Conflicts are bound to come up in partnerships. Successful relationships naturally experience disagreements and arguing can be constructive. Arguing itself is not what gets couples into trouble it’s the way partners argue that matters most. Let’s say each time you disagree, you end up in huge argument and resolve nothing. This constant strain on the relationship may lead to resenting each other and drifting apart. If you find yourselves caught in cycles of disagreement or distancing, it’s time to get help before things get worse.
Being able to communicate effectively is one of the most significant ways we nurture intimacy. Successful communication is a skill that can be trained. From attachment-based and neurological findings, we are discovering the important role empathy has in conflict resolution and co-regulation. When we build empathy skills, we get better at repairing attacks and reducing the how often regrettable arguments occur. When we fight, we get out of the “blame game” a bit faster and we fight a bit more “fair”. We learn how to talk about our needs and find ways to meet them in ways that work for both partners. We develop trust.
Long-term relationships are built on something of a tripod: intimacy and sexual chemistry; friendship; and mutual life goals. The balance can shift at different times and different stages of a relationship. Cultivating a friendly attitude toward each other can make the rough times smoother. A spirit of understanding, ability to find humor, and a willingness to see each other’s side functions as the glue that keeps partnersips together. We will work together to help you develop the skills to rediscover and sustain a deep and intimate connection.
Families benefit from therapy when they experience any stressful event that strain family relationships. This could be a move, a recent loss, or a tough transition. Families also come to therapy when a member could use some help coping with feelings related to sibling rivalry, anxiety or depression. Almost all families look to therapy to promote understanding and collaboration amongst family members so they can resolve problems like a team.
The focus of family therapy is on relationship building. I help families learn about the developmental stages the family is experiencing and how to understand behaviors within this context. Once you have a better understanding of what makes each other tick, you have a better chance at effective communication. Family members will learn how to set limits with respect, not criticism. You will get better at knowing when to talk and when to listen. In families, actions often speak louder than words. You will practice new ways to interact with each other and role-model behavior.
Cultivating a family atmosphere of connection and fun is the best way to inspire a cooperative family spirit. It’s important to play games together and bond over shared laughter. When we build trust in this way, we create opportunities to really get to know each other. It makes it easier to talk about the troubled times and what’s going wrong. After all, when we have trust and confidence in each other because of the good times we shared, we just know someone is looking out for us through the challenging times too. Kids and parents have enormous potential to inspire each other to repair conflicts and grow.