Romantic Relationships

Romantic Relationship counseling

Relationship counseling could be helpful for you. It is never too early to start therapy, some couples begin before they are married to help ensure a strong foundation and that no one “buries” any potential problems. It is possible to wait too long to go to therapy. The average couple waits six years before going to therapy which is a lot of time for problems to fester making it extraordinarily difficult to repair the relationship.

In Couples Counseling, the therapist focuses on the health of the relationship as the client while working on individual goals to help both people create the healthiest relationship possible. Relationship counseling is helpful at any stage of a relationship: pre-marital (as an aid to help dig into the hard topics), troubled relationships (improved communication, improved interactions, conflict resolution, figuring out if the relationship still works for each partner), and even healthy relationships (strengthened communication or connection).

Relationship counseling can be the focus of individual sessions or couples sessions. Sometimes we may find ourselves unhappy but not have a clear reason why. Bring that into therapy with you, we can figure it out. Sometimes there is a lack of a relationship that needs to be addressed because the last, or the last few relationships have been so detrimental to your mental health one of you is scared to try again. Or maybe you are afraid to be alone, so we work on learning who you are, your hard no’s, what you are capable of giving to someone in a relationship, and what you are needing from someone else in a relationship.

Special Circumstances: DeTOXING from an abusive relationship

You may be left feeling anxious or insecure, angry or upset, drained or dissatisfied. Any type of relationship can end up being unhealthy, or toxic, including parent/child, romantic, coworkers or a boss, or friends. If you feel like you are doing all the work or as if your needs are not being heard let alone met in this relationship, you may be in a toxic relationship and we should evaluate. There is often something about the dynamic that is difficult to leave behind which tends to encourage us to think or worry that we should stay in this unfulfilling relationship instead of moving on.

Some believe that to fully detox from a toxic/unhealthy relationship, you need to follow specific steps such as “no contact for 8 weeks,” similar to a chemical detox program. I believe we are all unique individuals and what works for one person and their situation might not work for the next person and their situation.

It is not always realistic to stop all contact; then it is about managing contact on terms that are acceptable to you, identifying and enforcing boundaries, as well as healing yourself while protecting yourself. You might need to create and enforce boundaries with this person to create distance and a more manageable relationship instead. I encourage my clients to bring that into session with you so we can work on that.

When is it “time” to come in for therapy?

Regardless of the type of relationship you are in, if you find that

  • You have a hard time expressing your feelings to the other person
  • You have one or more unsolvable disagreement
  • If either partner withdrawals or criticizes the other or feels resentful
  • A stressful event has happened and the couple either can’t stop talking about it or is avoiding talking about it
  • You have trouble making decisions together
  • Infidelity, addiction, or emotional/physical/psychological abuse occurs
  • You want a stronger, more fulfilling relationship.
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