Why Couples Counseling Is So Much More Than Just Improving Communication

 
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Author: Nikki P. Woods, MSW, LCSW

When a couple is told that they need to simply change the way they communicate with one another, the depth of their own identities and their identity as a couple is minimized. Yes, communication is key in a relationship. But marriage is much more then just simply communicating; it is about creating a secure, safe and reliable attachment to another being. 

There are times in all relationships where we tend to feel disconnected from one another; where we experience a feeling of insecurity, loneliness and frustration. As a result of this emotional distress, hurt feelings occur and we tend to resort to one of two ways of resolution. The first is to demand a response - out of fear of our own abandonment, we blame and threaten to try and elicit a reaction. If this is a habitual response, it will ultimately work to push the other person away even further. The second approach is to shut down, withdraw and fully avoid conflict when feeling hurt. This only strengthens the disconnect and drives a larger wedge between the two individuals. 

In couples therapy, we work from an emotionally focused approach, under the belief that we are all social beings who seek out deep, genuine connections to others. Emotional isolation can be debilitating and have damaging effects on the mind and body. We each need a safe relationship to turn to - a secure place to go that encourages us to confidently explore the world around us. This ‘effective dependency’ is what makes couples thrive - where they have a secure connection to their partner and someone to turn to for emotional support and compassion as they navigate through their own experiences of life. That connection however, cannot be completed until we become more self aware of our own unresolved emotions, traumas and experiences. 

To learn more about the most effective approach to couples counseling, click below:

 
 

 

Through utilization of this approach, individuals work to become more self accepting, aware and insightful individuals, which is the foundation in which a healthy, secure and stable marriage can be built upon.

Nikki Woods