Couples & Family Therapy in Dallas, Texas
When working with couples, I use an attachment style approach. When couples are struggling it can often be helpful to “go back in time” and explore how each partner was raised and what messages they were given (or not given) about healthy relationships. I help each partner identify their attachment style to their parent or caregiver when growing up, and discuss how these attachment styles show up in adult relationships. I enjoy working with couples who are experiencing disconnection in their relationship, whether it be emotional or sexual, who are looking to reconnect with each other.
Also enjoy working with couples in the LGBTQ community who may be experiencing difficulties coming out to their family members or who have experienced negative reactions from others in their family or friend group. I enjoy helping LGBTQ couples discuss topics such as deconstructing heteronormative or religious environments which they may have grown up in and can cause difficulties within the relationship.
I also work with couples who may be experiencing sexual difficulties or who are experiencing discomfort in discussing sex in general. My goal is to understand the relationship you have with yourself and then with your partner. From there we can explore your relationship dynamics and identity aspects of the relationship which are dysfunctional. My main goal is to provide a safe space for you and your partner and to play an objective role when having potentially difficult or uncomfortable conversations.
If you’re in a strained couple or family relationship, you know how stressful and overwhelming it is. For interpersonal problems, regular sessions with a trained expert in relationships can make all the difference. The problems that bring people to couples and family therapy are varied. For couples, reasons to come to therapy may include:
Recovering from infidelity
Coping with a shared problem
For families, the following problems are often treated in therapy:
Child behavior problems
There’s a stigma attached to couples and families therapy, and people often think their problems aren’t “bad enough” to require therapy. However, waiting until there’s a crisis means the problem will be harder to recover from. It’s never too soon to go to therapy as a couple or family.
Additionally, couples and families therapy can be used to treat substance abuse. This is because when even one person has an addiction, it affects everyone around them. Therapy can help the couple or family provide healthy support for the person with an addiction, and if relationship problems are contributing to the addiction, therapy involving all parties may make it easier to recover or maintain sobriety.
Therapy for couples and families is often used alongside individual therapy. The reason for this is not to keep secrets from the partner or other family members, but because in order to have a healthy relationship, one needs to be healthy themselves. Problems rarely exist only in a relationship; there is almost always work that needs to be done on an individual level, too.
What Happens in Couples and Families Counseling?
What therapy is like for couples and families depends on the issue you come in with, but there are a few qualities that make it unique. As your therapist, I will ask questions of each participant as I learn about the problem from different viewpoints. I will take all participant’s perspectives into consideration, as well as the different dynamics in each relationship. For example, the ways your relationship with your child might differ from your partner’s relationship with your child.
We’ll discuss goals, making sure everyone agrees on what they should be, and work on a collaborative treatment plan. Of course, this plan can change as we go through therapy and different issues come to light. Depending on the problem, therapy may involve more processing than skill-building, or vice versa.
When is Couples and Family Therapy Not Appropriate?
There are some situations for which therapy is not a good idea. This doesn’t mean the problem isn’t treatable in another way; if you’re in one of these situations and looking for help, reach out to me for guidance. It could be that individual therapy would be more appropriate.
Domestic violence—If there’s abuse currently happening in the relationship, couples should not attend therapy together. They should each seek out their own individual therapy. For the abuser, additional treatment like groups is often needed.
Confrontation of a child—Some may also believe family therapy is a good place to confront a child on their behavior. They do this when they expect the therapist will “side” with them or back them up. However, my job as a therapist is to remain impartial. If your child is having problem behaviors, family therapy may still be appropriate, but you should know I will assess all factors that may contribute to the problem, including parenting. I will likely also recommend the child sees me or another therapist for individual therapy.
Couples and Families Therapy in Dallas, Texas
Contact me today if you think couple or family therapy may be right for your relationship. I opened my practice here in Dallas, Texas to help couples and families just like yours recovery from struggles they are facing. I’d love to talk with you about your relationship goals!