Couples Therapy in San Diego, CA
Written by Jordan Zipkin, LMFT
Do You Believe Your Relationship Simply Is Not What It Used to Be or Not Nearly as Rewarding as You Wish? Looking for that Connection in Your Relationship?
Various obstacles can lead even the happiest and most promising relationship astray.
Some of the most common examples are communication problems, daily life stressors, hectic work schedules, infidelity, and the profound changes fostered through parenthood.
Perhaps you believe the way you and your partner feel about each other has drastically changed over time. You might have no idea why, or you might have some possibility explanations for what seems to be an increased divide in your connection, appreciation, and love for one another. Couples therapy can help you and your partner figure out what caused you both to drift apart. From there, couples therapy can be instrumental in assisting you both in agreeing on the best ways to bring you back together to your status as that amazing couple.
Maybe you find the problems tend to be in your continual fighting. You notice that even the smallest, seemingly insignificant things can lead to an eruption of chaos in the way you both talk with each other. In these instances, you might find you and/or your partner saying things you simply do not mean about one another and feeling guilty later for making these regrettable remarks. Here, couples therapy can help you get a better idea of how these conflicts begin, so you are more aware and cautious around these “hot, triggering” topics. From there, couples therapy can provide you with a wide variety of critical, healthy tools so you and your partner can engage in effective communication and conflict management.
Regardless of where the pain originated in your relationship, couples therapy can help you do what is often so hard to do on your own: understand and resolve your problems, thereby establish or reclaim the mutually rewarding and healthy relationship you and your partner deserve.
You Deserve to Have a Happy, Healthy, and Rewarding Intimate Relationship, Where You Both Feel that Relationship Connection.
We utilize Gottman Method Couples Therapy in our work.
This form of therapy, established by a team of renowned married psychologists, Dr. John and Julie Gottman, is considered by many experts in the field to be the most effective in helping relationships flourish. The reason is because their work has spanned several decades of studying the traits and interactions of thousands of couples. As a result, they learned a tremendous amount of crucial information about what made relationships work, while others fail.
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Notice and Properly Respond to Each Other’s Needs
- It is crucial that both you and your partner notice when you are each trying to get each other’s attention, discuss something, joke, or have fun. There are all sorts of barriers to this that commonly occur in relationships, including a partner not realizing that an attempt for connection has been made. We can help you and your partner notice where there are these missed attempts to connect, what makes them occur, and develop necessary skills to protect from them.
- Additionally, once you notice these attempts at connection, it is critical you respond to them in the right way. We can assist you here by helping you build your ability to really hear what your partner is saying and/or asking of you, and to then do your best to provide him/her with that.
- When you and your partner really know and understand each other, it supports your having built a strong friendship. When you have a strong friendship with your partner, you are more likely to have a satisfying and long-lasting relationship. We will help you learn how much you really know about each other’s worlds, including hopes and dreams, as well as likes and dislikes. If either or both of you have gaps here, we will help you both fill them in, therefore strengthening that profound friendship and the likelihood of your maintaining a healthy and long-lasting bond.
Improve Fondness and Respect
- A healthy relationship is one where both partners feel mutual fondness and respect for one another. Dr. John and Julie Gottman refer to this as a “culture of appreciation.” We will take a close look at how much fondness and respect you both have towards one another. If this area is lacking for your relationship, we will work to improve it by helping you both to better notice when you are doing something right and sharing your appreciation and gratitude for it towards each other. We will also help you just by better realizing and consistently highlighting the things about each other you do like and respect, which can really bring you both back to a place of strong connection and love.
Improving Conflict Management
- Not all conflict is avoidable, but we can help you talk about things in much healthier ways. This will make it much more likely to feel better throughout conflict discussions, happier with one another before, during, and after them, and to often come to more resolutions than ever before. Part of how we help you do this is by helping you both to bring up sources of difficulty in a gentler and kinder way, therefore making it much more likely that you both hear one another’s concerns and requests. Another way in which we will help you talk about tough topics is by using specific and healthy strategies for communicating your feelings and needs. The last way we will help you here is by watching your communication closely for any signs of really negative forms of communication, and, if and when those come up, quickly help redirect you to talk to each other in much more appropriate and loving ways.
Significantly Reducing the Appearance of the “Four Horseman of the Apocalypse”
Dr. John and Julie Gottman’s research discovered that when any of the following four behaviors continually appear in a relationship, it is very predictive of significant problems for the relationship: criticism, contempt, defensiveness, and stonewalling.
- Criticism: Blaming relationship problems on character flaws in your partner
- Contempt: Blending criticism of your partner with feelings of superiority and disgust towards your partner
- Defensiveness: Denying any role in the problem to protect against your partner’s criticism and/or contempt
- Stonewalling: Shutting down/avoiding engagement with your partner because the conversation/argument with s/he became too emotionally intense.
If we find that any of these exist in your interactions with one another, we will quickly work to first help you both notice them. From there, we will provide you with healthier ways to interact with each other so you can better enjoy each other’s company and have productive interactions much more often.
Do You Have Questions or Concerns About Couples Therapy?
How Long Until We Get Better?
Every couple I see has different strengths, areas of desired growth, overall goals, and motivation for improvement. These factors help us determine the appropriate length of time for us to help you get back on your feet.
What About If My Partner and I Are Very Busy?
I know how hard it often is for two people in a relationship to be available at the same hour each week. I also recognize that couples therapy can become that much more challenging, when you both are busy with work, your kids, and your overall myriad of responsibilities. To accommodate this, I present my clients with a flexible schedule that includes times from Mondays to Sundays 9am-9pm.
Transform Your Relationship Today!
Whether or not your relationship’s struggles and possible solutions are discussed above, please know that we can help. Now is as good a time as any to let us help you reclaim or gain happiness, intimacy, crucial skills, friendship, and desired bonding in your relationship.
If you are interested in learning more about our couples therapy or want to schedule your free, 15-minute phone consultation with us, call 619-881-0593.