Every couple falls into negative cycles or patterns without meaning to. We get stuck in fixed roles or positions and keep repeating different versions of the same argument. The good news is there are a limited number of these cycles. In our first session, I'll help you and your partner identify which cycle you've unwittingly fallen into.
Once we've identified your cycle, I'll help you slow down and explore the feelings and needs underneath that never get expressed. You'll begin to realize that your partner isn't the enemy -- the cycle is! Once the cycle takes over, your awareness narrows and your body goes into survival mode. Your appreciation and caring for each other disappears. You're focused on attacking or defending your position and proving that your way is right. Winning the argument becomes more important than trying to understand your partner or supporting the relationship.
It's easy to get caught up in judging and criticizing your partner --either silently or out loud. If your partner could just change and stop doing the things that drive you crazy, you'd feel better and everything would be the way it's supposed to be. When you get emotionally activated, I'll help you use it as an opportunity to learn about yourself and heal old wounds. You learn to trust that showing your softer side doesn't have to lead to getting criticized or blamed. In fact, being more honest and vulnerable brings you closer together.
One important skill you'll learn is relationship repair. Conflicts and disconnects are inevitable in any committed relationship. What matters is having a way to come back together and talk about what happened. Otherwise the hurts and resentments pile up and start to eat away at your relationship.
You'll learn and practice new ways of relating, first with me and then on your own. Sometimes I give homework for you to try out together and then review in the next session. Over time, with practice and support, you feel a deeper connection that allows you to be more open to each other's point of view and it becomes easier to find creative solutions together.