Relationship Issues

Relationships require work and are bound to face challenges large and small. Simple, everyday stressors can strain an intimate relationship, and major sources of stress may threaten the stability of the relationship. As long as each partner is willing to address the issue at hand and participate in developing a solution, most relationship problems are manageable, but when challenges are left unaddressed, tension mounts, poor habits develop, and the health and longevity of the relationship are in jeopardy.

Prolonged relationship conflict or stress can contribute to mental health conditions, like depression or anxiety, for one or both partners. Relationship problems can also affect one's self-esteem and physical health or lead to feelings of guilt, shame, or anger.

Common Counseling Goals for Couples

  • Enhance Communication

  • Improve Problem Solving Skills

  • Resolve Conflict

  • Deeper Emotional and Sexual Intimacy

  • Healing from Infidelity

Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally focused therapy, an intervention based on scientific study of adult love and bonding processes in couples, is designed to address distress in the intimate relationships of adults. Strategies from emotionally focused therapy can also be used in family therapy to help family members connect and improve emotional attachment. Couples seeking counseling to improve their relationships may find this method a beneficial approach, as it can help people better understand both their own emotional responses and those of significant people in their lives. 

As a therapist trained in Emotionally Focused Therapy, my treatment is focused on helping individuals facilitate the creation of secure, lasting, bonds between intimate partners and family members.  In addition, I aim to reinforce any preexisting positive bonds, with the goal of helping those in treatment increase security, closeness, and connection in intimate relationships. 

 Relational Traumas

Relational trauma, often called attachment injuries, occurs when one person betrays, abandons, or refuses to provide support for another person with whom he or she has developed an attachment bond. At the heart of every great relationship is a secure attachment base, which includes love, trust, safety, and knowledge that my partner gets me, and will walk through fire with me. When there is a relational trauma partners feel betrayed and abandoned.  It is critical that the trauma to the relational bond be addressed first. The traumatized partner needs to grieve and heal from the trauma before trust can be resotred and the couple can work towards healing the relationship on a deeper emotional level.