Many couples come into therapy thinking that they need to change something about themselves in order to get along. But therapy enables you to see that, rather than changing yourselves, you likely need to change the way in which you communicate and interact. It finds the common enemy in your communication styles that prevents you from hearing your partner and connecting with them authentically. With our help, you can learn to recognize each other's pleas for validation and respond to those needs with empathy and understanding.
At Bay Area Couples Collective, we meet each client with unconditional positive regard for the challenges they face. We offer a warm, non-judgmental environment in which to talk about where you are seeing the breakdown in your connection and what your understanding of it is. We'll work to clarify what is actually happening in your relationship and identify the beneficial and harmful ways in which you both may be dealing with it. And we'll explore what you each need to feel validated and consider some of the ways you may be internalizing stress or sabotaging the relationship when your needs are not being met.
At that point, we can begin to focus on developing tools for handling stressors—such as sex, finances, work, or children—more effectively. Over time, you can learn how to communicate in a way in which you can actually hear and respond to each other without criticism or insecurity.
We take a person-centered approach to healing couples. This means we consider the dynamics of both individuals, focusing on creating solutions and resources that will increase your capacity for trust, empathy, and connection. Our practice relies heavily on Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT), which can help identify “footnotes” from past relationships that may be causing conflict now.
For instance, if you worry that you aren't good enough or have a fear of abandonment, we can identify where you developed those beliefs, and in the process, change the way you perceive yourself. If you argue constantly, we can help you identify and avoid habitual patterns of conflict while offering you communication and resolutions skills that can de-escalate tense situations. EFT is all about talking through your challenges and recognizing that the negative cycle of interaction is the common enemy and not each other.
Right now, you may be unsure of what the future holds for your relationship, but you have the power to make that decision for yourselves. It is possible to gain a better understanding of yourself and your partner, which can make you feel safer and more secure together. With our help, you can heal and repair your partnership and finally get back to feeling valued and emotionally connected.