Couples Counseling

Couples Counseling That Works: Can You Get Past “The Garden Of Unhappiness?”

Have you and your spouse begun to feel more like roommates than soul mates?

Are you feeling so disconnected from your partner that you barely remember what brought you together in the first place?

Have arguments become the norm and confrontation replaced conversation?

Perhaps infidelity has ripped a wedge between you and your partner, causing you to question if your relationship can recover (or whether it should).

Does sex occur few and far between?

Is that romantic spark gone?

Do you find yourselves fighting over just about everything – from how to discipline the kids to who forgot to replace the cap on the toothpaste?

Has fun become something that you only experience with other people, or worse – not at all?

Is your partner’s substance abuse problem wreaking havoc on your relationship and you haven’t a clue on how to fix it?

Have you been to couples counseling before and it didn’t help?

Do you want to recapture the passion that brought you two together?

If you answered, “yes” to any of those questions, you’re like millions of other couples struggling to keep your union alive. Your relationship is a living, breathing entity that needs to be nurtured and protected. If not infused with care and energy it will fail to thrive and wither as any other living organism would. Or, it will grow in a dysfunctional manner. Years of neglect, misunderstanding, conflict and indifference can damage the bond that brought you together. Fortunately, effective Couples Counseling can help guide you through the uncertainty you’re experiencing and into more serene and stable waters.

Uncovering The Hidden Problems

Having success with Couples Counseling is often a challenging endeavor because it typically requires unraveling the knot of love, expectations, disappointments, disagreements, anger and sometimes even uncovering painful and embarrassing secrets. You’d probably be surprised to find that it’s rarely just about “communication problems,” that most couples seeking help identify as their biggest issue. Communications problems are usually just symptoms of other major issues going on in the relationship such as distrust, resentment, anger and feelings of abandonment or rejection. The real problems are often hidden in how you each define yourselves individually and together as a couple. I can help you work through all of that to uncover the truth about what’s damaging your relationship.

No Quick Fix

Frankly, quick fixes and techniques don’t work in Couples Counseling because they serve as Band-Aids that give your relationship a temporary boost and makes the therapist feel good about engineering a solution. It took you a couple years to get to the present situation and a drive-through solution won’t do the job required. Couples counseling is also often ineffective because the counselor/therapist sometimes buys into or reacts to what the couple says when they first come in the door. Not surprisingly, most couples complain about one or two of the same difficulties. Unless the therapist gets past that to the real problems you may be taught about effective communication as you continue to drift further apart.

Over the last 15 years, I have established myself as a skilled and effective Couples Counselor in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area because I find out what is really happening instead of buying into surface symptoms. I can help you discover what is really happening. Together we can focus on the misunderstandings and closely held beliefs that you have about each other that stand in the way of you both dealing with the “today” situation as opposed to focusing so much on what happened between you in the past. If you’re both willing to do the work together, Couples Counseling can help you turn your relationship around. I want you to know that it’s absolutely possible. I can help restore hope and bring about change.

How Does Your “Garden” Grow?

When there is marriage or couples discord, it is symbolized by what I call “The Garden Of Unhappiness.” This is where, in our heads, the disappointments, misunderstandings, resentments, anger and hurts of our relationship live, thrive and grow. We keep the garden alive by “watering” it with negative thoughts, experiences and expectations that we collect over time. Pretty soon that garden is overrun with negativity. I can help you break the destructive cycle because, let’s face it; what you’re doing now just isn’t working and it’s sowing unhappiness for the future.

Worlds Apart

Becoming a couple is essentially the joining of two different solar systems; you both have very different world views, thoughts, emotions, expectations and you probably come from different backgrounds. Getting cast into this new and wonderful synthesis of “combined reciprocity” is a big deal. Two different emotional and energy tones coming together and trying to combine into a new unified tone often changes the energy flow. A lot of people think that love will conquer all, but the reality is that this process of joining both energies is very challenging at best. I can help make it easier. The process can be demanding, but the payoff is healing and a new, revitalized relationship.

Questions and concerns about Couples Counseling…

Couples Counseling didn’t work for us in the past. How is your approach different and more effective?

It’s understandable that you’d hesitate if you’ve had a previous Couples Counseling experience that was unsuccessful. It often doesn’t work because the counselor/therapist sizes the folks up before they have told their story. Some therapists don’t take the time for the “discovery” phase and move too quickly into solutions and problem solving. Usually by the time you’re seeking help, you two have been drifting apart for some time. There have been developments that are buried under disappointments and resentments. You may feel like you don’t know your partner anymore and they may feel the same way

My focus is on rescue and repair. After a thorough “discovery,” I will help you to stop the drift, which needs to be stopped before your relationship can be repaired. One way that I do that is by ensuring that both of you feel heard. Each of you will have ample time to share your perspectives, feelings and story with me as well as then coming together. I know how important it is to be heard and acknowledged. Once you begin to grow closer, I move on to the repair phase, helping you address the pressing problems and concerns in your relationship. I help you shift from a negative footing, to an open footing and ultimately to a constructive footing.

What else makes you a standout as a Couples Counselor?

I seek to help you rebuild your relationship in many ways, but first and foremost I’m in the business of giving hope. No matter what problems you face as a couple, it’s important for you to know that all of your issues can be fixed if you’re both honest and remain committed to the process. As you move closer together, you’re going to begin fixing the relationship together as a team and that can have a very positive effect.

My partner had an affair and I’m not sure that I can get past that.

Infidelity can be devastating to a relationship, but healing and reconciliation are possible. Holding onto feelings of resentment, anger and unforgiveness waters the ever-growing “Garden of Unhappiness” (I also call it “The Garden of Misunderstanding”). I can help you to eradicate that garden, rebuild trust and work on forgiveness – real forgiveness – so that you can salvage your relationship.

Beyond The Rut

You may have settled into a destructive and damaging rut, but you don’t have to remain there. A healthy marriage is about more than paying rent, taking care of the kids and putting on a happy face in public. Love can be the cement that binds you together. I can help you to reconnect with your partner and feel cherished again. My goal is to rescue and revitalize your relationship. If you’re both willing to do the work together in Couples Counseling positive change can happen. You can walk away from your therapy experience equipped with conflict resolution skills, true forgiveness, a renewed sense of commitment to your mate and, most importantly, a renewed sense of hope. I invite you to call me for a free 30-minute phone consultation. During our talk I can learn more about your issues and concerns and encourage you to see that relationships can be revitalized.

Remember, change is possible; you can reestablish your bond and feel connected again. I am a believer and practitioner of movement and change, as opposed to burdening you with analysis. I provide action-based therapy. Let me help you work toward a better life together as a couple.