Simply stated, relationships can be tough and conflict will occur... how will we handle conflict when the time comes? We have choices... we can have conflict and still remain in close connection or we can have conflict and strive to win which, most likely, will disrupt that connection. And, in a long-term commitment, add the stress from living together, co-parenting, jobs, schools, in-laws and relatives, and you have a lot to manage in your partnership! Stress can build up and, before you know it, you’re arguing, suffering in silence and feeling on your own. It doesn’t have to be that way and couples therapy can help you and your partner discover and practice a new way of being together that can feel good to both of you.
Couples therapy can help to bridge the communication so that you learn to manage conflict productively, you feel true partnership and less alone, and develop practices and experiences of more intimacy and connection.
I use a combination of approaches to support my couple clients. The Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT)® approach uses the knowledge of how our brain works for survival (fight, flight, freeze responses), early childhood and adult attachment patterns, and our ability to regulate our nervous system (manage our emotions and reactions/responses). We discover where each person’s unique needs are to feel safe, happy and connected and work towards mutual satisfaction. Nonviolent Communication (Marshall Rosenberg) applied to your relationship gives you the tools to communicate feelings, needs, and desires, without relying on anger, blame, or manipulation. This allows you to express yourself genuinely and stay connected with your partner.
In therapy you will learn about your, and your partner’s, go-to patterns for managing stress and difficult emotion. This will help you and your partner care for each other rather than unknowingly trigger feelings of threat. We will explore ways to enhance feelings of safety and security in order to deepen or reestablish a sense of partnership and intimacy. These sessions are experiential and provide useful tools/experiences to apply immediately in your relationship.
To learn more about PACT: What is PACT