PACT Couples Counseling
Do You Feel Frustrated, Lonely or Unheard In Your Relationship?
Are conflict, tension and unresolved arguments getting in the way of the fulfilling relationship you want with your partner? Do you blame each other, doubt yourself or question the viability of your relationship? You or your partner may spend so much time and energy focused on work, your children and other responsibilities that you feel too exhausted or overwhelmed come the end of the day to take care of yourselves and each other. Maybe you try to avoid talking about important issues in an attempt to maintain peace and prevent another shouting match. But, it can be stressful when you feel like you have to walk on eggshells, and you may not feel like you can be yourself when you are with your partner. You may try to escape feelings of doubt and uncertainty with alcohol, marijuana or prescription medication, but the physical, emotional and financial costs of substance abuse and other potentially damaging coping methods can leave you feeling even emptier. Do you wish you could communicate openly and honestly with your partner and rebuild your relationship on a more solid foundation?
It may be that you and your partner are struggling to adapt following a traumatic experience, such as an affair or the loss of a child, family member or close friend. Perhaps your partner said or did something that triggered an old wound you either didn’t realize was there or you thought had healed. You may know that your partner meant well, but part of you still blames him or her for bringing back painful memories and distressing trauma symptoms. Maybe you recognize that there is an underlying cause behind the conflict with your partner, but don’t feel like you have the tools to identify the issue and work together to heal and come out stronger and more connected.
Every Couple Deals With Relationship Problems
All couples come up against challenges, especially when one or both members feel they must change who they are in order to be accepted by their partner. Most couples report times of feeling disconnected and unsatisfied, especially when they or their partner have a high profile career and/or have experienced past trauma. Many couples struggle to communicate openly and honestly about their emotions, wants and needs. You and your partner are two different people with your own experiences, and it is natural to deal with disagreements and uncertainty as you build a life together. Your past experiences and the messages you received from parents, friends and former partners impact the way you think, feel, behave and relate to your partner. Insomuch, you may not know how to listen with empathy to your partner’s experience or recognize his or her unspoken words, wants and needs. Despite your best intentions and effort, you might experience moments when you feel lost and helpless. Perhaps you recognize that you could use guidance and support, but you aren’t sure where you can turn to find someone who understands the pressures that come with high stress or high profile careers and relationships.
Fortunately, there is help and hope. With the support and guidance of an experienced and understanding couples therapist, you and your partner can learn how to share your wants and needs openly and honestly, listen with empathy and feel more supported and inspired in your life together.
Couples Counseling Can Provide You With Guidance, Tools, Support And A Unified Path Forward
I offer compassionate support so you and your partner can feel more secure as you explore your relationship problems and develop practical solutions. I can help you rebuild your relationship on a secure foundation. Throughout our work together, I will provide you with information, resources and mindfulness skills that you and your partner can apply in your relationship and in your own lives. You can begin to recognize when you or your partner need support and learn to manage stress and conflict in a healthy way. And, because you are coming together to work through challenges as a couple, you can walk out of our very first session feeling more connected and hopeful again.
In addition to developing practical, real-world skills to support an open, honest relationship, we will identify the root of your relationship challenges, explore any past traumas and address how they are impacting your relationship today. I incorporate scientifically validated approaches shown to support meaningful, lasting healing and change. Our thoughts, emotions and behaviors in adult relationships are influenced by a variety of emotional and biological factors, which we can explore. Using a Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT), I help you understand the basics of how your early attachment to caregivers affects your relationships today. By exploring the issues that derail you and your partner when you are together, I can help you see how past experiences are impacting your current relationship. Where appropriate, I utilize Eye-Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR), a scientifically-proven trauma resolution technique. This allows you and your partner to resolve trauma symptoms and foster empathy and understanding as a couple.
You may feel like you want a jump-start to begin feeling better right away. I offer retreats and longer intensive sessions tailored to your needs as a couple or family. In some cases, you may wish to bring in your family for one or more sessions to practice new ways to understand and support each other. In addition to offering office sessions, I incorporate equine and wilderness therapy techniques when they are a good fit for your situation.
I have been helping straight, non-binary and same-sex couples foster close, connected relationships and honest communication for more than 25 years. With the right guidance and support, you can learn to share your needs, listen with empathy and work together to respond to relationship challenges. And, when you take time to care for yourself and your relationship, you can feel more satisfied and confident in all areas of your life.
But, you may still have questions or concerns about counseling for couples…
I’ve heard meeting with a couples therapist is expensive. Is it really worth the cost?
You may be reluctant to entertain the idea of adding a therapy expense when you are already managing so many other financial responsibilities in your life. But, I invite you to consider how much it is worth to you to feel genuinely happy and fulfilled when you are with your partner. My approach is efficient and effective and will help you maximize your resources. And, when you are happy in your relationship, that sense of fulfillment ripples into all other aspects of your life.
I’m not sure I want to stay in the relationship. What if our problems are too big to solve with couples counseling?
It is common for couples to feel like their relationship is beyond help. And, sometimes one or more partners may say they are done in a relationship when recovery is still possible. I will help you explore difficult questions and doubts you may have about the relationship. In a short time, I can help you understand why you and your partner are stuck, and what you can do about it. I can help you understand what your “deal breakers” really are and what options you have to find healing. You can be up front with yourselves and each other about what you need to feel happier and more confident in your relationship and thoughtfully decide if you want to move forward as a couple.
We’ve tried couples therapy before and it didn’t help.
In initial sessions, we can look at what you tried in the past to see what didn’t work, understand why and develop the most effective approach individually-tailored for your relationship. We will take time up front to see if we are a good fit and to demonstrate how we can customize our work together to meet your needs.
You Can Feel Loved and Supported
If you and your partner are ready to build a stronger, more intimate relationship, or if you still have questions about couples counseling at my offices in Longmont and Boulder, I invite you to contact me at (303) 859-7410 to schedule a free 30-minute consultation.