The relationship between two partners can go through challenges at different times in the couples life. During the COVID pandemic many couples home-life was put through a test, sometimes the close quarters made life more challenging and led to a break-down in family dynamics, while others enjoyed the closer connection with their family members and felt overwhelmed when they had to resume life outside.
Couples go through stages in their journey together, from the initial bonding to re-identifying "who am I" as an individual in addition to a spouse, a parent, a caretaker a provider. Other stages may include, parenting children, being a caregiver to aging parents, managing health issues, changing careers, all while trying to stay connected, and keep a healthy partnership.
Many couples come to therapy and identify they have issues communicating. Often times the struggle is in listening. I need you to hear me, without preparing your response. Listening is not something we learn to do very well. We listen to answer, to respond, to share our views but not to HEAR, FEEL, CONNECT with what our partner is experiencing.
Others struggle with connection and what it means to stay connected, to keep our curiosity about this person who we have known for years or decades. We know them so well and may start to feel bored or lacking in attraction. Sustaining a connection requires curiosity, and effort to seek out new experiences in life that we can explore together or share afterwards.
Some couples seek help after a crisis, an affair, dishonesty, a health change, and want to repair and get back to what they thought they had. At times a crisis is not the beginning of the break down but the result of a disconnect in the partnership. Sometimes, the changes in our health require a new perspective, a new way of moving forward which is not always what we want or can accept.
Dr. Wuts would like to help couples navigate the challenges of their partnership and uses modalitiles of The Couples Institute and Relational Life Therapy; both are active approaches that guide the partners into developing different skills for listening, engaging, responding while in session - and can be transferred outside the therapy office.