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Gateway Counseling Center

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COUPLE’S COUNSELING

The most current research indicates that many of the techniques and theories of alleviating relationship distress espoused by traditional couples counseling are ineffective, and actually increase the level of conflict at times. Many of these approaches continue to be practiced without the commitment to ascertain whether the gains achieved in the office setting are actually sustained in the couple’s real life or for any considerable length of time subsequent to termination of treatment. Our therapists utilize the most outcome-validated methods presently advocated by the field’s leading couples therapists, while still retaining their distinctive individuality.

Healthy relationships are based on secure attachment and a healthy balance between dependence and independence. Our attachment styles are formed in the first twelve months of life and reinforced throughout childhood and adolescence. Disruptions in attachments during this period force a child to adapt in various ways to cope with the anxiety and distress experienced. These adaptions are wired into the nervous system and body and are outside of conscious awareness for the most part. These patterns are the primary catalysts that generate conflict in relationships. Partners become conflicted, these adaptions manifest with their current attachment figure, and they attempt to resolve the content of their discussion while their disruptions in their attachment styles sabotage their efforts. The couple tries harder, becomes more and more conflicted, angry, and depressed. The whole time the major impediment to resolving their conflict is completely outside of their awareness. In couples counseling, we identify these attachment styles and developmental wounds and traumas being triggered. Then the reparative behavior or unmet need from the attachment wound is identified, and these same interactions now become the healing moments, rather than the ret-raumatizing ones.

While there are some commonalities in all relationships, counseling for couples has its own unique characteristics. Couple’s counseling will involve sessions which will help to identify your particular relationship challenges, as well as relationship strengths, into an individualized treatment plan. The treatment plan will help you work on issues together in a neutral environment for achieving more effective communication, conflict resolution skills and increased capacity for emotional expression and intimacy. Each therapist will work collaboratively with you to integrate your personal experience of the relationship into the development of interventions to be employed outside of sessions. Nothing will be attempted without the participation and agreement of each party. We truly create a new, innovative therapy for your relationship.

Regardless of the presenting problem, during couples counseling sessions we place of primary importance the relationship between our clients and their therapist. Without a certain level of trust and connection with the therapist, therapy will be ineffective. Our therapists are actively engaged in their approach and strive to get to the heart of matters with honest, open communication in every couple’s counseling session. They will create a dynamic relationship with you and work towards translating the skills developed in session to your relationship outside of the office. Our goal is to become less involved as you become more proficient at utilizing the latent abilities you and your partner already possess until our assistance is no longer required.