couples therapy

It’s Not The End.

Love is like a friendship caught on fire. In the beginning a flame, very pretty, often hot and fierce, but still only light and flickering. As love grows older, our hearts mature and our love become as coals, deep burning and unquenchable.” — Bruce Lee

Human beings have a deep desire to connect. The ability to share your innermost thoughts, feelings and needs with another person sets the foundation for an intimate and loving relationship. There are few securities in this world like the person you love seeing you and accepting you despite any perceived flaws. When this happens, love feels like the miracle you have been waiting for…and then things change. Career, politics, religion, friends, family, kids, schedules — any number of life markers can suddenly shift emotions and priorities, leading to ugly places you never wanted to visit together. These shifts will directly impact how you and your partner relate to each other. You may find it harder to make simple daily choices; you may retreat from connection, hide your true feelings out of shame, and become argumentative to create distance.

All relationships encounter difficulties. While a couple’s problems may seem unique to them, fact is, we are all human and tend to find ourselves and one another with the same heart-wrenching disappointments: the thrill is gone; we annoy each other more and more; s/he just doesn’t understand me anymore and not sure if s/he ever did; we have wildly different values; I feel crowded, undermined,  unsupported, unappreciated, violated. These are all surface manifestations.  For a relationship to heal or end consciously with respect, the underlying reasons must be located, faced, and processed.

Facing a relationship issue can bring up old wounds. These past pains can be due to childhood trauma, former relationship mistakes, false beliefs about yourself or the other person that you hold as true, defensiveness and anger when confronted, and numerous other possibilities. This takes place within the context of your normal life. These ups and downs have so much potential: as excuses to exit or opportunities to grow and learn from one another. You and your partner may be experiencing such intense conflict that one or both may not be able to see clearly.  A skilled and impartial therapist’s guidance creates space.

When divorce or separation is a factor, the logistics alone can turn a couple’s life upside down. Life as you have known it is changing. You may have to move, your finances change, children or pets may live between homes. You are no longer in a romantic or sexual relationship yet you are still in a relationship. You are redefining who you are, what you want as individuals, and you may  need to deal with each other, perhaps on a regular basis, as a result of the life you once chose. Having a therapist during this time of emotional crisis can bring support and stability where there was none.

In the last 15 years I have assisted countless couples move through the ups and downs of relationships to uncover greater joy, satisfaction, and peace. I have helped my clients gain the ability to communicate effectively, manage emotions, improve decision-making skills, establish healthy boundaries, and develop healthy relationships. Let’s get started with a free 15-minute phone consultation. It only takes one of you to make the first call.

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natalie kusturic

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