8 Great Tips for Couples Counseling in Denver, Colorado
Couples counseling is a place where partners can stand on neutral ground and learn to see each other in a different light. Whether you’ve been struggling against a negative cycle for years or only recently started having trouble, we offer couples counseling services for everyone in Denver, Colorado and beyond!
Below are some of our best tips for couples struggling in their relationship. These can help you learn how to communicate better, reconnect and honor the bond that you’ve built together.
1. Set Some Ground Rules
First and foremost, there have to be boundaries in every relationship. A lack of boundaries from either partner leads to an ongoing pattern of pain. Left unvoiced and unforgiven, this leads to a build-up of resentment and even attempts to get “revenge” on one another.
Openly set rules for your communication. What types of words can you use? What is off-limits? How should you speak to each other? What volume of your voice indicates it’s time to step back, no questions asked?
Ground rules help you operate from a place of respect, and they establish the safety and security couples need to be authentic and vulnerable with one another.
2. Mindfully Practice Intimacy
You may feel distanced from your partner but not know how to bridge the gap. If you’ve been together for a while, it’s natural for physical intimacy and its many expressions to change. In some cases, it may disappear altogether. Let your partner know that you miss them and want to feel close to them again.
Start practicing mindful acts of intimacy, like holding hands, hugging more and cuddling each night. If sex is an issue in your relationship, have an honest conversation about what you would like and what your partner needs from you.
3. Ask What Your Partner Needs
So many of us run in circles trying to please our partners, all the while never really asking what they expect from us in the first place. If you aren’t voicing your needs to your partner, how can you get angry when they don’t fulfill them? You may also be asking too much from a partner, expecting them to meet needs that really need met by yourself.
In any relationship, being open about your needs and desires builds trust and fosters intimacy. It is fundamental to keeping your connection open and staying in sync with one another.
4. Address Personal Issues
If you struggle with pain from past relationships, childhood trauma or mental illness, it can drastically impact your relationship. You may feel guilty for subjecting your partner to your problems, or you could rely too heavily on them instead of healing yourself.
Be honest about your struggles, and reach out to a therapist who can help. In addition to couples counseling, individual therapy is a wonderful way to heal and grow.
5. Schedule Counseling
We offer in person as well as virtual couples counseling to help partners work through challenges when it’s most convenient for them. Scheduling an appointment with a trained therapist can be the start of a new chapter in your relationship. Having a neutral third-party guide you through issues can be the doorway you need for lasting positive change.
6. Remember to Have Fun
Relationships are meant to be fun. Your partnership should be a source of amusement, joy and positivity in your life. Between parenthood, work and other responsibilities, many partners forget that they are also meant to be friends. Start doing things you love just because you can; that’s what being in love is all about.
7. Stop Trying to “Win”
When you have a mindset focused on “winning” arguments, you immediately distance yourself from your partner. Instead of feeling like a unified team, it’s you versus them. Seeing each other as an opponent to defeat never leads to a positive outcome. Instead of trying to be right, shift your mindset to asking how you can both be happy.
8. Learn to Honor Your Partner’s Story
One of the biggest hurdles in a relationship comes from accepting the fact your partner is not who you want them to be. The beauty of this struggle is that you can learn to finally love and accept them for who they truly are and vice-versa. From their childhood to past relationships, there are many pieces of your partner’s story that have shaped them into who they are today.
A healthy relationship encompasses each person’s whole story without erasing any parts of their unique identities. By honoring your partner’s past, you become more accepting and receptive in the present.
Connect With a Couples Therapist in Denver, CO
Healing your relationship requires healing yourself, too. There will be both highs and lows in your journey together, and the right strategies can help you celebrate the good times more fully and grow through your challenges.
To learn more about our services or schedule a couples counseling appointment, please contact us or call us at 720.314.7378.
Couple Counselling / Relationships
How to Talk to Your Partner About Couples Counseling
The decision to go to couples counseling is difficult. Although you may find it necessary, admitting that you need a professional’s help can feel like a personal failure. Couples might avoid the subject because it officiates the haunting feeling that things aren’t going as they should in the relationship.
But the only way to get better is to be honest. Bringing up the idea of couples therapy to your partner can be even more intimidating. You may not have talked about it, or you may fear that suggesting counseling only leads to greater confrontation and distance.
Although it is difficult, addressing the need for therapy when the need arises is always best. Waiting to get help only causes problems to continue and create a greater barrier between communication and intimacy. Couples counseling could be the step you and your partner need to rebuild and reconnect in your relationship.
Starting the Conversation
You should sit down with your partner and let them know exactly why you want to go to counseling. This requires a great deal of vulnerability and honesty, which can be hard to muster. But taking the first step can demonstrate to your partner how committed you are to them and the relationship.
Someone has to make the first move, though going to therapy is a mutual decision. Let your partner know that you love them, and explain what problems have led you to seek therapy without being accusatory.
Rely on I-statements to express yourself. Rather than saying, “You never talk to me anymore,” try, “I feel a disconnect between us, like we don’t talk as much as we used to. I don’t quite know how to reach you, and I’d like to work on that together. I miss sharing things with you.”
It’s important to explain how issues and actions on both sides impact you. Recognize your own partner’s feelings as well. A couples counselor will be there to honor both of your perspectives and your shared bond.
The conversation should also be centered around a goal that you can work toward together. Counseling is not a place to “fix” anyone, because none of us are broken or damaged. Instead, it brings greater awareness to problems and helps people find solutions using their unique strengths.
What Will Happen in Couples Therapy?
We will work with you to identify key issues in the relationship. We do not take sides, but instead opt to build greater trust and respect through mutual empathy. You will both be encouraged to listen with an open mind and heart and take accountability for your own actions.
To avoid falling into the same patterns of conflict, disconnect and avoidance, your therapist will guide the conversation to help you both learn to recognize and value each other’s side of the story. Unifying that story into a healthy, harmonious relationship is the ultimate goal.
Benefits of Couples Counseling
The greatest benefit of couples counseling for many is the opportunity to speak openly. It can be hard for couples to express themselves clearly in a relationship when there is anger, fear and anxiety clouding the connection between them. Therapy gives each person a place to be present, express themselves openly and discuss rather than judge and defend.
Couples from every age and walk of life can benefit from working with a counselor to improve their communication and build upon their strengths as individuals. It can be the stepping stone a couple needs to reach a deeper level of trust and intimacy that only comes from overcoming challenges together.
Relationships / Virtual Counseling
Relationship Counseling During COVID-19
Quarantine and COVID-19 pose unique challenges to couples; some may be finding it difficult to maintain personal boundaries and healthy communication as they quarantine together while others are feeling detached and disconnected due to social isolation. Relationships are not exempt from the added stress of coping with the coronavirus, but partners do not have to simply hope for the best and ignore their problems.
Relationship counseling online can bridge the distance of social isolation and connect couples with licensed therapists who can help them work through any challenges they’re experiencing.
How Relationships Are Impacted by the Coronavirus
Dating requires consistency, communication and a healthy dose of independence on both sides. Couples currently find themselves either separated by mandatory shelter-in-place orders or confined together in their living quarters with limited outside social contacts.
For even the closest couples, quarantining together can be difficult. Constantly being around one another can lead to more arguing, and the flare-up of mental health symptoms many are experiencing may put further strain on a relationship.
Some partners may feel helpless as their significant other’s anxiety and/or depression symptoms worsen. Others might not be sure how to express their desire for personal space without being offensive. There may be limited opportunity to separate and cool off before resolving arguments. Others may feel like their relationship is stagnating without the ability to go out and do things together.
On the other end of the spectrum, COVID-19 has led to social isolation that has many couples separated. Those in long-distance relationships may feel especially distraught as they have no definitive date when they can see one another again.
The stress of managing a relationship and life during the coronavirus makes online counseling and relationship therapy a beneficial tool to anyone who finds themselves struggling during this time.
What Relationship Counseling Can Do Today
No therapist has all the answers, and couples might even feel like they’re at a loss for help with physical offices closed. But online counseling for couples can be just as effective as in-person sessions. Couples can speak together or individually to a counselor about what they’re going through and work on developing solutions.
Online counseling provides the opportunity for couples to express thoughts and feelings they may not be able to articulate with their partner during regular conversation. A counselor knows how to ask questions that facilitate constructive dialogue and foster understanding.
Together, couples and individual partners can work with a counselor to learn how to support each other through COVID-19 and protect their relationship. To speak with a therapist or request an appointment, click here.