Baby Talk: Communicating with Your Partner in Pregnancy

Written by: Courtney Kershaw.   Communication with your partner is a staple of a relationship. Learning how to enhance and expand communication during life stage changes is an extension of that skill that any couple can utilize. If you already have a foundation of being able to identify and express your needs with your partner, then the next steps is integrating some room for the unpredictable or unplanned parts that come up in a relationship during pregnancy. So what changes in communication with your partner when you’re experiencing life stage changes? New Topics for New Stages Needs: Identify core needs. Both [...]

By |2021-04-09T12:29:15+00:00March 23rd, 2021|Couples Counseling|

Emotion-focused therapy (EFT) – Healing Wounds and Bringing Out The Best in Each Other

Written by: Melissa Pilarski.     Couples start therapy for a variety of reasons. “Improving communication” is most often a target couples want to work towards in therapy. I often hear partners describe feeling unsupported, unheard, or like their partner doesn’t “get them” anymore. So much emotional pain can stem from miscommunication. If left unaddressed, it can grow worse and bleed into other areas of your life. It can feel like walking into a brick wall after several failed attempts to communicate emotional pain with a partner. I’ve heard partners describe the sinking feeling time and time again, when they walk [...]

By |2021-04-09T12:27:54+00:00March 17th, 2021|Couples Counseling|

Gas Lighting or Misunderstanding- How to Tell the Difference

Written by: Melissa Pilarski.     What is Gaslighting? Gaslighting is a term coined by the field of psychology to describe a style of manipulation. The term was coined after the 1944 movie “Gaslight,” wherein the husband convinces his wife she is crazy and losing her mind. Gas lighting can exist in a variety of relationships; parent-child, romantic, co-workers, and even between leaders and nations. Essentially, gas lighting is when one person is successful in getting the victim to question their reality, often resulting in an unhealthy relationship dynamic. How Can I Tell if I’m Experiencing Gaslighting or Genuine Misunderstanding? There [...]

By |2021-04-09T12:26:57+00:00March 3rd, 2021|Family Therapy|

Intimacy In All Its Forms

Written by: Courtney Kershaw.   The word “intimacy” can easily conjure images like a montage of scenes from a romantic comedy. A couple laughing and embracing, seeming so in love without a care in the world and everything they do has a soft glow of romance. But so rarely does real life mirror this idealized version of intimacy. Sure, occasionally big romantic experience happen and they can feel very intimate and connective, but what about all the time in between? How do relationships foster intimacy between the blockbuster moments? Let’s look at the components of what intimacy is. In one form, [...]

By |2021-04-09T12:24:25+00:00February 24th, 2021|Couples Counseling|

Being Open to Vulnerability and Opportunities for Growth in a Relationship

Written by: Melissa Pilarski.     Vulnerability is allowing others to see you for ALL of who you are-- including your shame. We’re talking about the parts of yourself that you don’t even want to acknowledge exist. It hurts too much. There is a real fear that if you share your shame story with someone, they will no longer accept you for all of what makes you who you are. That fear is often big enough to hold us back from sharing. This fear of not being accepted by others makes complete sense, especially when you take attachment theory into consideration. [...]

By |2021-04-09T12:23:07+00:00February 19th, 2021|Couples Counseling|

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|
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