Marriage and Couples Therapy in Loudoun County (Sterling, VA)
You sense the difference in your relationship. Something has changed—you know it. Conversations are heavier and more difficult. Simple interactions are taking effort and leaving you drained. The house is gloomy and silent, not peaceful and calm like it used to be. You may or may not be able to identify what changed and when, but the biggest question you are asking right now is what is next? Can this marriage be repaired? Can the vibrancy, excitement, and love be restored to this relationship?
If you are in a committed relationship or a marriage that is having difficulty, you are not alone. As many as 40 percent of first marriages end in divorce, and the rate is much higher for second and third marriages. However, for couples who are struggling, divorce or break-up is not the only option. Many couples can work through their difficulties, and they can rekindle their relationship’s flame. Many people also need support for that process. Marriage or couples counseling is a great option for people in a committed relationship who want to work toward a healthier dynamic.
The therapists and psychologists at Thriveworks Sterling know that many couples lose their way and lose their flame. We also know that most marriages and committed relationships face seasons of difficulty, but couples can recover from these seasons.
Every Relationship Has Problems
Just as individuals face harder and easier seasons in life, so relationships often have ups and downs. Challenge and difficulty are normal, but that does not mean they are easy. Some of the common challenges couples face may include:
- Communication Difficulties – Sharing, listening, vulnerability, and empathy are all vital to good relationships, but they easily break down.
- Distrust – Breaches in trust can be repaired, but not without care and attention. Often, unaddressed ruptures in the relationship grow and cause ongoing tension.
- Disagreements about Family – Parenting, in-laws, decisions about housing are only a few of the many topics about which couples often disagree.
- Problems with Intimacy – A number of factors can make physical and emotional intimacy difficult for couples.
- Differing Goals – Navigating goals that compete for a couple’s attention and time can cause significant stress within a relationship.
Just as harder seasons in life force individuals to adjust and to grow, so these more difficult seasons of a marriage often force couples to make important adjustments in their relationships. These common problems are also opportunities for couples to grow deeper and more intimate in their relationship.
Acknowledging the Problem
A common fear that couples face is that naming a problem is the first step toward separation or divorce. However, facing problems does not mean the relationship is over. For many marriages, naming the problem is the first step toward healing and toward a better relationship.
Many relationships are like a puzzle. In many marriages, both partners want the complete portrait of a fulfilling, peaceful, happy life. Both are trying hard to establish a unified vision that will last, but when any puzzle comes together, it takes time and effort. It is normal to search for pieces at times. Acknowledging a missing piece means it can be found and put in proper, working order.
Working toward Healthier Dynamics
Marriage counseling is not a silver bullet toward a peaceful relationship. Improving the marriage may take a significant amount of work from both partners. The effectiveness of the therapy is often directly related to the willingness of each partner. When both partners are committed to the process, a marriage or couples therapist may facilitate significant and important change. How might marriages improve through therapy? Skilled marriages counselors may facilitate…
- A more neutral atmosphere for discussion. When issues are heated, it can be difficult for couples to listen to one another. In a more calm environment, communication may improve.
- Realistic timelines and expectations for change. Some issues in a marriage are more urgent than others. A mental health professional can help couples prioritize which issues threaten their relationship.
- Advocacy for each individual. When people join a long-term relationship, they are still individuals within that commitment. A healthy independence and a secure individuality are often the key to intimate connection.
- Identification of toxic patterns. Within relationships, individuals can become used to toxic behaviors such as blame and contempt. Couples may need an outside perspective to see these harmful behaviors and make necessary changes.
- Growth of conflict resolution skills. Many people have difficulty engaging in conflict well, but many people have also learned these skills. All healthy relationships have conflict of some sort, and learning to handle disagreements well can greatly improve the relationship.
The Gottman Method: A Successful Approach to Couples Therapy
The Gottman Method is an effective approach to couples therapy that aims to improve many different areas of you and your partner’s relationship. If you and your partner decide to pursue this method of therapy, you can expect your counselor to follow this framework:
- Assessment: You and your partner’s individual needs will be assessed to help your therapist determine what areas need some help.
- Frequency and Duration: Your therapist will work with you both to decide how frequent and long you should come in for sessions based on your relationship needs.
- Therapeutic Methods: There are many different methods that are designed to help you and your loved one strengthen your relationship in three primary areas: friendship, conflict management, and creation of shared meaning. During your sessions, your therapist will use a variety of different methods to build those areas up.
Once you start your therapy sessions, you can expect to tackle:
- Understand what your partner’s stresses, goals, and values are
- Build on affection and respect in your relationship
- Turn towards your conflicts and face them rather than avoiding them
- Effective problem-solving skills and how to manage conflict
- How to create a positive environment to speak openly about your feelings and goals
- Create a shared meaning
- Build trust and understand commitment
If you are interested in working with a Gottman trained counselor, just let our scheduling specialists know when you call to schedule.
Marriage and Couples Counseling at Thriveworks Loudoun County
If you and your significant other are struggling to connect… If you and your significant other are conflicting… If trust has broken down within your relationship… marriage therapy may be a good next step. When couples are asking, what is next? A marriage therapist may be me able to facilitate.
If you are ready to speak with a therapist about your marriage or committed relationship, know that Thriveworks Sterling offers marriage and couples counseling. Our office aims to give each couple the help they need when they need it.
When you contact Thriveworks Loudoun County, you may be meeting with your therapist or psychologist within 24 hours. Our office also accepts most forms of insurance, and we provide evening and weekend sessions. There are no waitlists.
If you are ready to work on your relationship, we are ready to guide and support you. Contact Thriveworks Sterling today.