The Fine Art of Communication
Intimacy Problems. Growing Apart. Infidelity. Drug/Alcohol Abuse. “We don’t talk anymore!” As painful as it is, you learn from every failure, and what you learn from a troubled relationship can help you create better relationships.
Couple communication problems can stem from a variety of sources: Old patterns of behavior learned in our family of origin. Use of drugs or alcohol to cope with anxiety or depression. Some problems, like compulsive behaviors, impulsivity, anger management, and ADD may have biological underpinnings that cause difficulties in intimate relationships. When problems are difficult to solve, some people just shut down and stop talking.
We value our primary relationships and our families, and we want them to succeed. But we don’t always have the tools or the skills to make that happen. The relationship that felt like a blessing can begin to feel like a curse.
The remedy can be as simple as making small adjustments and looking at an old problem in new ways (re-framing). That can take days, not weeks or months. Other problems (drugs/alcohol, infidelity, compulsive behaviors, anger management problems) require more time, effort, and learning new skills and tools to get “unstuck.”
Working through old wounds and injuries takes time and empathy. Enhancing communication skills and learning how to give feedback in a non-judgmental manner may be a pre-requisite for success. In this office, couples are seen both individually and as a couple. Some spouses join different therapy groups, where they are supported as they learn and practice new relationship skills.
“In our couple’s sessions, we worked on learning how to give each other feedback or constructive criticism. I learn that my ‘delivery’ is very important. That skill has really helped us in our marriage.”