San Diego Couples Therapy

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass, it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

– Vivian Greene

Love and Attachment

We all dream and hope for a love that is strong, unbreakable, and enduring. We long for a loving relationship where we can feel a sense of comfort, reassurance, attention, responsiveness, importance, emotional connection, closeness and intimacy. We want to feel safe, valued, and that we matter to our loved one. We want to know that even when times get tough, we will be supported and cared for.

This need for a secure attachment bond is an innate survival mechanism that wires human beings across the life span to seek and maintain close, meaningful relationships. When we perceive disconnection, inaccessibility, or threatened security with our partner, we experience fear, distress, and enter fight-or-flight mode. Attempts to regain responsiveness and connection are often disguised in the form of protests, blaming, and arguing. This emotional reactivity often communicates a message that we don’t intend to send – instead of seeing our pain, hurt, shame, fear, and sadness, our partners perceive irritability, anger, annoyance, aggression, and stubbornness. In response to this perceived attack, partners also develop feelings of anger, fear, and sadness, hearing that he or she has failed. In turn, this can lead our partners to withdrawal, shut down, and avoid engagement.

These behavioral strategies that we develop when we feel disconnected can become rigid, repetitive interaction patterns that quickly spiral out of control. Over time, this negative cycle, or dance, can create much pain, isolation, emotional injury, and despair. Studies have also shown that this insecure sense of attachment can cause a weakened immune system, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, and physical illness.

Signs You Can Benefit from Couples Therapy

  • You struggle to communicate with your partner without it turning into an argument
  • You feel that your needs are unimportant to your loved one
  • You often feel lonely, isolated, and that your loved one is not there for you
  • You feel unheard or misunderstood
  • You feel unappreciated or no longer valued in your relationship
  • You feel scared of losing your loved one, but aren’t sure how to reconnect
  • You feel like a failure, rejected, or never good enough
  • You have experienced a loss of trust in your relationship
  • You lack a sense of intimacy with your partner

How Couples Therapy Can Help?

Engaging in Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy (EFT) can help couples begin to recognize the patterns that define their specific dance, while also learning to create a safe haven where needs for love, comfort, support, and closeness can be expressed. Partners begin to turn to and reach for each other, to listen with an open heart, and to offer physical and emotional comfort when difficult moments arise. This short-term, empirically-based treatment approach is remarkably successful, proving to move couples from distress to recovery in 10-12 sessions in 70-75% of cases, with 90% reporting significant improvement.

I am passionate about helping couples heal and revitalize their bond to withstand differences and the test of time. For more information and to schedule a free 15 minute phone consultation, contact me today!