Seeking therapy for relationship problems is often a wonderful experience providing couples with new tools to strengthen their relationship. Healthy long-term relationships require the basic components of compatibility, communication, and commitment. All relationships move through stages from the initial infatuation into predictable power struggles and eventually into deeper commitment where compromise and acceptance are found. Many couples give up in the early stages of power struggles as they never learned how to achieve conflict resolution.
Other couples seemed to have committed to the relationship so early that they really knew little about compatibility and thought they communicated about all that but really didn't. Premarital counseling is often recommended or even required by some religious organizations in order for couples to address the areas of compatibility and determine how they might be able to develop tools for handling their differences.
In the beginning, each person usually shows his/her best side and typically only sees the best qualities of the partner. We wear blinders at these early stages that allow us to minimize shortfalls and magnify positive traits. Once the power struggles start, we often feel surprised by the other person's negative traits that surface and tend to put our focus on those traits and forget the things we enjoy about the other person. The power struggles seem to weave their way into every area of the relationship including parenting, and can be experienced emotionally, sexually, financially, mentally, physically, socially, and Spiritually.
Couples often seek therapy due to their conclusions that they are incompatible in these areas when in reality, they never learned how to talk about their differences. It is rarely the content of the issue itself, but the manner in which it gets addressed or not, and the degree to which each person feels cared about in that process. Of all the things that we are required to learn in school, how to have healthy relationships and raise children are still things that we don't require people to learn about. The divorce rates in this country are not surprising considering that most people have never learned the skills it takes to stay together.
There are also relationships being played out often on an unconscious level due to unresolved issues that each partner may have from his/her own family of origin. Some people refer to this as the "baggage" we bring in. We also bring in unfinished business from previous relationships. The more baggage there is, the greater the need for communication skills if the relationship is to survive. And many people have unrealistic expectations that their partner can fulfill all their needs, or that their partner will change in some way to accommodate the relationship. Some couples have already reached a decision to end their relationship prior to therapy and seek therapy to help them have a healthy divorce that will be the least upsetting to their children.
At Veritas Counseling Center, couples are provided techniques to help them strengthen their communication skills and conflict resolution skills. They are encouraged to focus on compatibility strengths, and taught necessary skills to learn how to compromise around the differences. Couples are given tools to help them embrace and enhance their commitment to each other, and exercises that help them increase their trust levels.
In addition, couples are helped to understand how their history affects their current relationship and how to interrupt dysfunctional patterns of interacting. Couples may be involved in adjunct Equine Assisted Psychotherapy sessions that often can help them implement new skills quickly and effectively by providing a powerful experience that can result in immediate and lasting changes in their relationship. When requested, the therapist also provides divorce counseling to help couples facilitate the most positive transition for themselves and for their children.
The therapist welcomes all couples regardless of age, racial backgrounds, marital status, stage of relationship, or sexual orientation. Unmarried adolescent couples are seen with permission from both parental sets. Premarital counseling is also available and recommended.
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Veritas Counseling Center, LLC • 3240 E Union Hills Drive, Suite 123 • Phoenix, Arizona 85050