Dr. Chloe and her associates offer a dynamic, results-oriented approach for couples. In a supportive environment, couples are often pleasantly surprised at how much better they can communicate their thoughts and feelings. Two people become a couple because there is something special between them, and the options below are designed to help you reconnect with what brought you together in the first place. Dr. Chloe also works with couples experiencing fertility issues- click here for tips on fertility stress.
Who Benefits from Couples Counseling?
There is always room for improvement in any relationship. For most couples, it isn’t any one event that has lead them to come to see me. Typically there are a series of things that go awry that eventually lead to a breakdown of the relationship. Usually one or both partners realize that if they don’t do something soon, the relationship will fall apart. If you or your partner thinks you need couples therapy, you probably do. Typical warning signs would include things like constant bickering and unfair fighting, one or both partners wanting to spend their free time away from the other, you don’t appreciate each other or respect each other anymore, lack of sexual intimacy and lying about money. It is always better if the couple comes to therapy sooner than later, but there is hope for any couple where both partners are open change. Please contact Dr. Chloe to arrange an appointment or if you have any questions.
What Happens in Sessions?
Dr. Chloe or one of her associates will help you to get to the heart of the issues and then work with you to determine what action steps can be taken to resolve them. The rewards for doing this are enormous and long-lasting. Generally speaking, couples therapy is a form of talk therapy. It helps you find more positive ways of interacting and so that you can both find the satisfaction you want and deserve in the relationship.
For most couples, the key to a better relationship is learning to communicate better. Opening the channels of communication and learning new ways to listen to each other will bring your relationship to a new positive level. Using the techniques learned in our sessions, the couple will be able to handle disagreements and be able to ask for what they need without having to worry about arguments and negative consequences. This tends to lead to create an upward spiral of respect and caring in the relationship.
Courses and Options for Couples
- Couples Communication (Pack of 3): Focused, positive and fun– this mini workshop is a special treat for couples! It is usually done over the course of just two weeks, and many couples find this quick timeframe to be invigorating. Typically, the three sessions are scheduled one week apart over a two week period (for example, one on Jan. 1, one on Jan. 7, and a final session on Jan. 14).
- Session 1: The couple will share what they feel are their biggest issues in communication. Common topics include volume or tone of voice, time management, expressiveness or affection, and frequency of communication. The therapist will offer strategies and tools tailored to improve the communication issues for that particular couple, and provide homework so the couple can practice.
- Session 2: The couple will share about their experience with the techniques and homework. New techniques may be added to complement the tools that worked well for the couple over the past week, or adjustments may be made according to the couple’s needs. The couple will be given revised or enhanced homework to integrate this week’s additions or adjustments.
- Session 3: The couple will begin by discussing the homework from last week. The therapist will offer additional adjustments if needed. Next, the therapist will shift the focus towards helping the couple to develop a strategy to maintain the gains they have made over the past two weeks.
2. Pre-Marital Pack (Pack of 4): The decision to marry is full of joy, and it comes with important questions. Every couple is different, so the first session will include a discussion of what the couple would like to achieve in this pack. Popular goals include:
- Exploring values individually and as a couple. This is often used as a tool for writing wedding vows. The therapist will guide couples to see how they can enhance areas of common values, and learn to understand areas of differences through the perspective and context of a partnership. Couples will learn easily applied techniques in order to address issues created by their differences and have the opportunity to immediately practice these techniques so they will be readily available when needed in the future.
- Confirming that the couple shares the same plans for the future. Many couples benefit from a review of basic life plans to ensure they envision the same path. Having a therapist create a supportive environment to review common areas such as having children, who will work and how often, how holidays will be spent, and other points of married life gives couples security in their plans for the future.
- Exploration of commitment. Many couples find that one or both of them has a fear of commitment. This can be difficult for both parts of the couple, and sometimes stands in the way of wedding plans. The therapist will help the couple to explore this issue and how it is impacting their relationship. The couple will be guided to understand whether the fear of commitment suggests that it is best to wait, or if it is just a small obstacle that can be overcome in a supportive environment.
In advance of the first session, the couple will receive a list of potential areas that can be discussed. Each partner will complete the list in advance of the first session and then from the completed list, key items will be identified and discussed by the therapist. Couples find this helpful as a “conversation starter” because it sometimes raises topics that they know are important but had just never come up in conversation.
Discussing the areas above in advance of the wedding will increase comfort and enhance both trust and intimacy within the relationship. Discussion in a supportive environment allows the couple to become comfortable with their differences and provides the ability to understand and even celebrate how their differences may strengthen the relationship.
3. Problem Solver Workshop (Pack of 6): Examples of issues that may potentially cause problems include infidelity, moving to a new city, mother-in-law problems, etc. This workshop begins with the idea that the problem is solvable and we will focus on finding the solution.
- The first session will be used to define the issue and create a map of how to move beyond it. For example, in the case of infidelity, the therapist would outline common areas that need to be addressed, such as rebuilding trust and issues related to why the affair may have occurred. At the same time, the therapist will offer tools for how to support the goal of addressing these issues in a way that can ultimately help the couple to heal and move forward.
- The following 4 sessions will focus on making sure the tools are applied consistently and effectively outside of the session. As the workshop progresses, the need for different types of interventions, discussions, or tools may arise. The therapist will be there to guide the couple in this process and make room for all of the feelings that arise, while still maintaining a focus on how to work through the issues rather than dwell on them.
- The last session will include a discussion of a strategy for how to continue applying the tools the couple has learned during the workshop, and a plan for what to do if the problem arises again. Having a plan in place for what to do if the problem returns actually frees couples from continuing to worry about it and helps them feel safe letting the problem fade from everyday discussion- and eventually fade into a distant memory!