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Couples Counseling

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Is fighting with your partner jeopardizing your relationship?

Are you exhausted from fighting with your partner? Do minor disagreements regularly turn into full-blown arguments? Are you having trouble expressing your needs, and you suspect that your partner feels the same way? Perhaps you feel confused by your partner’s reactions when you bring up something that upset you. You want to be comfortable telling them what’s on your mind, but it's hard to keep cool. Or maybe you both have trouble seeing challenging situations from the other’s point of view. You and your partner might have different communication styles influenced by your cultural backgrounds and personal histories, which could impact your relationship dynamics and occasionally lead to misunderstandings. 

Maybe you and your partner are both struggling with emotional dysregulation. Sometimes, your anger might give way to an outburst, but at other times, you might withdraw because you don’t know how to express your feelings. Your relationship may feel unstable—you and your partner may get along one moment only to start bickering the next. Although you still love your partner, you may be wondering how much longer you can really go on like this. And even when things are good, you’re just waiting for the next argument.

At Cultured Space, our couples therapists have seen it all. We can shed some light on what might be happening.

Many Couples Struggle With Communication And Emotional Regulation

When a couple is grappling with arguments, regardless of whether they are heterosexual or queer couples, they might feel ashamed. After all, it’s easy to assume that couples in loving relationships simply don’t fight. But fighting is actually quite common, even amongst happy, committed couples. In fact, studies show that 55 percent of married couples fight.*

Fighting doesn't mean your relationship is doomed. Rather, how couples heal together after an argument often reveals whether or not a relationship will last. Disagreements may actually be opportunities for a couple to grow together.

But, why do couples fight? Many of us don’t have relationship models that show us how to have healthy disagreements. Many of us have needs we struggle to identify and communicate effectively. All of these can lead to misunderstanding and conflict. Some couples clash due to cultural differences where expectations, communication, and other things don't see eye-to-eye. As another layer, there is a lack of representation for queer/LGBTQIA+ and non-monagamous couples who face challenges that other therapists might not understand. 

At Cultured Space, couples therapy could be for you and your partner!

With guidance from a couples therapist, you can benefit your relationship by naming the needs you want met in your relationships, establishing healthier methods of communicating these needs, developing a deeper understanding of your partner’s perspective, and learning to manage your own emotions in the context of your relationship.

Couples Counseling Can Help You Communicate With Compassion

We mentioned it earlier, but we'll say it again: seeking couples therapy does not mean your relationship is failing. Couples therapy is a place for growing and healing. Choosing to work with a couples therapist means that you and your partner both care about the future of your relationship and want to strengthen your bond. Couples therapy presents opportunities to deepen your connection. It helps you and your partner explore your needs and wants as individuals and partners without judgment. At Cultured Space, you will have a safe space to share what’s on your mind with a compassionate couples counselor who has knowledge of both heterosexual and queer/LGBTQIA+ relationships. With a holistic, culturally-informed approach, you can improve your communication and emotional regulation skills together.

We conduct all of our therapy sessions online. Before your first session, you will be asked to fill out an intake form as a couple to outline the reasons that bring you to counseling. 

During your first session, you will have the opportunity to share your history as a couple with your therapist and discuss your goals for treatment. Overall, sessions will center around identifying problems within your relationship, analyzing thought distortions in your beliefs about your relationship and collectively deciding on actionable steps you can take to heal as a couple. 

Through therapy, you and your partner can reflect on triggering events that may be the source of painful emotions or unhealthy communication patterns. You can also address negative thought patterns that might influence your behavior towards each other and set boundaries rooted in respect and a genuine understanding of each other’s needs. 

To that end, your therapist will help you adopt new skills for emotional regulation and communication. You’ll also learn how to navigate healthy, productive discussions that meet both of your needs. Moreover, counseling can help you build your trust in each other and cultivate a newfound sense of emotional and physical intimacy.

Emotional regulation is our primary focus for couples therapy, and our therapists can integrate multiple modalities to develop a customized treatment plan for you and your partner. Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (CBT), for example, is especially effective for breaking down negative beliefs about your relationship and establishing new thought patterns to shift your behavior. Our therapists can also draw from other modalities that help strengthen your connection, including the Gottman Method and Emotionally Focused Therapy for Couples (EFTC).

Cultured Space is a progressive practice, and our therapists regularly work with couples from diverse backgrounds. If you and your partner are both dedicated to solving the problems you’re facing together, you can make intentional choices to improve your communication and establish healthier behavioral patterns with the support of a therapist.  

But you may still have questions about couples counseling…

What if our therapist isn't a good fit?

We typically recommend attending at least three to four sessions with a therapist to decide whether you would like to continue with them. It is okay to spend some time searching for a therapist that truly understands your relationship. For couples seeking counseling at Cultured Space, no issues are off-limits for discussion. You can be assured that your therapist is specially trained to address a wide range of problems, and that your therapist is ready to listen to you and your partner without judgment. Our therapists consistently undertake diversity and inclusion training to effectively support couples from all cultural backgrounds.

What if my partner isn't interested in couples counseling?

Some people assume that a couples counselor will side with one partner or try to change their personality. But the real aim of couples therapy involves assessing the relationship, helping both partners collaboratively improve their connection or ending the relationship amicably if separation would be the healthier outcome. It is important for both partners to feel truly ready and committed to making a change before starting sessions, as couples counseling will not be effective otherwise. Talk to your partner about why you want to pursue couples counseling and address their specific hesitations before scheduling a session.

Will couples counseling teach us the communication skills we need?

While couples counseling can teach you skills and tools to improve your approach to communication and conflict resolution, it also involves self-reflection and discussion. You can also delve into your individual cultural backgrounds and the relationship models you were exposed to in order to understand why you developed certain communication styles. Therefore, you will first work with your therapist to get to the roots of the problems in your relationship so that you can actually figure out which skills you need to work on and learn how to use these tools effectively.

What we believe

Your mental health matters. Period. We know that it is closely tied to your physical health, spiritual health, relational health, and others. We know that the identities you hold are woven into each facet of your well-being. We also know that accessing services can be challenging. This is why we provide you and your partner with telehealth and online therapy services that you can use from the comfort of your own home. Our goal is to make quality mental health care accessible so that you can get help for your anxiety. We will support you and your partner as you both live flexibly and joyfully, free from the fear, doubts, and worries that come with the hardships of a relationship.

when you're ready,

we're here for you

therapy makes it possible to 

Image by Justin Follis

heal and connect together

therapy makes it possible to 

heal in an affirming space

Image by Sharon McCutcheon

Cost of sessions will range between $200-$350 per session.

Our therapists are out-of-network providers.

Our staff can support you verifying your current insurance benefits to know your payment options.

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