Regardless of whether you are dating or are in a long term relationship, there may be things you want to work on or change in your relationship. Maybe you are struggling with specific problems, or generally feeling disconnected or misunderstood? Couples counseling can help you and your partner work through challenges, improve your communication, better understand each other, and become more connected.
As a couple’s therapist, I strive to take a collaborative, unbiased approach to help you effectively work through your issues, and to build the relationship quality and satisfaction you are seeking. Together, we will identify the factors contributing to the issues at hand, and clarify the ways in which you would like your relationship to be different. We will work on enhancing the quality of your interactions around issues that tend to generate conflict. This might entail improving communication of feelings, wants, and needs, gaining new tools for managing intense feelings, and problem solving in new and creative ways. The hope is that you will be able to understand each other on a deeper level and be able to handle challenges in your relationship more effectively, both currently and in the future.
Reproductive/Postpartum Couple’s Counseling
My practice includes a special focus on partners who are dealing with infertility or loss, infant health issues/NICU experiences, and postpartum concerns. These difficult circumstances can take a toll on even the strongest couples, increasing partner conflict, decreasing relationship satisfaction, and hindering a couple’s ability to effectively communicate, problem solve, and make important decisions. Fortunately, couple’s counseling can be instrumental during these reproductive and postpartum challenges, helping couples to work through their problems, and to reconnect and strengthen their bond.
Couple’s Counseling for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss
One of the dreams that many couples have is to become parents together. For one in eight couples, however, getting or staying pregnant will be fraught with challenges. Few couples expect to experience infertility or pregnancy loss, and these issues can place enormous strain on a couple’s relationship.
It is common for members of a couple to cope with infertility or loss differently. For example, one partner might prefer emotional coping and open communication, while the other may use distraction and internal reflection. Differences in coping styles can lead to partners feeling alone, misunderstood, and unsupported. Partners may also be overwhelmed with grief and feelings of guilt, anger, or hopelessness. Communication may break down, and sex can become a duty disassociated from pleasure, leading to a significant decline in intimacy.
Against this backdrop, there are often important decisions to be made. Disagreements can arise about how or when to move forward, whether to seek medical help, how much time and money to spend on attempting treatment, how to deal with family and friends, whether to pursue alternative family-building options like adoption or third party reproduction, whether and how to memorialize a loss, and much more.
Through Couple’s Counseling, I can help you work through these challenges, navigating your options and concerns so that you can make decisions that work for both of you. I can also help you:
- work through your emotions together
- increase your understanding of yourself and your partner
- communicate more effectively
- rekindle your connection
- discover hope despite your challenges
With tools, you will be able to make changes that will help you feel supported, united, strong, and ready to address future challenges and celebrate future successes.
Couple’s Counseling for New Parents
Having a baby can be a joyous occasion, but for many couples, the postpartum period can be extremely difficult. One in seven women, and one in ten men suffer from a Postpartum Mood or Anxiety Disorder, and many more feel overwhelmed, stressed, or blue after the arrival of a baby. When one or both members of a couple are not well, the relationship suffers and this, in turn, can have an impact on the infant. Other couples have babies with health problems, and they may experience long and frightening NICU stays. The strain associated with these events not only affects the individuals involved, but also the partnership itself.
Struggling with personal distress after a baby arrives, some partners turn away from each other. Others try to support each other but find this difficult, especially if they cope in different ways. Communication can deteriorate, causing decision-making to be extremely hard. Relationship problems that were present before the pregnancy can also re-emerge, often with increased strength. Partners can blame one another, and the words that are said to each other in anger and grief can have a harmful, long-term impact on the partnership.
Together, through couple’s counseling, we can address issues such as emotional distance and disconnection, conflict and communication, value differences, sex and intimacy, role transitions and parenting challenges, and more. You will have the opportunity to express and work through complicated feelings in a safe and supportive environment. You will also learn crucial skills that will increase your understanding and strengthen your relationship during this difficult time and for years to come.