COUPLES COUNSELING/ MARRIAGE COUNSELING
I offer treatment for couples counseling/marriage therapy to the Palm Beach County area including Palm Beach and West Palm Beach. Would you like your partner to be doing more of some things and less of others? Find your way back to love and connection.
We all have needs for connection, support and love. Emotional pain results when these needs go unmet and we begin to feel unimportant, alone, ignored, and uncared for. Attempts at talking things out with your partner, just seem to end in greater distress and distance. You start to feel like a nag. You are both caught in your negative cycle or dance. Underlying most couple’s conflict is an attempt to feel close, secure and valued. Each of you longing to feel deeply loved and important. This is your attempt at secure attachment or connection.
Marriage Counseling/ Marriage Therapy
I help couples who have been married one week and those who have been married for decades. The goal is to improve your marital relationship and overall happiness. Marriage counseling helps each individual partner as well. I often get the feedback from people who have been in individual therapy for years and find their lives significantly shift once they engage in marriage counseling and experience that close bond.
Couples Counseling / Relationship Counseling:
Couples counseling or relationship counseling is NOT just for couples that are married. That is one type of bond however, couples counseling / relationship counseling are for any relationship in distress. Whether you are looking for premarital counseling, in a gay or lesbian relationship or merely a couple in distress, couples counseling can significantly alter your bond. We all want to feel we are in the arms of another who cares for us deeply. We are biologically wired to attach and we can’t help whom we love. Couples counseling/ relationship counseling can help bring your life into balance and allow both of you to return to joy and aliveness.
What Is Secure Attachment?
Our need to attach is inborn and lifelong. Early on we learn if it is safe to be vulnerable, to trust and have our needs met in a secure, loving, attentive, nurturing and protective way. If however, our parents or caregivers did not, or were not able to meet these needs, people later in life, have difficulty trusting and expressing vulnerability. These unmet needs, develop a into a relationship style of either withdrawing or getting angry in response to feeling rejected, and veraciously pursue our partner. In an ever-escalating cascade of emotions friction occurs and partners experience distance and emotional pain. Everyday problems such as money, child rearing, and sex become harder to resolve. The real issue is longing for connection. Fear about trusting and being vulnerable with our partner just doesn’t feel safe.
What Is Your Attachment Style?
Read the list below, and see if you can identify your attachment style.
- SECURE: Securely attached adults had their needs met by their parents in a consistent, reliable & caring way. As a result, their view of the world and others is a sense of safety and accessibility and others are viewed as dependable and supportive. They are able to give love and feel lovable. They are also accepting of differences and tend to trust their partner.
- AVOIDANT: Avoidant style tends to have a dismissive style when it comes to relationships. They tend to avoid intimacy or close relationships. These people experienced their caregivers as unnurturing, critical and dismissive. They tend to be uncomfortable with closeness and intimacy and are emotionally distant. They avoid conflict and prefer not to lean on others.
- AMBIVALENT: Ambivalent adults had parents who alternated between being available and warm, or being cold and rejecting for no discernable reason, leaving them to feel uncertain about closeness.
- DISORGANIZED: Disorganized adults have a disorganized state of mind in regards to attachment. They run hot and cold and their parents tended to be unresponsive, inconsistent, punitive and insensitive to their needs. Many of these children came from households of abuse, neglect or severe loss. They view others as unavailable, threatening, rejecting and unpredictable. They fear genuine closeness as they see themselves as unworthy of love and support. As a result of this severe attachment trauma, they become at high risk for emotional, social and moral problems in adulthood. They also become at risk for drug abuse, alcohol abuse, abuse of their own children and criminal behavior.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) is a short-term treatment approach developed by Dr Sue Johnson, which has been rigorously tested and the results found 70-73% of couples recovered from marital distress and 90% of couples have significantly improved. Partners begin to listen with their hearts, meaning listening not to your partner’s words but the underlying feelings. In return, your partner will be better able to respond from their heart and risk being vulnerable in exchange for a deeper, loving connection. As attachment injuries and needs are understood, each partner gains greater compassion and appreciation for the other. I will help you understand your cycle or dance so that outside of sessions, you become the experts in your patterns.