The first step to getting help as a couple is making that first difficult call. And it is difficult to admit that you need help. Our society is all about being independent and successful, and being the best in everything, our relationships, our parenting, our work, our looks, our homes. The truth is that everyone goes through difficult times, the majority of couples have some problems communicating, and most people’s sex life is not perfect or anywhere close, regardless of how Hollywood portrays it.
In Couples Therapy, the Relationship is the Client
When I see a couple, I see 3 separate entities: you, your partner and the relationship. The relationship is my primary client and it is the interface between the 2 people. The relationship entity is actually very intricate because when two separate individuals become a couple, they create something entirely new. The relationship encompasses each individual’s learned communication styles. Everyone learns their communication style in childhood, from their parents or caretakers. Relationships also encompass each person’s way of being with another person, which psychologists call “attachment style” and which affects each person’s underlying feelings of being cared for. Each person’s brain interprets their partner’s actions in a specific learned way causing each of you to feel and act specific ways when upset.
The Problem with Traditional Couples Counseling
Traditional couples counseling is often not very effective, because it doesn’t address most of these underlying factors, but rather concentrates primarily on communication tools. I have experienced the pain of being in a relationship which is not working, and I know how empowering it is to have the tools and knowledge to transform that relationship. I have practiced as a couples’ therapist for 10 years, have seen hundreds of couples, and have personal experience from my own 30+ years marriage and from parenting 2 children to adulthood. I am currently practicing in some of the newest, most comprehensive and most effective forms of couple’s therapy, like PACT, the Couples Developmental model, and the Gottman method.
Waiting Won’t Help Your Relationship
Waiting too long to reach out for help is one of the mistakes many couples make. Feel free to give me a call, and I will be happy to talk to you about how effective, compassionate and focused couples counseling can improve your relationship.
It’s hard to admit we need help; that maybe we can’t do it by ourselves. We’re uncomfortable when we feel vulnerable. People who call for counseling are experiencing emotional pain in their lives and want to feel relief. So when you call and come in my first goal is to help you feel safe and secure. Next I want to help you to reduce or eliminate the pain, in whatever form that takes.
When I was younger, before I became a therapist, I had some personal experience with therapy where, as the client, I felt we were making little or no progress; I felt discouraged and alone. It’s important to have confidence in your therapist and know they have a stake in trying to help you and that you are their priority. Because of my own experience, I resolved to be a more results-oriented therapist. I believe a therapist and the client are collaborators in helping the client to achieve his or her goals. During the first session, we will talk about your goals and what you would like to achieve in counseling. Then we periodically review that list, and where we are in the process. I want my clients to make progress toward successful and happy lives.
I have worked on and refined my approach with individuals over the years and my approach with each client is geared toward you and your needs. I incorporate the most recent advances in brain research into my work. I often use IFS (Internal Family Systems). This is a method of getting to the root of your issues, and helping you to feel better. For clients who have experienced trauma, either “major” (life-threatening) or “minor” (ie: putdowns), EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization Reprocessing) helps to reduce the intensity of the feelings and replace them with more positive beliefs. CBT (Cognitive Behavioral Therapy) is another method I use to help with self-esteem and related issues.
If you’re looking for someone to help you move forward in your life, set goals and overcome the obstacles that hold you back, then give me a call or email me.
Praise for Amy…
Amy has provided me with the absolute greatest counseling on the personal and professional levels … and I do not see that changing anytime soon.