Relationships aren't perfect. Relationships unite different people, each with his or her own ideas, values, opinions and personal history. Each partner brings a different perspective to the relationship, but that doesn't mean your relationship is destined for constant conflict. In fact, differences can be complementary and actually enhance our ability to relate to, understand, respect and accept other people.
Relationships, however, can be tested by the circumstances of everyday life. What are the expectations about how much time is going to be spent with friends and relatives. How and on what is the couple's money to be spent. When and how often will sex occur. Differences once deemed charming may now irritate. Specific issues, such as an affair, may produce conflict in a relationship. In many cases, however, relationships simply endure a gradual decline in the quality of communication and caring.
Relationship problems can create undue stress, tension, sadness, and worry regardless of the cause. Unfortunately, relationship troubles don't just go away on their own. Unresolved, relationship problems may only worsen, leading to physical or psychological problems, such as depression. Distress in relationships also can create problems on the job and affect other family members, such as children, or friendships.
Therapy can benefit you or your partner if you are dealing with any of these issues or situations that can cause stress in a relationship:
Therapy provides a safe environment to learn and practice tools that help you communicate better, negotiate differences, problem solve and even argue in a constructive way. Therapy sessions typically bring couples or partners together for joint sessions. Both partners will have the opportunity to evaluate both the good and bad parts of the relationship. The therapist will not take sides in relationship disputes, but rather aid the couple in identifying and understanding the source of their conflicts in order to resolve them.
If your partner refuses to attend therapy, you can go on your own. It may be more difficult to improve your relationship if only one partner is willing to go to therapy. However, therapy can benefit a single partner by learning more about your reactions and behavior in the relationship. Individual and couple's therapy is designed to help people better understand and resolve conflicts and improve their relationships.
Therapy can help you rebuild, strengthen and form new relationships. Whether you are having trouble maintaining a relationship, seeking to end an existing relationship, or looking to start a new one, therapy can help you understand your needs and your relationships better so that you can make well thought out decisions.
NAP POZULP, PH.D.
MICHAEL FIELDS, PH.D.
MANNY SILVERMAN, PH.D.
MICHAEL KAVEN, M.A.
CICELY JOHNSON, LCSW
CHRISTINA SAMYCIA, PSY.D.
SUZANA FLORES, PSY.D.