COUPLES COUNSELING

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.

This page was written by our couples counseling and sex therapy specialist Annika Yokum. This page outlines her approach to rekindling intimacy.

Better communication is only the beginning.

Most of the couples who come to see me 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 my couples work, I 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 I build with my 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 or not feeling connected is something that I think 100% of couples feel at some point in their relationship. It’s not surprising at all: we are impacted by many conflicting messages surrounding what is important, such as money, power, quick pleasure, and distractions that keep us away from a deeper connection with those around us. It takes extra work to maintain any connection in such disconnected times.

We often come into a relationship with our own ideas of what it should look like that 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 pulling us apart to the point of frustration or despair. I seek to understand and 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 day to day many of us struggle to stay present, feeling consumed by our responsibilities and the demands on our lives. By addressing your concerns in a safe and constructive setting, it helps you to rebuild a strong foundation with your partner that will be self-sustaining.

At Whole Wellness Therapy our couples counseling is inclusive.

I welcome and affirm people of all identities, in all relationship configurations, in all types of situations. I work with partners that don’t fit into our stereotypical ideas of a “couple”. Perhaps they have an open relationship or any other “non-coupled” arrangement. So in this way when I say "couples" I mean any type of loving relationship between individuals. Thus, the term “couples” used throughout this page is not meant to be exclusive to any ways we arrange our relationships. 

Our relationship and marriage therapy process consists of 5 steps:

  1. Develop - Develop a safe environment for any couples issues to be discussed. Find a secure and self-sustaining foundation for all future relationship success. 

  2. Investigate - Ask questions about individual and relationship histories.

  3. 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.

  4. Rewire - Understand and rethink the roles and behaviors within  the relationship and build positive attachment patterns and increase feelings of security.

  5. Regroup - Set goals and follow up each session to check-in on progress.

In short, I know that all couples struggle at points in their relationship and this is normal! My approach as a therapist is to always work towards repair and empathy. There are always two worlds and experiences that each partner knows, neither is more right than the other and I believe both are valid and necessary.

Couples therapy rewires your brain.

My technique works for one main reason: it’s possible to rewire any brain through our innate ability for neuroplasticity (2). In short, our brains have a tremendous capacity for change, and 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. 

I draw heavily on ETF for my therapy. One major component of how EFT helps couples is based on the idea that people crave 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 life. When we feel that our love is threatened we get fearful and go into a “fight or flight” response.

 

What makes this worse is that in a relationship each couple tends to take a different approach where one will fight openly about the relationship and one will “flee” from the conflict. We call this 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. I’m able to 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.

 

Couples therapy is also always completely confidential, which gives it such power to make change. It can feel uncomfortable or even scary to share with your partner, let alone someone you just met. Sometimes we can feel it is safer to keep our thoughts or feelings to ourselves. It is normal to worry that shedding light on your concerns will cause more harm, but this is something we can work through in therapy. We can often feel liberated by sharing these thoughts and our partner often feels more connected to us in turn. We will work to create safety in therapy and create 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 infidelity, neglect, X?"

Yes! When we are able to feel safe and connected with our partner, we are capable of healing from painful injuries to our relationship. We can often feel overwhelmed and in deep hurt after infidelity, betrayal, or other injuries to our relationship and it can be hard to know where to begin. Therapy can help restore a sense of security and empowerment in your relationship so that you can heal from painful past experiences. We will work together to unpack the underlying root of what has caused hurt in your relationship, establish new expectations, and create (what people often find to be) an even stronger sense of connection and wellbeing with your partner. 

"Can my partner change? Can this relationship change?"

Absolutely! As I laid out in the neuroplasticity section. My method of couples therapy allows you to change how your brain is wired and as a result change how you see the relationship. This in turn allows you to rewrite old patterns in your relationship so that you can create the connection that you hope for. Everyone has a capacity for change which is what makes our therapy so powerful. 

"We've tried couple's 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). 

CONTACT US

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Read more about our Sacramento counseling office

2618 J Street, Suite 2

Sacramento, CA 95816

Read more about our Fair Oaks counseling office

4125 Temescal Street, Suite G

Fair Oaks, CA 95628 

online counseling

© 2020 Whole Wellness Therapy | A Sacramento & Fair Oaks Counseling Practice

2618 J Street, Suite 2, Sacramento, CA 95816 | 4125 Temescal Street, Suite G, Fair Oaks, CA 95628 

Phone: 916-619-7744

916-579-6797

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