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Couples and Relationship Enhancement

Most couples coming to therapy remember an earlier time in their relationship when they felt more deeply connected -- a time when expressions of love, kindness, and caring towards their partner came easily. Over time -- as life gets increasingly busy, and attention and focus get pulled in myriad directions, clients typically describe a sense that their relationship is being taken for granted. Stressed partners often lose sight of the “we-ness” as they advocate for their own needs rather than those of the couple. And a sense of loneliness, dissatisfaction, and confusion often develops.

In early couple sessions I often hear partners say, “He’s always watching television….he never seems to want to spend time with me, “ or “She’s always complaining about what I’m not doing,” or “We never go on dates, or “ We’re live like roommates, but we don’t have fun together.” These experiences of relational disconnection leave partners feeling unimportant, unloved, or undesired.

Relationship enhancement involves helping partners more clearly and assertively identify both unmet needs (what they feel is missing and desired in their relationship) and relationship gripes (what is undesired in their relationship). Effective communication skills are an essential part of this work, empowering partners to express their relationship concerns clearly and constructively -- without defensiveness, minimization, invalidating, or escalation. 
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