Couples Therapy

Written by Dr. Jeanine Swenson, MD, LMFT
couple on beach during sunset

No matter how beautiful marriage can look from the outside, most couples who are staying together are working on things from the inside.  Communication can be one of the most challenging aspects of a partnership. Effective communication that conveys honesty and maintains connection is important for a healthy relationship.  This can inadvertently disintegrate over time without one even realizing it.  People may discover that the communication style that works in the workplace can be less effective at home.  It is important to consider your unique communication style and how to enhance your approach with your partner.

Remember kindergarten and how fun and easy it all was?  Then as you progressed, life became harder in every way. Stress does tend to accumulate over time. For many, the key is handling stress rather than letting it handle us.  Couples often tell me that practicing healthy stress management together has been beneficial.

Our technical world of quick communication has intensified our emotional experience in some ways, but in others it may hamper our ability to take necessary time to discuss and deal with difficult, primary feelings.  As communication technology continues to change, growing emotional intelligence and letting go of characteristics that don’t serve us anymore can have benefits for generations to come.

For modern couples, the learned skill of managing conflict peacefully is priceless. Even people who care about each other are going to disagree about how to handle some important decisions.  Constant or ineffective power struggles sap energy that that is needed for closeness and growth. Another example of the need for support in a relationship, is when one of the partners is experiencing an illness. There is an emotional component of illness that can go unrecognized by some. If you are living with a chronic, lingering illness or complaint of some kind, psychotherapy may be a wonderful adjunct to traditional treatments to assist with managing these emotions and coping with the challenges of the illness.  The beauty of psychotherapy is that you can go in at any level (individual, couple or family) to seek relief.  

For couples facing the various challenges of strengthening communication, improving stress management, expanding emotional intelligence, and enhancing health, psychotherapy can be a tremendous forum for bringing about these changes. I find it a privilege to offer my expertise and support in caring for couples with the latest techniques to meet the changing demands of the 21st century.