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What Problems Are Good to Talk About in Couples Counseling?

What Problems Are Good to Talk About in Couples Counseling?

Most couples go through phases in their relationship when they have conflicts that are difficult to resolve or even talk about. Couples counseling provides a safe space in which you and your partner discuss what’s on your mind with the guidance of an expert counselor.

At The Soho Center for Mental Health in Greenwich Village, New York City, New York, our caring and experienced counselors guide you and your partner through the conversations that strengthen and deepen your relationship or — conversely — help you decide to end it without blame.

Problems with sex

Even if your relationship began with a passionate sexual connection, that connection may be lost, or the spark may have fizzled. Every human deserves to experience sexual satisfaction in a relationship. However, you may find it difficult to ask for what you need, or talking about it may lead to conflicts between you and your partner.

In the context of a safe space and with the support of an expert counselor, you and your partner share your feelings, frustrations, and hopes for your sex life. We teach you effective ways of communicating about even sensitive topics that avoid blame and increase understanding.

Problems with communication

Almost all problems in a relationship originate with or are exacerbated by problems with communication. Often, we blame our partners for our own feelings and strike out at them or demand that they change. Such strategies, however, only further alienate your partner and do nothing to resolve your distress.

One of the main goals of couples counseling is to help you learn to communicate more effectively. You learn how to focus your statements about your feelings on yourself, so that your partner doesn’t feel blamed. 

For instance, you develop the habit of using “I” statements instead of “you” statements. Instead of saying “You shouldn’t talk to me like that,” for example, you might say, “I feel upset with the way we’re communicating right now.”

Problems with infidelity

If you and your partner agreed to be monogamous, you may be bitterly disappointed and hurt to learn that they broke that agreement. Or, you could be the one who’s had an affair and you’ve hurt your partner.

Even though infidelity may be a reason to end a relationship, it’s also an opportunity to heal. One or both of you might also benefit from individual counseling, particularly if infidelity has been a recurring pattern.

Confronting your partner about suspected infidelity or confessing infidelity can lead to conflict, anger, and broken trust. We help you navigate this touchy subject in a safe space so that each of you can express everything you’re feeling without endangering each other or your relationship.

Problems with anger

If one or both of you have problems managing your anger, counseling helps you understand why. You also learn how to communicate the feelings that lie behind the anger — such as sadness or a feeling of abandonment. 

In addition to couples counseling, we offer anger management therapy. The communications skills you learn in couples therapy and in anger management therapy help you navigate the disappointments and frustrations in life without exploding and endangering your personal and professional relationships.

Problems with substance abuse

Substance abuse disorders destroy individuals and families alike. If you or your partner abuses drugs, alcohol, or food, your lives could be in danger.

Genetics, family history, and personal history may all contribute to a substance use disorder. Many people also use drugs or alcohol as a form of self-medication to try to deal with feelings that arose from past trauma or from a mental health problem.

In couples counseling, you can bring up concerns you have about your partner’s substance abuse in a safe and controlled environment. The partner who abuses substances would also benefit from substance abuse treatment, which could include medications to manage withdrawal symptoms. 

Past trauma

If you’ve experienced trauma in your past — whether it occurred in your childhood or more recently — you may be reluctant to talk about it or revisit it. However, sometimes trauma manifests as lack of trust or other issues that prevent you from fully bonding with your mate.

Our counselors help you talk about and process trauma in a way that’s healing rather than re-traumatizing. We may also recommend individual counseling or treatment — including eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) — to help you heal.

Your partner may also have experienced trauma in their past. Often, sharing the incidents that scarred you helps you understand each other more deeply. 

If you’re ready to take your relationship to a new level of trust and heal the wounds of the past, contact us about couples counseling today. Use our online form, or call our knowledgeable staff to book an appointment at your convenience. We also offer teletherapy through a secure online portal. 

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