Validating Your Partner: Why It’s So Important and How to Do It

Written by: Courtney Kershaw.   One of the most common things that we talk about in couples counseling is communication. What it looks like now, what the couple wants it to look like, and what good communication even means to them. And when we explore what communication means, it has a lot of components. How someone interacts physically, whether they are looking at the person and paying attention while they’re talking, if someone gets cut off…the list goes on. But something that gets brought up a lot is the feeling of being validated—most notably a partner can identify that they are [...]

By |2021-04-09T12:21:46+00:00August 3rd, 2020|Couples Counseling|

What does the Process of Couples Therapy Look Like?

Written by: Caitlin Edwards     One the most common questions I get from prospective clients is what does the process look like? In typical therapist fashion, it depends. As such, I often answer this question with follow up questions: What are your goals for therapy? How would you know that things between you and your partner have improved? Do you and your partner agree on what the problem is? If not, how do each of you conceptualize the problem? How much work are you each willing to put into the relationship? Once these questions are answered, I can better explain [...]

By |2021-04-09T12:19:54+00:00June 24th, 2020|Couples Counseling|

Infidelity Online

Written by: Caitlin Edwards   I have previously written about infidelity and its impact on relationships. While reviewing my previous posts, I realized I had not addressed infidelity online. As technology is ubiquitous in our lives, it feels important to address this aspect of infidelity. Although we are constantly surrounded by technology, online relationships, especially online infidelity, is often seen in a different light than in-person relationships. You can end up asking yourself ‘is it really infidelity if it occurred online?’ This question can be hard to answer and often depends on the explicit and implicit agreements couples have created for [...]

By |2021-04-09T12:15:01+00:00June 17th, 2020|Infidelity Therapy|

Coping with Crises after Infidelity

Written by: Caitlin Edwards   Invariably, when working with couples who come in with an experience of infidelity, new crises occur. Every couple I have worked with has experienced relapse in some way and this is especially normal when the couple is still in the recovery process. Although the couple may be working very well together, there are aspects of the relationship that are out of your control -- such as the affair partner -- as well as other stressors that become especially difficult during a time when you my lack safety and security. Additionally, in the process of rebuilding the relationship [...]

By |2021-04-09T12:13:21+00:00June 6th, 2020|Infidelity Therapy|

What Should We Discuss In Premarital Counseling?

  Written By: Caitlin Edwards In my work with couples, I first want to know what your agreements are regarding your relationship. I frequently experience couples reporting that the agreements in their relationship are implicit rather than explicit. What the relationship means, where the relationship is going, and what is and what is not okay in the relationship are often topics that are assumed rather than deliberately named and discussed. As such, I want to put forth a number of aspects of relationships that I believe are necessary to be thoroughly understood prior to entering a legally committed relationship. Premarital counseling can [...]

By |2021-04-09T12:29:42+00:00May 31st, 2020|Premarital Therapy|

Do I stay or do I go? Dealing with Ambivalence after Infidelity

Written by: Caitlin Edwards I see this frequently: one member of a couple has broken an agreement in the relationship and now one (or both) members of the couple are uncertain as to whether they should stay in the relationship or leave.  This can be agonizing—you may struggle with what seems like moment by moment indecision regarding what you desire your future of your relationship to be.  Although ambivalence can be difficult, ambivalence also indicates that there is a part of you that is still invested in the relationship.  Ambivalence occurs in two stages and leads to two distinct questions.  One, [...]

By |2020-07-25T20:05:11+00:00May 28th, 2020|Infidelity Therapy|

What are normal reactions after the discovery of infidelity?

Written by: Caitlin Edwards   I consistently work with couples coming in for therapy because of infidelity.  In my experience, this is one of the most painful reasons to seek couples therapy, no matter if the affair was ten years or ten days ago.  I am frequently asked the same question: “is my reaction normal?”  As such, it feels important to me to name what is normal for couples coming in because of this painful discovery.   Reactions of the betrayed partners Learning about infidelity can result in a response like a physical attack: our entire nervous system gets brought online and [...]

By |2020-07-25T20:05:45+00:00May 26th, 2020|Infidelity Therapy|

Re-establishing Safety after Infidelity

Written by: Caitlin Edwards   Many of the couples I work with tell me that their relationships no longer feel safe after infidelity has been disclosed.  This makes sense: what partners thought they had agreed to with their partner has been violated.  Without predictability, safety is hard to come by.  Therefore, to re-establish safety and trust the relationship must come to feel predictable again.  Partners need to feel as though they know each other, as learning about infidelity can leave you feeling like you are living with a stranger.  So, how do you re-establish safety and security in your relationship?  Primarily, [...]

By |2020-07-25T20:06:32+00:00May 22nd, 2020|Couples Counseling, Infidelity Therapy|

Healthy Sexuality Basics: Physical Touch

Written by: Caitlin Edwards   When working with couples, my experience is that discussing sex falls into two categories.  It is either great and easy to talk about—or it is a primary concern that cannot be broached.  We find ourselves in a society that is both inundated in sexual content and yet silent on what healthy sexual relationships look like, leaving us unsure how to navigate conversations about who we are as sexual beings.  We often lack understanding about our sexuality and the taboo nature of this topic results in silence rather than active questioning.  Discussing sexual intimacy is hard, and [...]

By |2020-07-25T20:07:25+00:00May 22nd, 2020|Couples Counseling|

So…are we just friends?

Written By: Caitlin Edwards   The couples I work with who come in struggling with infidelity often tell me a similar story.  The member of the couple who had the affair will often begin with ‘at first we were just friends.’  This is a hard place for everyone: we do not want to limit our partners friends.  And, at the same time, we want to be our partner’s primary point of contact, the person they share their life with.  So, a fundamental question arises: how do we know if someone is ‘just a friend?’  There are several ways in which we [...]

By |2020-07-25T20:10:16+00:00May 22nd, 2020|Couples Counseling, Infidelity Therapy|
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