With our national celebration of love, in all its flowers, chocolate and fancy card glory, this week is a good time to take stock of the place of love and romance in your life. If you are in a relationship, how is it going? If you are not, but you want to be, what is standing in your way? And whether you are single or part of a couple, how much do you let your true heart shine out to nourish yourself and the people you love?
Some of the surprising statistics about couples therapy are that most people who attend couples therapy find it helps, and the earlier a couple comes in to address problems that may be emerging in a relationship, the better.
Couples therapy can also take less time than individual therapy to produce results. In therapy with your partner, your patterns emerge in the here-and-now and it becomes possible not only to understand better what is going on but to practice alternative ways of interacting. It can be a very direct method to uncovering the underlying message of your conflict or problem and together work to change the patterns.
Therapy also helps partners realize that just like a person develops through the life-cycle, so does a couple-ship develop. There are some typical points of stress, from outer experiences like moving, job changes, children, empty nest to internal relationship stressors, like the balance of togetherness and separateness, or difficulties with communication. Our families of origin also affect deeply how we handle issues with our partners, they were the school in which we learned how to relate, and sometimes the lessons learned need to be reexamined.
As potentially helpful as couples therapy can be, sometimes one partner does not want to go to therapy or does not see there is a problem. If that is the case, sometimes the motivated partner can work on themselves in individual therapy and create change within the relationship system. When one party changes, the couple naturally changes in response.
If you are not in a relationship and want to be, what is getting in the way? Individual psychotherapy can be very helpful in examining how you are living now, and the subtleties of your own process as you consider moving into dating or relating in a more committed way. And if you know what is getting in the way but feel totally stuck, maybe it’s time to investigate whether psychotherapy can help.
Last but most importantly, single, married, divorced, separated or it’s complicated, how is your heart’s connection to yourself? Are you kind to yourself and treat yourself as well as you would a good friend or lover, or are you harsh and impatient with yourself? Do you care for your body with good food, exercise, sufficient rest, or push yourself to the edge? Your relationship with yourself is the relationship that you will be in for life. There is no choosing another partner here. Taking stock of this relationship with a therapist may open up possibilities of a fundamentally different experience of yourself in the world.
Call now, 347-620-2181, or get in touch via the contact me form on this page if you want to learn more about my services and how they could help you.