the following are some of the most common themes that couples bring to counseling and the ways a professional therapist can help address them. a couple’s counselor can offer a safe, healthy place to not only discuss these issues in an authentic way, but to help the couple move toward a more mutually satisfying intimate relationship. ideally, a couples’ counselor can help each partner better understand the addiction cycle and the role their relationship plays in either fostering or breaking the cycle of addiction.
working with a couples’ counselor can help individual partners begin to separate themselves from their own mental health issues and those of their partner while helping them better understand how these issues show up in their lives and in their relationship. a sensitive couples’ counselor can walk alongside a couple as they work through their grief, helping them to draw strength from one another rather than feeling isolated and alone in their grief. couples counselors can help couples work through transitions more smoothly as they identify and set reasonable expectations of themselves and their partner. counseling is a great way to help couples who are experiencing disconnection feel more attached and bonded to help them rekindle some of their spark.
the truth is that relationships involve hard work, and even the most well-suited couples sometimes need extra guidance to sort through issues that come up. here are five common issues that she often encounters and how she helps couples work through them. when one or both people have demanding jobs or busy schedules, especially if they have a child or children, sussman finds that couples don’t end up having enough time to focus on each other and their relationship. “that’s where i work with them, really looking at a schedule and trying to find a way that they can connect. you have to find time.” she asks what sex was like when they were first dating, during the first year of their relationship, and when things changed. “but what is possible is creating a new sex life, a new sexual relationship, based on who each of the parties is today and what each of their needs and wants and desires are today.
but these changes can make couples feel like they don’t have anything in common anymore. “that’s an excellent use of couples therapy. what we try to flesh out is are there still areas where they are aligned and focus on that, and create some distance and space in a healthy way around areas they’re not aligned.” “it takes a while to flesh out what the couples’ problem is versus what the individual problem is,” she said. “sometimes the couples that i see are two pretty healthy people that are just having a hard time joining over something,” she said. sussman finds that when a couple tells her that they’re having problems communicating, it’s usually indicative of something deeper. “that being said, couples that have a really good communication style — not being defensive, using active listening, which is when you don’t cut each other off and validate the other person’s perspective — those couples tend to have much healthier relationships and they really can talk about anything.”
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