Relationship difficulties such as ongoing conflict, frustration and dissatisfaction are not unusual in marriage, but may be difficult to resolve. Differences in expressive style, values, loyalties to original families and other individual issues may become battlegrounds throughout a relationship. Life-stage issues, such as the “empty nest syndrome,” career changes, or aging and health problems may threaten to unbalance the relationship.
A couple needs to be able to discuss issues such as these with mutual respect and understanding. To this end, my therapeutic focus is on the communication between the partners, helping them to modify the ways they interact with and treat each other. We use your transactions in the therapy session as opportunities to modify the ways you treat each other in general. We work on changing these interactions in ways you prefer, so you can take the changes with you and apply them in your daily life with each other.
Sometimes one partner may feel stuck in old patterns or individual issues, and unable to make the desired changes. In some cases, some individual therapy work is indicated so the couples therapy can proceed more effectively.
A few words about affairs: Marital infidelity represents a crisis in the relationship, not only in the pain of the partner finding out, but in the prior status of the marriage itself. These crisis issues can be dealt with in couples therapy if both partners are willing. Infidelity often occurs as an alternative to honest communication about dissatisfaction in the marriage. The therapy requires renewed focus on communication as well as renegotiation of the relationship.
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