Couples counseling helps partners experience their relationship differently by better understanding one another, creating consideration and respect within the relationship, and working to regulate conflicts. Couples therapy can provide a safe environment to explore individual and joint needs, hurts, fears, desires, expectations, and disappointments.
My approach to couples therapy is integrative and individualized for each couple. I help couples determine what is getting in the way of the relationship they want, recognize the positives in the relationship, and explore the underlying assumptions and rules in the relationship. One of the most important areas I address is the quality of communication; good communication is vital to a successful and strong relationship. I also help couples find ways to introduce more positive emotions into the relationship, create shared meaning, and implement effective methods to both listen and to be heard in the relationship. I believe that building general positivity in the relationship, which can often be accomplished by improving the couple’s friendship, is essential to ensure lasting change.
Couples Counseling can help with:
- Communication and problem solving skills
- Financial stressors
- Sexual difficulties
- Changing roles, such as retirement or new baby
- Anger management
- Conflicts about child rearing
- Blended families
- Excessive criticism, defensiveness, and/or contempt in the relationship
Research has shown that predictive factors of early divorce (within 7 years) include the presence of criticism, defensiveness, contempt, and stonewalling (emotional withdrawal) within the relationship.
Predictive factors of later divorce (16 years) include suppression of emotion and absence of positive emotion within the relationship.
Gottman & Levinson, 2000
Click here to watch an interesting Ted Talk, The secret to desire in a long-term relationship.
Couples Counseling Boulder by Therapist Christy Weller, Psy.D. Also specializing in Psychotherapy and Psychological Assessment Services.