Couples Therapy

How Couples Therapy Can Help Your Relationship

Being married or in a committed relationship is hard. It is guaranteed to bring out the worst in us and to replay patterns of behavior that we want to avoid.

Most couples who come to therapy love each other and want to make their relationship work, but nothing they have tried has helped. In couples therapy, my philosophy is that neither partner is wrong. Each is right, but has a different point of view. Problems in marriage tend to stem from the way the couple relates to each other and communicates.

In therapy, we look at your communication patterns. We find out where you are stuck in a negative cycle so we can break it and replace it with something stronger and more positive.  Then, once the challenge of “how” you communicate is managed, then we work on developing empathy. This is critical so you can both feel heard and cared for.

“Happily ever after simply means that both partners are known, valued, accepted for who they are, and who they are becoming. The goal is to be able to love your partner more deeply each and every year you are together.” 

~ John Gottman, PhD

Signs That Your Relationship Would Benefit From Couples Therapy:

You want the relationship to work and are willing to make the effort

You care about each other, even if you argue a lot and have trouble showing it

You’re willing to take your share of responsibility for the relationship and for the changes the two of you need to make

Signs that couples therapy is not the best route for you at this time:

There is ongoing violence between you

One or both partners is suffering from an ongoing addiction that significantly affects your lives and your relationship

An affair is currently ongoing, and the person committing the infidelity refuses to end it

Abuse is happening, and the abuser refuses to take responsibility

Frequently, one partner wants to do couples therapy and the other doesn’t. It’s important to remember that demanding and arguing won’t motivate your partner to attend therapy. You can explain the benefits of therapy to them and let them know that you want to go to help your relationship.

 

If you’ve reached the breaking point and feel you have to leave if they don’t go to therapy with you, it’s wise to tell them, BUT only if it’s true. You can share that the longer you wait to do therapy, the harder and more work it is (which is true for almost every couple). But, if that doesn’t work, you can’t force them to go. In that case, you’re invited to do individual therapy  with me to determine what you need to feel healthier in your life.

The methods I use in couples therapy work by helping the two of you understand what each other is going through so you can develop empathy for one another. Couples become partners again by deepening their sense of caring about each other.

I offer Gottman Therapy and Emotionally Focused Therapy . They are two of the best-researched, most effective methods in couples therapy. They have been studied extensively in clinical trials and have demonstrated effectiveness.

At this time, I do teletherapy and offer it to anyone in the state of North Carolina.

How can I get started?

Please give me a call at (336) 218-9040 or send me a confidential email at fpatton@fptherapy.info.