It is painful and confusing when you can’t understand why you are getting trapped in the same arguments. Nothing is getting resolved and resentments are building. You are getting exhausted and hopeless. Maybe it seems like your partner is shutting down or abandoning you when you need them the most. Or maybe it feels like your partner is pushing you away with their anger and criticism. You may feel like you are in a cycle of distress you can’t get out of. The reason you are getting stuck is because the root of the conflict is not what you think it is.
I work with couples struggling with:
♥ Poor communication
♥ Constant fighting
♥ Feeling controlled
♥ Not feeling good enough
♥ Shutting down
♥ Questioning staying together
♥ Lack of time
♥ Betrayal and infidelity
♥ Pain and anger
♥ Guilt and shame
♥ Avoiding confrontation
♥ Gaps in sexual desire
♥ Sexual issues
♥ Money issues
♥ Parenting conflicts
♥ Feeling lonely
In couples therapy we get underneath the surface issues and address the root of the problem. Most couples believe their lack of "communication skills" are causing the disconnection and arguments. However, you can have all the communication skills in the world but if you are feeling stressed, anxious, angry, or attacked by your partner you will not use them.
What you are really needing is attunement and regulation skills. In other words, how to keep each other at ease in the relationship, especially when you are talking about the hard stuff. How great would it be if your partner knew the exact thing to help you feel truly seen and heard during your most difficult conversations? How great would it be to feel empowered and trusting in the resilience of your relationship instead of fear that you will say or do the wrong thing? When we know how to take down the stress in conflict, the relationship becomes a place of resource. Creative solutions can arrive with more ease with a deeper knowledge of each other's needs.
Conflicts can actually bring you closer together rather than tearing you apart. It is possible to rediscover the joy, intimacy, and connection you miss. You can create space for the passion, play, pleasure, and connection you both desire.
But we’ve been to couples therapy before how will this be different?
I have training in the most current and innovative methods of couples therapy including: The Gottman Method, Non-Violent Communication (NVC), Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT), Family Systems, and A Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT). I am a level 2 PACT therapist and this model is the foundation in which I integrate the other models.
Some of my clients are concerned because they have been to couples therapy before and are worried this will be the same. They say things like, “we just sat on the couch and complained about each other the whole time,” or “we were able to get along in the therapy session but then things at home didn’t improve,” or “I felt like the therapist was taking sides.”
PACT Couples therapy is different. It is a conversation and a bonding experience I facilitate between the two of you. We practice in session the tools you’ll need for resolving conflicts so that when you go home you will feel resourced in overcoming challenges together. We discover where each person’s unique needs are to feeling safe, happy and connected and work towards mutual satisfaction.
K. Michelle Johnson with Dr. Stan Tatkin and Dr. Tracey Tatkin developers of PACT. Dr. Tatkin is also the author of numerous books on healthy relationships including "Wired for Love" and "We Do."
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If you do not see a time that works for your schedule within the coming weeks please reach out to me via the contact form with your best days and times and I'll try my best to make something work sooner! I look forward to hearing from you.