” —Dr. Sue Johnson, author of Love Sense and developer of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

Is couples counseling the answer for us? Is there hope for us?

couples counselingAfter all, we do remember many times when we were so connected, best friends and “that couple” others admired.

Then, our closeness diminished, and we’ve become more like roommates. We argue  more often; the same disagreements keep cropping up because we can’t seem to resolve big or even small differences.

Yet . . . we want to learn how to restore the loving and supportive togetherness we cherished. We long to learn how to return to all the joy that was the hallmark of being “that couple.”

A Powerful Combination of Proven Approaches that Help Couples Recover Their Loving Bond

 In my couples counseling work, I bring my training and years of experience working with couples through using two scientifically based, highly successful methods that help couples:

  • Move away from cycles of repeated arguments and learn to create new understanding of yourself and your partner
  • Resolve issues, old and new, with greater appreciation of each partner’s perspective and deeper feelings
  • Manage stressful situations as a team
  • Recover from emotionally hurtful events and move forward with renewed connection
  • Shift the way you think about stress and challenging events, allowing better choices both as a couple and as individuals

Tough Times for Couples

couples counselingMany couples find difficulty these days coping with the demands of life not faced by earlier generations: How to manage two growing professional careers with greater demands for 24/7 access; parenting successfully to foster each child’s healthy development; and caring for aging parents.

At the same time, other stressors such as a child with challenges, an illness in the family and career changes or job transitions can place added stress at any stage of the marriage or relationship. 

For those divorced parents, co-parenting may present an array of challenges.

The Strengths & Wisdom of Emotionally Focused Therapy

Years ago, couples counseling consisted primary of teaching couples how to talk to one another. The success was limited and rarely lasting.

Emotionally Focused Therapy, commonly known as EFT, offers couples a strongly research-supported and scientifically based roadmap to recovery from relationship distress.

Importantly, the process is gentle and affirming of each partner’s uniqueness and his or her desires to be a loving partner.

 

In its unique approach, EFT is remarkable in its process because:

  • The cycle of arguing, distancing and disconnection is identified as the problem — not either of you!
  • Each partner gains a new understanding of his or her style of connecting with their partner, can hold the keys to lasting and positive change.
  • Couples gain a new framework of communication, but from the all-important perspective of deeply understanding your partner and yourself

Toward Greater Acceptance and Commitment

couples counselingIn my years of working with couples, I’ve watched them struggle with strong emotions and how to better navigate challenging situations. To help you become more skillful in coping with difficult events, I weave into our work the research-supported strengths of Acceptance and Commitment Therapy, commonly called ACT.

In ACT couples counseling, you’ll learn:

  • To slow down your emotional reactions to events or troubling thoughts
  • Greater acceptance of circumstances or feelings such as anxiety or uncertainty
  • To allow the feelings to occur rather than spending countless energy in suppressing or avoiding those thoughts or beliefs
  • To develop greater compassion toward your own challenges — and those facing your partner.

ACT helps you let go rather than attempt (often endlessly) to control feelings or situations.

ACT powerfully shifts our beliefs about the event or emotion through learning mindfulness exercises. The goal is not to “solve” an issue that may not have a solution; rather, we learn to accept. By accepting, we end the battle to change or stop those troubling thoughts and move toward shifting the way we think and feel about painful or overwhelming thoughts or feelings.

Recovery from the Pain of Infidelity

The majority of couples seek to  heal after infidelity has been discovered. The path is challenging, of course; however, EFT therapists have a proven process for helping couples become “one” again, to rebuild trust and to go forward with a renewed commitment.

While strong emotions typically predominate after an affair is discovered, the EFT healing process enables couples to gently explore the issues related to the infidelity and to make positive steps toward moving forward through this difficult and painful period.

The issue of the infidelity is woven into the couples counseling process in ways that simultaneously work toward healing and also, importantly, toward strengthening the relationship. Partners can learn to be more open with each other, to make their needs known to their partner in positive ways, to resolve emerging issues and to make the marriage or relationship a priority again.

Healing Old Wounds

couples counselingAs Dr. Susan Johnson, primary creator of EFT says, “It’s impossible to dance closely without occasionally stepping on our partner’s toes.”

In any relationship, there are times when we unintentionally hurt our partner’s feelings, such as:

  • Forgetting an event important to our partner or spouse
  • Being less sensitive to our partner’s needs for support and comfort
  • Not having our partner’s back in the eyes of our own extended family

When the hurt partner does not bring up those feelings for discussion or clarification, a resentment can develop and build.

In EFT, couples learn effective approaches to discussing and healing old (and emerging) hurt feelings. Discussing difficult topics — which previously often was avoided — brings couples even closer and creates a more secure emotional bond.

Also integrating ACT, couples can work to better accept their partner’s best intentions and give new perspective to past events.

Exploring Intimacy Concerns

couples counselingTalking about sex is challenging for many couples — you’re not alone if you find it difficult to bring up issues related to your physical intimacy. When not resolved, these concerns can fester and cause greater distance between you.

The safety of the couples counseling therapy office, and the guidance of a skilled professional, help couples open the door to healthy conversations about intimacy. By breaking the ice in couples counseling, the stage is set for ongoing discussion of each person’s needs, preferences and desires.

How to Begin

You can schedule a no-cost 15-minute conversation with me to discuss any questions and to see whether it feels as if we are a fit to work together. Please fill out the Contact Form or give me a call at (713) 789-4342. 

 See my blog for more information about emotionally focused therapy for couples

 



104 W. 12th Street Suite B
Houston, TX 77008

admin@heightscouplestherapy.com
(713) 789-4342

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