Couples Therapy & Coaching
Research consistently tells us the importance of relationships for overall human well-being. We are wired to be social. Sharing life brings profound joy and fulfillment to our journey. Yet relationships are wrought with challenges and can be the source of heartache and pain. Statistics state that 50% of marriages end in divorce and of those that stay together less than 20% actually thrive. Problems like Asperger’s, conflicts, and trauma can destroy relationships. Healthy relationships are one of the 5 components of human well-being. Yet we struggle to keep them sustainable and life-giving. Research says that most couples with relationship problems wait too long! Like any health problem it is best to do preventative maintenance. One of the biggest challenges when problems surface in relationships is that people wait too long to get help. The most critical time to get help is when conflict goes unresolved, when harmony turns to discord.
Why is Couples Therapy & Coaching Different?
Intimate relationships trigger deep childhood attachment memories. We are all born completely dependent on our caregiver. In fact we are so dependent that we would have physically died if our needs were not taken care of by our caregiver. These needs are not just limited to food and shelter but also touch. Studies show that without adequate touch and emotional reciprocity babies can die from neglect. While all therapy should have an element of attachment work, in couples therapy it is critical to have clear understanding of the type of attachment that each partner formed as a child. In addition to Dr. Thomas’ extensive clinical experience, he has a strong academic background in attachment work and also teaches attachment theory as a college professor. Dr. Thomas is well suited to work with your attachment issues in couples therapy.
Why Does Couples Therapy & Coaching Have a Lower Success Rate?
Couples wait too long before getting help – that’s the simple answer. Relationship problems are easy to put off. One can avoid the issue, deliver the silent treatment, become passive aggressive, blame the other partner, distract oneself from relational problems, and a host of other less than helpful coping actions. Because relationships are rooted so deeply in early attachment processes, they don’t just move forward in a sustainable fashion without any effort. About half of all marriages divorce or separate and of the half that stay together less that 20% actually thrive. These statistics are not encouraging for the institution of marriage. These statistics also tell us a lot about the necessity to put effort into the creation of a sustainable intimate relationship. Preventative maintenance is the ideal when dealing with intimate relationships. At the first sign of trouble that persists – get help. The opposite of that action is waiting too long which is what most couples do and why the divorce rate is so high.
Process of Couples Therapy
Couples therapy is much more than venting and blaming. Problems do need to be named yet if therapy stops at venting and blaming there is not much value. Dr. Thomas utilizes a holistic approach to couples therapy. This means addressing the cognitive, emotional, behavioral, and systems issues within a couple’s relational experience. Each session may include all or some of these approaches to therapy. Another important piece to couples therapy is accountability which builds on a fresh start. Dr. Thomas emphasizes the beginning of therapy with him as a new chapter in your relational life. No one knows where the journey of therapy will take you. The important thing is that doing the work now to grow and discover new ways of being and relating is what matters most. Each couple is unique yet there is a general flow to the couples therapeutic process:
- Establish therapeutic relationship, accountability, out-of-session tools, and treatment plan (boundaries, limits, safety, confidentiality, crisis management).
- Goals for therapy, strengths of the couple and each partner.
- Communication and experiential exercises.
- Attachment and intimacy disorders. This step includes exploring family of origin stories and identifying trauma and pathology that each partner carries into the current relationship.
- Addressing past wounds and pursuing forgiveness and reconciliation.
- Working on goals and improving strengths.
- Regular feedback all the way to termination to make sure the therapeutic work is on track and all have a voice in the process.
- Ongoing maintenance.
Invest in Your Relationship
When looking at investing in things that matter, ask yourself what’s more important than your intimate relationship? Just like material things, we need to invest in ourselves and our relationships. In the end these are the things that matter.
Dr. Thomas has worked with hundreds of individuals and couples to resolve conflicts and move to a place of harmony and well-being. When you are looking for help with couples therapy or coaching it is critical that you work with a therapist or coach that understands the differences between couples and individual work. Dr. Thomas is a couples therapy and coaching specialist.
Get Help Sooner than Later
Couples therapy or coaching can be life changing. You owe it yourself, your partner, your family, and your community to work on the loving relationship which you intended from the beginning. Contact Dr. Thomas for a consultation to learn how you can transform your relationship into one that grows and thrives.