Every couple is unique, each member with their own quirks and values. And yet, many couples deal with the same sorts of issues. Here are some of the most common things we hear from our couples:
- The “spark” has gone out
- We seem to fight and argue all the time
- My partner used to be so ____, but not anymore
- I just can’t trust him/her after what happened
- This isn’t the same person I married
- We used to be happy
Most romantic relationships begin in positivity, tenderness, and optimism. Over time, couples can experience degradation in what once was a deeply meaningful and rewarding bond. This can create feelings of hopelessness, fear, anger, and loneliness as each partner becomes less and less intimately connected to the other.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Here at Family Connections Therapy, we know how painful it can be to experience a “lost spark,” a betrayal of trust, or conflict in a relationship that once held immense love.
We believe that every relationship can grow in trust, commitment, and intimacy; and, with the right support, yours can too. And that’s why we offer the highest standard of care in Couples counseling services.
What is Couples Counseling?
Couples counseling (or couples therapy) is a specialized form of psychotherapy designed to treat the relationship as a whole, rather than focusing on one individual. The focus is on overcoming barriers in communication, trust, and commitment without pushing blame or fault on any one person. You and your partner will meet together with a therapist to talk openly about your struggles as you collaborate to find solutions.
Due to the nature of the relationally-focused (rather than individually-focused) treatment offered in couples counseling, many couples benefit from engaging in individual therapy as well as couples counseling. This is particularly true when one or both partners are dealing with symptoms of severe anxiety or depression that would require additional care and focus from the clinician.
Some examples of issues addressed through couples counseling include:
- Loss of trust and intimacy
- Infidelity (cheating, having an affair, etc.)
- Managing expectations and values
- Bickering, arguing, fighting
- Issues related to control or power
- Parental concerns
- Identity issues
- Childrearing problems
- Cultural understanding and adjustment
- Religious or worldview differences
If you and your partner are struggling with these or any other issues, we can help. Our team at Family Connections therapy is here for you. We know how difficult it can be to work through relational problems, and we know how much easier it becomes with the right support.
How does Couples Counseling work?
Couples counseling is heavily grounded in Attachment theory, a systematic approach to understanding why we act the way we do in relationships. Attachment theory helps explain why some people get anxious and quiet during an argument, while others get angry and loud, by looking at the patterns for how they relate to others. These patterns are known as “attachment styles.”
People who have a secure attachment style tend to feel fairly happy and safe in most of their relationships. They likely experience high feelings of trust and openness with others. Often, people who have a secure attachment style grew up in a loving, caring home with high support, connectedness, and healthy individuality. They tend to work well with partners who are just as secure with trust and vulnerability as they are.
People who have an anxious attachment style tend to be preoccupied and worried about losing their relationships. They may fear that other people do not need them and/or will leave them, and so they feel the need to please others, check in on their wellbeing, and protect their loved ones. People with anxious attachment styles may have experienced an unsteady home environment and/or rejection and abuse in past relationships. They tend to value reassurance, communication, and interaction from their partner.
People who have an avoidant attachment style tend to steer away from closeness and conflict in their relationships, often feeling most secure when others are not interacting with them. They may withdraw or “clam up” when they feel threatened by others, sometimes in order to preserve the relationship. People with avoidant attachment styles may have grown up in a difficult home environment where conflict or emotional expression was unsafe or punished. They tend to value space and boundaries with their partner.
People who have an ambivalent attachment style can vacillate between being secure, anxious, and avoidant at any given moment. Sometimes, they may feel needy and motivated to interact with their partner, while other times they may desire distance, often leaving their partner feeling confused or lost. This attachment style can be developed through experiencing abusive relationships and/or chaotic and unpredictable family environments. They tend to have difficulty recognizing their own needs and having those needs met.
Here at Family Connections Therapy, a major aspect of our Couples Counseling involves identifying and working through our couples’ attachment styles to help them learn to respond more effectively to one another. As the couple learns how to understand each other’s attachment needs, they can also learn how to better respond to one another.
How can Family Connections Therapy help?
If you and your partner are having trouble finding the trust and intimacy once held in your relationship, let us help. Contact us today to learn more about our couples counseling services or sign up for your first session!
Our couples counseling sessions are completely confidential and held right here in the privacy of our San Diego office. The first session is dedicated to getting to know the two of you and your relational story. From there, your therapist you will meet with you and your partner to understand issues in communication and attachment, process stressors openly and honestly, and learn to apply relational solutions that actually work.
Sometimes the issues may go beyond the couple, which is why Family Connections Therapy also offers individual psychotherapy and family therapy. To learn more about these services, check out our Services tab above!
We believe that, with enough commitment and care, any relationship can get better. Please, do not let you and your partner continue to struggle – let us help. Contact us today and begin the journey of relational repair.
About Family Connections Therapy
Our mission is to help kids and families learn to work well together, find deeper healing, and to empower our community through effective mental health services, one family at a time.
Together, we can help children and families live happier, healthier lives.
Sometimes it can be difficult to reach out, but we would love to hear from you! If you have questions or thoughts about our work or would like to sign up for your first session, contact us at (858) 726-5957 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Our office is conveniently located at 11838 Bernardo Plaza Ct #250, San Diego, CA 92128