During a wedding ceremony in the Lutheran church, the to-be-weds often recite these words as part of their traditional marriage vows: “I will try with you better to understand ourselves.” This is a pledge to continue seeking knowledge of oneself and of one’s intimate partner, even after you’ve decided to love each other through thick and thin. That process of mutual understanding never stops. After all, we humans are always changing. Relationships would be awfully boring if no one ever grew as a person or as a partner.
But change can also be painful. Change can cause emotional conflict between loved ones. For example, perhaps someone gets a new job with long hours that disrupt the regular routine. Perhaps an elderly relative dies and someone in the relationship feels the loss more acutely. Perhaps a child is acting out and the parents disagree on how to address the situation. If you’ve ever been in an intimate relationship, you’ve experienced conflict within that relationship. It’s difficult stuff. But sometimes those conflicts can serve as opportunities to strengthen existing bonds.
Couples therapists and marriage counselors at Thriveworks in Walnut Creek, CA can help transform relationship conflicts into wisdom and strength, lessons that can endure throughout your intimate partnership. Our licensed marriage and family therapists (MFTs) use numerous, evidence-based, solution-focused therapeutic approaches to work through what is disrupting relationships and find mutually beneficial remedies. Our therapists can help focus attention on what’s really driving conflict so couples don’t just have the same arguments over and over again. At Thriveworks, our marriage counselors are experienced, highly trained experts at helping couples overcome their relationship misunderstandings and develop deeper connections.
How Do We Know When It’s Time to See a Marriage Therapist?
Obviously every couple is different, so the answer can vary. What works in your marriage or intimate relationship may not work in someone else’s, and vice versa. But there are often some common red flags that may indicate it’s time for you and your spouse to seek professional support from a licensed marriage counselor at Thriveworks in Walnut Creek, CA:
- You seem stuck in the same exact argument without ever emotionally advancing.
- Your communication has broken down so you’re no longer talking or you only speak to each other negatively.
- You’re unhappy with your sex life.
- You’re keeping a secret, or your spouse is keeping a secret.
- Someone is having or has had an affair.
- You feel or your spouse feels indifferent.
- Someone is lying about money.
But the warning signs don’t need to be flagrant or objectively obvious. It’s okay to seek couples counseling when you just feel that something is amiss but you don’t have the perspective to identify what’s wrong. It’s okay to see a marriage therapist if you want to learn some strategies for preventing future problems. For example, many smart couples seek premarital counseling before they say their marriage vows. This kind of counseling can help prevent problems down the line.
These days, it’s widely understood that marriage counseling doesn’t have to signify acute conflicts or an impending divorce. Marriage counseling can be a sign of strength in a relationship. Even successful, enduring celebrity couples testify to the benefits of couples counseling.
What Can I Expect from Our Thriveworks Marriage Counselor?
Licensed marriage therapists at Thriveworks in Walnut Creek, CA may use a wide variety of solution-focused techniques to help their clients, including:
- Gottman method, which uses love maps to help couples increase their respect and admiration for each other
- Emotionally-focused couples therapy (EFCT), which can strengthen emotional bonds
- Communication analysis, which examines how you and your partner speak to each other and then offers solutions to miscommunication
- Narrative therapy, which can uncover hidden truths and meaning by telling and retelling stories
A couples counselor can also identify problem areas where an individual could benefit from individual counseling. For example, perhaps one partner’s substance abuse issues are affecting the relationship as a whole. Or perhaps one partner’s anxiety or depression needs to be addressed before the couple can begin restoring trust in one another. Thriveworks marriage counselors can refer individuals to other types of licensed counselors or psychiatrists as needed.
Meet Your Exceptional Couples Counselor at Thriveworks in Walnut Creek, CA
Prove how strong your relationship is by booking an appointment with a licensed marriage counselor at Thriveworks in Walnut Creek, CA. After you schedule your session, you can be meeting with your counselor within 24-48 hours. And we offer online as well as in-person counseling appointments so you can meet at your convenience.
Thriveworks clients also receive numerous other benefits when they enroll in our mental health counseling services. For example, they get exclusive educational content like e-books and videos, as well as our Ask-a-Coach 24hr Q&A feature, which offers expert advice from a licensed counselor whenever you want it. Call Thriveworks today to get started on your path to couples greatness.