Usually, both of you will have to tolerate some self-reflection that may be uncomfortable and possibly even agree to some behavior changes over time. Participation is always 100% voluntary and it is up to each of you to decide how much effort you are willing to invest. As your therapist and coach, I can make observations, hear your concerns, and provide evidenced-based information and coaching to help you grow and move out of stuck patterns. I can make specific recommendations designed to facilitate positive change and shed light on areas require growth. It is up to each individual to practice putting into action what you are learning in therapy to realize the vision you have of your best self in relationship. Some helpful questions to ask yourself: ”How would my BEST SELF respond to my partner right now?” “How do I aspire to be in relationship to my partner?” … especially when things are not going well. It is easy to be our best selves when things are going our way. A good question for any couple to consider and discuss as they embark on the journey of couples therapy is this:
What excites us as a couple about a vision for our best future relationship together?
We tend to pick partners that hold out the best hope for our personal happiness AND we also tend to pick partners that are best suited to challenge our most undeveloped or wounded places so that we can grow and thrive as human beings. Intimacy can provide the very best catalyst for profound human growth and development.
Are you willing to endure some discomfort for growth as a couple?
*Discomfort for growth does not include tolerating dangerous or violent behaviors in your relationship. Couples therapy will not be indicated until or unless basic safety is secured. If you feel unsafe please contact me privately to discuss resources that can help.
Even folks from relatively functional families experience relational stress and naturally develop ways to cope and adapt to that stress. Many of these adaptations will work perfectly well in many domains of life, such as in our careers or friendships. And yet, some of our younger adaptations will not work well in long-term adult intimate relationships. If the stress we endured in younger years was chronic or traumatic, we probably made adaptations that were functional and even lifesaving in the past, but those adaptations can inhibit joyful intimacy as adults. What effort are you willing to put into upgrading out-of-date adaptations so that you have the tools required to manifest your very best relationship?
When we experience relationship problems we tend to blame our partner or view the relationship as not a good fit. Often these problems point to what exactly is needed for each person to grow and develop as an individual. What parts of you are trying to heal and grow through this relationship?
Nothing is more desirable than to be released from an affliction, but nothing is more frightening than to be divested of a crutch. -James Baldwin