The Relationship Expert
Licensed Psychologist in Arroyo Grande & Los Osos
Many couples are able to connect and enjoy one another. At the same time, they also struggle with tough issues that can easily escalate out of control. When starting our couples counseling sessions, some issues may be so flammable that I ask couples not to talk about them until we are together in therapy. There, I help partners not only to listen, but to hear what is hiding underneath the concern.
You and your loved one may be able to smile and laugh together, but if you are also facing some rocky challenges in your relationship, you’re not alone. I hear from many couples who are in pain. Husbands, wives, boyfriends, and girlfriends tell me their partner doesn’t understand them anymore. Any trust they once had has crumbled. Sexual intimacy is at an all-time low. They are tired of fighting so they avoid talking altogether. Or if they do talk, couples limit conversations to work, the kids, or the house.
For other couples, their relationship is going well, but life brings a fresh set of challenges when a major event happens. For them, having the guidance of a professional provides support during times of change. In the same way that engaged couples gain essential insights from premarital counseling, couples in all walks of life can use counseling to transform challenges into opportunities to grow closer together.
3 Big Pay-offs from Our Couples Counseling Sessions
1. You won’t be alone. The three of us will work together as a team. We’ll uncover the areas where break-downs happen between you. And we’ll discover what you can do about it.
One question I’ve asked a lot of clients in therapy is, “Are you both on the same team or on opposite teams?”
2. You’ll learn how to face disagreements without accusation or blame. When you assign blame, it is nearly impossible to solve the problem. Instead, you find yourself locked in a power struggle. In the end, both of you are wounded from the battle, but no one wins. I will work with you to break this cycle that can be deadly for relationships.
3. You will benefit from mountains of research on how successful relationships work. Many of my clients experience quick results from my approach which is firmly rooted in the theory and research of attachment. When it comes to therapy, you don’t have to rely on guesswork. There are proven techniques that are remarkable for creating stronger and safer relationships. You can benefit from them.
Couples on the Same Team
One question I’ve asked a lot of clients in therapy is, “Are you both on the same team or on opposite teams?” When I ask couples this, I emphasize “opposite” by holding up both of my fists with the knuckles touching. It gives the impression of two opposing forces crashing into each other. Admittedly, I must do it a lot, because couples will tell me something like, “This week, we weren’t on the same team.” They also hold up their fists to demonstrate how they opposed each other.
They didn’t intend to be on opposite teams, but they got stuck. They wanted to be understood so badly, that they forgot why being understood by their lover was important to them. After all, if they didn’t care if their partner understood and accepted them, there would be no fight…but then again, there would be no relationship either.
I help couples get un-stuck so they can see more than just the misunderstanding. I want them to see that one of the things they are really fighting for is a caring and understanding relationship.
“Dr. Lisa makes you feel calm, relaxed and comfortable in being able to open up about difficult issues…She taught us things about ourselves that we had not understood after 35 years of being together.” Read more…