A supportive and healthy relationship is possible again.
- Are you resentful or cynical about your relationship with your partner?
- Do you sometimes make your mate angry or defensive without understanding why?
- Do you worry that the divorce monster is lurking outside your front door?
- When you walk into your home after a long hard day do you feel that you will be greeted with support and understanding OR do you feel overwhelmed?
There are many reasons to be hopeful.
Happily, people are beginning to talk openly about these difficult questions rather than sweeping them under the rug. I encourage you to come in and talk if you
and your partner are struggling with any of the following issues:
- in-law concerns
- overwhelming responsibility
- parenting problems
- trouble balancing job/home
- critical mate
These issues can cause “marital burnout” if they are allowed to become a source of resentment or irritation to either partner.
If you are willing to talk openly and honestly about your relationship, I can help.
If you are struggling with tension in your marriage, I can help you find ways to make your life easier and less stressful. I can help you strengthen your relationship so that your communication is direct, helpful and respectful. Most of my clients are surprised to find out that even the smallest positive change can greatly improve the atmosphere in their close relationships.
Couples Therapy: What to Expect
If you are visiting my office for the first time, you may be nervous because you don’t know what to expect. This is normal! Let me put you at ease by explaining what to expect during the first few meetings.
- I will want to see both partners.
- I almost always ask, “What do you do for fun?”
- If you tell me that your husband is reluctant to talk to you about his feelings, I will remind you that sometimes men need to go into their cave and many men feel wimpy talking about feelings.
- If you tell me that you and your partner had a big fight this week, I will probably follow up by asking “What happened AFTER the fight on Thursday?”
- I will ask each partner about health and symptoms.
- I usually remind you that “the only problems are the ones we can’t talk about.”
During therapy, sometimes you may simply need reassurance that you are on the right track. Other times, I give input on options you are considering about how to handle an awkward or tense situation. Often I will emphasize and inform you about:
- the importance of teamwork and strong support systems
- specific ways to get relief from symptoms and health problems
- ways to reduce stress (most are simple; some are fun)
- the symptoms of depression or perimenopause
Skills that I teach couples are:
- how to negotiate with each other
- how to have a “Couple Dialogue”
- how to do “executive parenting” (getting kids to cooperate)
- how to make a “boundary” (putting limits on people)
- how to understand the patterns of interaction in your
immediate and extended family
The husband and wife team are the backbone of the family unit. When one partner is in distress it always affects the other partner. During couple sessions I explore each mate’s ideas and concerns in order to help them find ways to work together to solve their problems.
Useful link: www.barbaradeangelis.com
Barbara De Angelis Ph.D. writes best selling books on relationships, love and confidence.