• Wondering how to get along better?
• Frustrated that your needs are not being met? Fed up with your partner’s unacceptable behaviors?
• Losing yourself? Lack of intimacy? Fighting? Not being heard?
• Can’t figure out how to get your message across? Should you stay or leave?
• Things are ok, but something is missing?
• Have you fallen out of love? Settling for something less?
After being swept off your feet by the One you settle into a relationship and discover a surprise. Who is this person that you are in a relationship with? Now what do you do? How do you keep the Love? Couples therapy/coaching can help teach couples how to develop intimate relationship skills. True intimacy is really about feelings and being present in the body. Being able to feel and express emotions appropriately are essential to create a thriving intimate relationship. Being mindfully connected and aware of your body is necessary to know what you are feeling. The relationship with a partner comes from the relationship with an embodied sense of self first. The focus of couples therapy is actually on three aspects; each partner and the relationship is the third component. During any joint session the relationship is the focal point of intervention.
Fewer people are getting married then ever before. Those who do get married are at risk of a 50% divorce rate. Relationships can become superficial, shallow, unfulfilling, frustrating and disappointing. Each partner shuts down functioning out of roles and daily routines. Interactions become mundane and distant at best. A repetitive cycle of behavior develops that is disruptive and predictable. Often the same words are said over and over with the same responses. Where is the intimacy? Imago therapy offers an explanation for these unconscious relationship patterns that take over.
Imago is the Latin word for “image”. The unconscious image of an ideal partner is synthesized from childhood caretakers accompanied by an unconscious expectation or need that old childhood wounds, traumas, or unresolved issues will be completed or healed. So in relationships when partners inadvertently act in certain ways that are reminiscent of those early childhood relationships there is a reaction emotionally and behaviorally. Imago therapy can help discover those patterns and teach alternative healthier ways to handle old reactions and improve the quality of the relationship.
Conflict is often the result of those old patterns that surface. Interactions erupt in blame and attack with defense or avoidance. Nothing is resolved causing further distance, anger, and hurt. The beliefs that “intimacy should come naturally”, “the other person should know what he/she is doing to me”; and, “I don’t deserve to be treated this way”, invite the lure of an exit from the relationship. There are many forms of disengaging from a relationship ranging from TV and social media, use of substances, to an affair and finally separation/divorce. Developing healthy constructive conflict resolution strategies and learning conflict resolution skills are essential to creating and sustaining intimacy long term. Conflict can become an opportunity to learn and deepen intimacy making the relationship better then ever.
If you want to fall in love again, going to places you’ve never been together before, call Pamela Morgan the couple therapist/coach at 954.525.8088 to get started on your journey to love!
Pamela Morgan, MSW, LC
Have a relationship question you've always wanted to ask? Just email it to me and I will pick one each month to answer in my soon-to-come blog.