One of the best and hardest things to do and be in this world is a partner to someone. That’s because it is not only about you, but also your ability to love, accept, and adapt to the personality and choices of another. Most of you have felt that sensation of dread when you aren’t sure if your partner is mad at you. Most of you have felt frustration when your partner seems to refuse to understand or learn from what you tell them. Most of you have felt the intense loneliness when you feel disconnected, even if you’re in the same room. Some of you have far more painful experiences as well.
Couples therapy or counseling is designed to help partners get to the point where they are functional without a therapist. The idea is that no matter what you and your partner are going through, there’s someone who can come alongside and help. Maybe you are looking for help with communication, intimacy, a big life transition, parenting, trust, or even just tolerating each other after so many years. Couples therapy can help create a space where everyone has a voice, is treated with respect, and is given the safety and tools to navigate and adapt.
Psychotherapy (especially if you are using insurance) assumes some type of problem pathologically. For couples, this can be tricky since medical issues – as medical doctors and insurance understand them – don’t exist between people but within a human body. But when you see a couples therapist, they will be seeing the collective unit of the couple as their therapist. If there is a prevailing medical issue (like anxiety, bipolar, PTSD, etc) one or both are struggling with, the therapist can still incorporate treatment for that disorder into couples care, but it won’t be the primary focus.
Since couples work assumes that everyone in the system is a part of the system, it also assumes that everyone has a role to play. Three common relationship dynamics are: fighting or competitiveness about who is in charge of what, including validating emotions; where one person typically “chases” after another while the other “runs away” to either avoid or be safe; and couples who want to do everything equally and it keeps not working. Whatever your dynamic, a couples therapist is trained at recognizing what is going on, helping connect you to strengths and resources, and give guidance on what options are available to you moving forward.
At Matone Counseling and Testing we offer couples counseling (online and in person), divorce counseling, family counseling, and relational counseling. Our staff of professional counselors, marriage and family therapists, and psychologists are adept at treating all relational dynamics including polyamorous and LGBTQIA+ relationships.
Our staff of couples and relationship counselors includes: