When it comes to relationships, we tell ourselves so many stories…
As you enter a relationship…
“We have so many things in common and enjoy spending time together.”
“We communicate so well… I feel like I can tell them anything.”
“Finally… someone that wants to build a family together.”
As you journey together…
“I really enjoy spending time with my partner, but sometimes I yearn for some time alone to do my own thing.”
“I am distracted when they tell me about the same problem at work over and over. I have struggles also… I wish I would get a turn to vent.”
“We welcomed our first child… it is a hard transition, but we made a pact to make our relationship a priority.”
As things start to deteriorate…
“Our activities together revolve around what we need to do for the kids. We rarely do anything together anymore; let alone time for ourselves.”
“So many things were swept under the rug over the years, and our conversations often escalated. Neither of us feels heard by the other.”
“We are not on the same page with parenting and can’t discuss it without an argument arising.”
You’re often aware that things are getting off track…
“But it really isn’t that bad.”
“We will have plenty of time to enjoy each other after the kids are gone.”
“I’m really not happy about how things are going in our marriage, but I don’t feel it is worth causing an argument.”
As the relationship ends…
“We have nothing in common. I would rather be by myself than spend time with them.”
“We used to be able to talk about anything. I used to feel heard and supported.”
“Finally, I can parent the way I want without interference from them!”
Wherever you are in your relationship story, you might need some guidance…
When we avoid or ignore the “warning signs,” the relationship can metaphorically blow up… or leave us deeply dissatisfied and unfulfilled.
Do you want to make sure you’re starting a relationship with a strong foundation?
Perhaps, you want the skills to know when things are getting off track before you lose your way.
Do you want to know how to successfully adjust to life changes with your partner – like a new job, death in the family, or having a child?
Maybe you haven’t been emotionally or physically connected to your partner and want to restore the spark…
Or maybe the worst thing has come to light – that your partner has gone outside the relationship. Your world is crumbling around you… and you don’t know what to do.
It’s the small things done often that make the difference.
– John Gottman
You CAN repair or rebuild your relationship.
I’m very familiar with all these stories and have lots of experience guiding couples back to greater connections in their relationship. Whether you need to rebuild or just fine-tune some skills, I’m here to help.
Exploring your strengths…
Using some questionnaires and exploring your current dynamics, we can work to identify your strengths as a couple. We may reminisce back to the start of your relationship and explore what drew you together in the first place.
You may be asked to share something you appreciate about your partner and become more aware of how you support each other regularly. Maybe, you will recognize how well you really do know your partner despite feeling a little disconnected.
We use these strengths to shift your negative perspective about your relationship so that we can begin rebuilding.
Identifying areas for improvement…
Of course, everything is not sunshine and rainbows, or you would not be looking at this website right now.
We will take the information gained through assessments and conversations and identify your areas of improvement. I will provide education around the “why” of some important things in your marital relationship and how it can support you to get back to healthier dynamics.
You may be asked to start doing some activities outside the sessions to strengthen these identified areas and practice in real time with me in our sessions together.
Building a roadmap for action…
We will work to set attainable goals from all this information.
I always start by focusing on your friendship base to build a strong foundation that will ultimately support any other work we do. Each couple is unique, and we will work to prioritize other specific goals together – but understand that your house can easily collapse without a strong foundation.
Communication, trust, intimacy, parenting, and many other things may seem like the priority. You may want to jump right into the meat of things but remember this is a process, and the work I do with you is researched based… let’s trust the process.
Improving your communication skills…
Once we strengthen your friendship base, we will explore your current communication dynamics.
I’ll provide education about what makes an attentive listener and how to speak in a way that gets your message heard. I walk beside you during conversations to help with regulation and working on skills discussed.
I’ll challenge you to listen from the heart and speak in a way that is not critical or demeaning to your partner. Rather than get defensive, I will ask you to get curious and ask questions so that you can better understand your partner’s desires.
We will work to build compromise into your dynamic, and neither of you will leave feeling like you “lost” or “won”; instead, you came to a conclusion together.
Practicing your skills…
Yes… you have to practice what you learn in session and integrate it into your daily interactions.
One hour with me will not shift the dynamics that have been in place for years. You have to build awareness of when you are falling back into old patterns.
I will invite you to make repairs when this happens and give each other some grace as you navigate a new way to interact. You may need to develop your self-care practice to help with the transformation of stressors you are facing individually or in your family.
We may need to practice certain skills in session, starting with less activating topics initially and then moving to things that initially brought you into my office. A weekly meeting, other than our time together, can provide a space to celebrate successes and discuss what still needs improvement.
You just need a little boost in the right direction…
Maybe coming into the therapy room seems a little daunting. Your relationship may need a little boost now and then when you recognize you are getting off track.
Attending an event offered by Small Things Often may just be the push your relationship needs. We are working to build “date night” offerings that will give you some ways to strengthen your friendship base and provide an opportunity to spend one-on-one time together. You can find more information on the events and workshops page or sign up for our monthly newsletter to learn about future offerings.
Let’s make your relationship stronger than ever!
Your relationship NEEDS daily nurturing to grow. You cannot neglect this precious gift.
Let me help you find a way to build nurturing interactions into daily practice. This will allow your relationship to continue blooming throughout your journey together.
Schedule your free 20-minute consultation, and I’ll answer any questions and ensure we are a good fit for working together.