Remember when you first met your partner? You felt on top of the world. You simply couldn’t get enough of each other; there was nothing you couldn’t conquer together.
Somehow over time, that precious intimacy you once shared became fleeting at best. Now you feel more alone in your relationship than when you were single. Maybe arguments with your spouse have become more frequent and intense. Does every fight seem like a continuation of the last one? Are you afraid to be vulnerable with your partner? You’re wondering whether your relationship can be saved. Or maybe you’re trying to figure out how to reignite the passion you once shared. Perhaps you’re in a committed relationship and pondering whether matrimony is the right step to take.
RELATIONSHIPS ARE EVER-EVOLVING
As you learn and grow, your intimate relationships, quite naturally, evolve too. The question, though, is are you and your mate growing together or further apart? Speaking of growing, perhaps you’re struggling with the demands of a growing family – while a beautiful experience, having children often adds extra stress to a marriage. Or shrinking may be your issue – shrinking finances due to unemployment, health problems or other financial obligations. Infidelity, career demands, sexual incompatibility, along with differing values, needs, desires or other psychological, spiritual needs are just a few common issues that often push a union to the near breaking point. Many couples lose hope and wonder if they can actually survive the seemingly endless obstacles before them. The good news is that relationships are capable of deep, profound change. Quality couples counseling can help even the most challenged of relationships reach its full potential. My guidance and direction can help you to achieve the loving fulfilling relationship that you desire. And even if you ultimately decide that you cannot work through your problems, I can help you to make an informed decision. Why go on living in misery? I can help you do the work that can lead you to a happier, more fulfilling future.
EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION, EMPATHY + MUTUAL RESPECT
Couples in unhappy relationships often feel like two opponents – like they can’t be on each other’s side. Effective couples therapy can help you to realize that you can be on each other’s ‘team’ – even if you both have different needs. Many couples don’t know how to talk – and more importantly listen – to each other in a way that makes each other feel validated, respected, loved and, well, heard. I can help you to develop the effective communication strategies and active listening skills that will help you better relate to your mate and finally address those longstanding unresolved issues. I can teach you how to give and receive the effective and skillful feedback that will help you to get past those arguments that tend to go around and around and never get resolved. Through our sessions, I can help to increase your understanding and empathy. I can teach you how to create the type of healthy boundaries that will make you both feel honored and appreciated. I can help you to get on the same page, even after years of unresolved conflicts have widened the distance between you.
I’m not speaking as an outsider looking in; I apply the same techniques and inner reflection work that I used in my own journey to a healthy relationship. After years of dating, I too realized that I needed to work through some personal issues that were getting in the way of my own relationship. Let me help you to make the same progress so that you can enjoy finally experience what a truly fulfilling relationship feels like.
SO, WHAT SHOULD WE EXPECT?
I will begin our work by having you fill out a questionnaire that will help you both express the challenges you’re experiencing in the relationship. I prefer to meet for an hour every week or bi-weekly in my office located inside my HoloBeing Wellness Center, in Boulder, Colorado.Learning your couples history and individual histories, informs me about the specifics of your situation so that I may customize your sessions. It is my policy that we’re working on the relationship as a ‘unit,’ not necessarily you two as individuals. I also have an honesty policy: everyone must be as honest as possible in our sessions. The more you share and the more you put into it, the more you will get out of the experience overall. My style is very direct – I ask a lot of direct questions. I don’t gloss over any information.
TAKING RESPONSIBILITY IS KEY
I look at your relationship as a unit; but I also push you to look at yourself in order for you to take responsibility for your experiences inside the relationship. If your mate, for example, is verbally abusive to you, you must ask yourself, ‘what role did I play in contributing to this situation?’ I encourage taking personal responsibility because what’s happening inside your relationship tends to speak volumes about what’s going on with each of you individually. Your relationship is a mirror and my job is to hold it up so that you can face the truth. I do not allow you to look at yourself as a victim, but as a co-creator of the situation that you are in. Let me help you to fix it. Through our sessions I will help each of you to figure what it is about you that helped created the conditions in your relationship; what are you experiencing internally that led to this breakdown? For example, I worked with a couple that was married for three years. They really loved each other, but they found themselves fighting about the same things over and over. Through our work, they were able to become more aware of their respective roles in this repetitive drama. They realized that they had a choice in how they chose to treat each other. Change happens through awareness; not just ‘trying.’
FROM IMPASSE TO PEACE
Do you want the fighting to end? Do you want to experience the loving, committed relationship you’ve yearned for? I believe you are capable of working through your issues together to experience the deep, profound and lasting change you’ve desired in your relationship. I can help you become more aware of the problems that need addressing.
YOU MAY STILL HAVE QUESTIONS OR CONCERNS…
I’m scared to share my relationship problems with someone else.
First off, let me say that it is incredibly brave to come to counseling and allow someone to see the intricacies of your life. It’s completely understandable to be afraid and nervous about sharing the pain and dysfunction of your relationship with another person. That’s unfortunately what it takes to get those issues addressed. You’ve got to get through the ‘yuck’ to get to the other side. I am not judgmental. My goal is to help you to achieve the healthy relationship that you can (and deserve) to have. Of course, our sessions are 100 percent confidential. I won’t share anything discussed with anyone else. Anything that you share with me won’t leave the room.
What if we can’t work it out?
Sometimes couples therapy will help you to realize that you do not want to remain in the relationship. For example, I once worked with a couple that been together for a long time: since they were really young. The husband had been excelling at work and he’d received several promotions. The wife, meantime, had basically stayed the same. She had never grown up and she didn’t want to grow up, despite his expressed desire to share his new experiences with her. He had basically outgrown her. Ultimately they decided not to stay together. Sometimes couples reach an impasse and they realize that they are experiencing irreconcilable differences. I believe that it takes courage to realize when something isn’t working. I can help you to do the work that is necessary to make an informed decision. I can help you make the healthy choice.
We don’t have time for couples therapy.
I offer flexible scheduling, including evenings, early morning and weekends. If you’re committed to working on your relationship, I am committed to working out a schedule that works best for you.
We can’t afford couples counseling?
I’m of the belief that what you spend your money on is indicative of your values. Investing into your relationship is no different. When you look a little harder, you may realize that the money is there to invest into saving your relationship. For example, how much did you spend on that dinner at a restaurant recently, where you tore each other down the whole time, does that include the babysitter? Couples therapy is an investment, but it’s certainly cheaper than a divorce. If you make a commitment to the process, I will meet you there. I also offer discounts for longer-term counseling. For example, I offer a ‘sustainability discount’ for couples that commit up front to six months of counseling. The more committed you are, the more I want to meet you financially.
To learn how to more effectively communicate with your mate, I encourage you to download my free report ‘How To Give Skillful Feedback.’ I also invite you to take that first step in turning your relationship around by scheduling a couples therapy session with me. If you’re willing to do the work, I can help you and your partner begin to connect in ways that will help you both access the deep love that you have for one another. I can set you on the path to enjoying a more loving and fulfilling intimate relationship.
Lesley specializes in safe, nonjudgmental, agenda-free abortion counseling. Lesley holds the space for you to explore, process and find the answers that are right for YOU.
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