- Do you wish you and your partner could communicate in a way that makes both of you feel understood and appreciated?
- Do you often regret what you have said to your partner?
- Do you and your partner say awful things to each other?
- Perhaps you avoid talking all together out of fear of the conversation escalating?
- Do you wonder how the relationship can ever work if you can’t feel connected or on the same page?
In all the years I have provided Couples Counseling and Marriage Counseling in San Jose, the #1 problem couples report is difficulty and problems with communication. At first this surprised me because as a Marriage CounselorI saw numerous growth opportunities for partners; so I did a little digging: what did they mean?
In couples and marriage counseling sessions, I looked at the behaviors that weren’t working between partners rather than just the situations they found themselves in, I took a behavior analysis approach and found that I could help couples actively change the way they worked together in those situations to solve problems. By helping couples communicate more precisely, with more accuracy, and without doing behaviors that invalidate the other, both partners feel closer and have more confidence to solve their problems.
At CriticalPath Counseling, here are some things we learned about partners in Couples Counseling:
- Well- meaning couples who love each other often talk “at” each other rather than with one another
- Couples who want to listen and reach an agreement are often unaware that they respond to their partner with invalidating responses
- Well- meaning partners who express their intense emotions often do not realize that the more intense they are, the less likely it is that they are accurate in their descriptions of what is going on and that this makes it MORE likely they’ll be invalidated by their partner
In Marriage Counseling in San Jose we often see couples get caught in a ineffective “loop”. This cycle gets activated fast and couples are often at a loss as to what to do. It can be very frustrating and hurtful. The good news is a great deal of research has been done on Marriage Counseling San Jose, especially in the area of strategies and tools that help couples develop healthy communication which includes increasing validating responses.
Research also shows that healthy, loving communication between partners is positively correlated with significant health benefits:
- They are significantly more likely to have healthier lifestyles
- They have greater resiliency to the effects of negative life stress
- They have greater work productivity
Marriage Counseling in San Jose can help partners be more satisfied in their marriages. At CriticalPath Counseling we teach couples evidence based skills to help them reach their goals. Couples DO expect that there will be ordinary problems in living that occur in their lives together. Not being able to communicate in a trustworthy way, a safe and loving way, prevents them from being able to solve their problems in order to build a quality life.
- At CriticalPath Counseling, Marriage Counseling San Jose teaches partners:
- Skills to improve their own emotion self- regulation which helps to decrease reactivity and invalidating responses in both partners
- Skills to increase awareness including: accurate self-disclosure, labeling emotions, expressing emotions descriptively, and listening non-judgmentally
- Skills to increase validating responses in order to reduce conflict and increase intimacy