Couples Counseling

For one human being to love another, that is the ultimate, the last test and proof,
the work for which all other is but a preparation.    Rainer Maria Rilke   

Jon & TheresaRelationships provide one of the most powerful opportunities for fulfillment, growth and change in our life and they can also be the most challenging.  The fulfillment and love connection a relationship can bring is matched by the conflict, tension, confusion and hurt it may inflict.  

Couples counseling gives you the opportunity to speak, feel and communicate with your partner, to listen to what your partner has to say, and to understand your relationship patterns.  The aim of the counseling is to heal the pain/wounds and learn the skills to create a genuine loving relationship that is fulfilling, life enhancing and growthful for both partners.  

We have been counseling couples for more than thirty years and leading couples’ workshops for fifteen years.  During this time we have heard five major issues time and again.  First couples invariably report they have little time to devote to their relationship.  Career, children and other responsibilities and obligations come first.  When they manage to find some time to be together they are too tired or stressed out to relate to each other with much depth or quality.  When we give time, attention and energy to our relationship, the benefits are truly remarkable.   The second issue couples report is finding themselves stuck in safe habitual behaviors which are confortable and familiar, but stifle aliveness, energy and spontaneity as well as limit new possibilities and growth from happening.  When we risk changing the status quo by confronting and overcoming the resistance to change, there is a great opportunity for fulfillment and growth.   Reactivity and defensiveness is the third area of difficulty referred to by most couples.  When we become defensive our partner is the enemy, and we are caught in a power struggle of rights and wrongs and reluctant to look inside to learn about ourselves.  It is a lot easier to blame the other.  When a genuine desire to know your partner is couples with your own willingness and ability to reveal yourself, intimacy is the result and the relationship is enlivened.  The fourth concern we hear is that couples say they don’t know how to create change on their own.  As awareness grows and new skills are learned, couples are able to disengage from unfulfilling behaviors and choose more loving and fulfilling ways to relate.  With conscious intention, awareness, and skills couples are able to create the relationship they desire.   The final concern that we hear is that couples don’t feel close and connected.  Couples close down emotionally to protect against being hurt.   This leads to a sense of guardedness, mistrust and distance.   When there is trust and safety to be open and vulnerable a deep loving connection grows and deepens. 

Couples seek counseling for many different reasons.  Some of the most common concerns are money, sex, parenting differences, desire for intimacy, better communication, balancing time between work and relationship, trust, honesty and openness. 

Our approach to couples counseling has been most influenced by Marshall Rosenberg’s Nonviolent Communication and Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy.  Our major areas of focus in couples counseling are: 

  • Learning to share one’s feelings, needs and thoughts in the present moment with your partner. 
  • Developing the ability to take responsibility for one’s feelings and needs with your partner.  
  • Learning to recognize and stop the sequence of interactions that leads to distress and prevents a loving connection. 
  • Creating a trusting and safe atmosphere where partners can be truly open and authentic with each other.
  • Gaining the ability to recognize needs in yourself and your partner and to be able to make clear requests to meet those needs. 

If you would like to set up an initial couples counseling session just call the center and let us know who you would like to see.  In the first session we want to be sure you feel comfortable with us, get a clear and thorough understanding of the issues you are wanting to resolve, and we would let you know how we would go about working with you.  





Site Design, Development and Content Tools by NetCrafters - Cincinnati Web Design since 1995