COUPLES COUNSELING SACRAMENTO
Why are we a top couples counseling provider in Sacramento? Because we offer a comprehensive therapy approach to relationship issues that has been clinically proven to show significant improvements in approximately 90% of couples (1).
Are you worried about the future of your relationship?
Do you feel like you and your partner operate on two different wave lengths?
Has your relationship stagnated to the point where you and your partner feel more like roommates instead of lovers?
Do you feel like you and your partner have the same fights over and over again?
Do you dread walking into the house, having to stop and collect yourself just to bring yourself through the door?
Has your relationship suffered because of betrayal?
No doubt about it, relationships are hard. But why is that? Are we expecting too much, too little? Are we not able to live up to Hollywood's expectations? And more practically, is it possible to rebuild trust and intimacy once it is lost? Or to feel heard and have arguments that end in healthy resolution rather than creating more distance?
The reality is, even seemingly “perfect” relationships take work. Often, the other couples who we think “have it figured out” are really just better at hiding the issues in their relationships. Romantic partnerships, like marriage, are complicated, and when there are breakdowns in communication talking about the relationship on your own can end in an emotionally charged conflict. With my approach, however, you will find that reconnection is possible and that your relationship can be as rewarding and fulfilling as you’d like.
Better communication is only the beginning.
Most of the couples who come to see us for therapy do so because of problems relating to communication—they feel like they simply can't communicate or they don't feel heard or understood by their partner. Further, many have been to couples therapy before, only to feel let down and discouraged by vague suggestions like, "Don't go to bed angry."
In our couples work, we have found that success boils down to one core thing: feeling connected to and secure with our partner. So while poor communication can absolutely complicate our connection, how we relate to and feel about our partner is a big factor in what makes communication possible.
Some common signs of misunderstanding sound like:
“You never help me around the house."
"Do you even care?"
"She always does this."
"You never listen to me!"
"You don't get me."
"Nothing I do is ever good enough for my partner."
“My partner often tells me that I don’t seem to care about ‘us’."
If you can't communicate and understand each other it is next to impossible to solve any conflict. This is why one of the first skills we build with our clients is fostering a sense of empathy toward each other's worldview, and how to best communicate your feelings to your partner.
If you have been yearning to reconnect and get back some of the relationship that got you connected in the first place, it begins with a brave new method of communication.
Couples Therapy makes connection possible.
Feeling disconnected in your relationship is very common. Not “getting” the other person or not feeling connected is something all couples feel at some point in their relationship. But this shouldn't come as a surprise: we receive many conflicting messages surrounding what is important, and when things don't align or get out of balance it can keep us from forming a deeper connection with those around us.
We often come into a relationship with our own ideas about what it should look like which are shaped by our childhood, environment, family structure, school, religion, past traumas, past relationships, and even our early experiences with our current partner. Many times these ideas are in conflict and can pulls us apart to the point of frustration or despair.
We seek to understand your unique dynamics and sticking points so we can help you navigate these conflicts to create a stronger sense of wellbeing and connection in your relationship.
Relationship therapy is very effective for rebuilding connection and working through conflicts or betrayal. Why? Because many of us struggle day-to-day with being present: we feel consumed by our responsibilities and the demands on our lives. By addressing your concerns in a safe and constructive setting, couples counseling helps you rebuild a strong foundation with your partner that can be self-sustaining and give you clarity on how to move forward .
At Whole Wellness Therapy our couples counseling is always inclusive.
We start with you—no matter how "you" are configured. We welcome and affirm people of all identities and relationship dynamics because we both respect and value the intersectional nature of what it means to be human. Our couples therapy is focused on helping people build loving relationships irrespective of the ways people arrange those relationships.
Our relationship and marriage therapy process consists of 5 steps:
Develop - Develop a safe environment for any couples issues to be discussed. Find a secure and self-sustaining foundation for all future relationship success.
Investigate - Ask questions about individual and relationship histories.
Learn - Learn more about your partner’s inner life and how to share your own. Learn more about attachment patterns and triggers in your relationship. Identify your own role and contributions to the relationship.
Rewire - Understand and rethink the roles and behaviors within the relationship and build positive attachment patterns and increase feelings of security.
Regroup - Set goals and follow up each session to check-in on progress.
All couples feel disconnected at points in their relationship. There are often times when the experiences of our partners are not always available to us because of historical patterns, trauma, dynamics, and barriers to communication. In couples therapy, we work towards repair and building empathy, respecting the reality that each partner has a lens that deserves to be explored, because being seen, heard and understood is a basic desire of all humans.
Couples therapy rewires your brain.
Our approach is rooted in the latest relationship science and works for one main reason: the possibility to rewire any brain through our innate ability for neuroplasticity (2). In short, our brains have a tremendous capacity for change, so as we learn to use new tools of communication between couples, we change how we understand and think of our partner.
Because all relationships act as a system, when one person changes, the other relations in their family change in reaction (3). When both partners change how they think of themselves and their relationship, the relationship can feel rewarding and self-sustaining.
Emotionally Focused Therapy helps you break the damaging cycles in your relationship.
Our couples counseling draws heavily on Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT). A major component of how EFT helps couples is based on the premise that what humans crave most is love and security. In fact, the part of the brain where love originates is very close to the area that controls breathing—thus, in many ways, love is akin to life. It makes sense then that when we feel that our love is threatened, we get fearful and go into a “fight or flight” response.
What is also at play here is that, when it comes to conflict, each partner tends to take a different approach. Commonly, one person will fight openly about the relationship (or at least they want to) and one person will “flee” or avoid the conflict altogether—this is referred to as a demand-withdraw relationship. At its worse, it feeds on itself, where one partner fights harder so the other flees more and no progress is made.
We help you break that cycle so that you can find common ground and security with each other.
Couples Therapy is safe, confidential and effective.
Couples therapy is a delicate balancing act. We can often feel nervous to lay it all out on the table, or might be afraid that our therapist will choose a side. The truth is, both partners see the world in different ways and each of your experiences is valid.
It can feel safer to keep our thoughts or feelings to ourselves, which is why couples therapy is always completely confidential. This is important because it helps to create some safety to explore those parts that have felt "off limits." Yes, it can feel uncomfortable or even scary to share with your partner (let alone with someone you just met). But we will always go at your pace—no rushing or unwanted pushing.
It is also normal and common to worry that shedding light on your concerns will cause more disconnection—and sometimes it can. But this is often temporary, sometimes necessary, and something we can work through in therapy. Our clients tell us it can feel liberating to share their thoughts openly, and that they end up feeling more connected to their partners as a result. Thus, we will work to create safety in therapy and trust in your relationship, so that it can withstand challenging conversations and lead to more security.
Common questions about couples therapy:
"Is it possible to continue a relationship after suffering infidelity, betrayal, etc.?
Yes! We see couples overcome these types of issues only to thrive in the long run. The reality is, however, it will take a lot of work. It is only when we are able to feel truly safe and understood that we become capable of connection and healing from painful injuries to our relationship. Further, when relationship trauma happens, we not only feel deeply hurt, but often overwhelmed, making it hard to know where to begin. Couples therapy can help you restore a sense of security and empowerment in your relationship so that you can move forward in a more authentic, sustaining relationship dynamic. We will work together to validate the relationship wounds, explore the roots of disconnection, establish new expectations, and create an even stronger sense of connection and wellbeing with your partner.
"Can my partner change? Can this relationship change?"
Absolutely! As we laid out in the neuroplasticity section above, our method of couples therapy allows you to change how your brain is wired, and as a result change the nature of your relationship. This in turn allows you to rewrite old patterns in your relationship and create the connection that you've hoped for. We believe that everyone has the capacity for change, which is what makes our therapy so powerful.
"We've tried couples therapy before. What makes EFT different?"
Research studies have found that 70-75% of couples undergoing EFT successfully move from distress to recovery, and approximately 90% show significant improvements (4) . Further, a recent meta-analysis found that couples who received EFT not only improved in the short-term, but many showed "sustained improvement" in regards to martial satisfaction at follow up (5). In other words, EFT works.