"Dont walk behind me, I may not lead
Dont walk in front of me, I may not follow
Just walk beside me…"

-Albert Camus

Do You Feel Lonely, Unfulfilled, and Unsupported in Your Relationship?

perhaps you do not feel seen, heard, or valued by your partner

Does it seem as though you and your partner are stuck and becoming increasingly disconnected? Are you feeling hopeless that your marriage will ever be the fulfilling relationship that you yearn for? Perhaps you do not feel seen, heard, or valued by your partner. Maybe you and your partner are having the same argument over and over without any resolution. It may be that the smallest things often blow up into large disagreements, and you find yourself struggling to communicate what it is that’s truly bothering you. Alternatively, you might try to express yourself clearly, but feel that your partner ignores you or disregards what you have to say. You may even have stopped making love because you feel so hurt or angry. If your partner seems emotionally unavailable, quick to shut down, or increasingly critical, you might question if he or she would have your back during challenging times. Do you feel rejected, unimportant, and unable to truly be your authentic self in your relationship? Do you wish you could mend the pain and distance between you and feel valued, understood, accepted, and connected to your partner? 

interracial holding hands

Relationships can be difficult. Struggling with relationship problems can be painful, lonely, and confusing. Perhaps there has been an affair or other violation of trust in your relationship, and you are struggling to feel emotionally safe with your partner or to effectively ask for forgiveness. It may be that your growing disconnection is causing you to feel like your world is falling apart. You may wish that you could talk about what’s truly bothering you, but find that you’re afraid of being vulnerable with your partner because you feel you’ll be belittled, misunderstood, or dismissed. You might have a strong relationship foundation, but fear that things went off track somewhere and you will never again feel the safety, security, and closeness that you once shared. Perhaps you feel at a loss as to how to rebuild your bond and want tools to help foster love and connection.

All Couples Face Relationship Challenges

If you are feeling hurt, lonely, or frustrated in your relationship, you are not alone. Relationship distress is the single most common reason for seeking therapy. It is not unusual for couples to experience frustrating periods of disconnection and fall into predictable and painful patterns of interaction that further distance the partners from each other. The painful pattern may look like one partner shutting down and becoming more distant, while the other partner becomes increasingly angry, critical, and confrontational. These negative patterns cause couples to withdraw from one another emotionally and physically. And, often, disconnection slowly creeps or even storms into a relationship when couples experience significant life changes, such as the birth of a child, an illness, a job loss, or experiencing an empty nest. Although it can be disheartening or even surprising when these relationship challenges arise, what you’re experiencing is completely normal. 

when couples argue, it is usually due to not feeling emotionally connected...

By nature, we are hard-wired to seek care, comfort, and safety with significant others. This basic need for attachment begins at birth with our primary caregivers and follows us throughout our lives. We are not meant to walk this earth alone or handle life’s uncertainties without the support of caring others. When couples argue, it is usually due to not feeling emotionally connected, safe, or secure with their intimate partners. When emotional safety feels threatened, it triggers the fight/flight/freeze response in our brains, causing us to take defensive positions in an effort to protect ourselves from emotional pain. The inability to be vulnerable with the person whom we rely on the most can create feelings of hopelessness, self-doubt, resentment, and fear. Fortunately, with the help of a therapist, such as myself, who specializes in marriage counseling and couples therapy, you and your partner can get in touch with your deeper emotions, enhance healthy communication, and feel valued and validated in your relationship. 

Couples Counseling Can Build a Supportive, Fulfilling, and Meaningful Relationship

Through relationship counseling, you and your partner will learn to identify the primary emotions underlying your conflict and develop healthy ways to safely express relationship needs and concerns. In session, I will attune to both of your needs, and in a nonjudgemental atmosphere, help you and your partner better understand common negative patterns in relationships. This will enable each of you to better relate to each other and understand where and how you currently disconnect. With my help, you can learn to break free from your existing negative cycle, make sense of your experience, and develop compassion and acceptance for both your partner and yourself. You will learn effective ways to solve conflicts, feel closer to your partner, and improve emotional, physical, and sexual intimacy. I will help you and your partner create an environment where each of you can safely feel emotionally vulnerable and secure enough to be your authentic selves. Working by your side, I will help you create a fulfilling, meaningful, and authentic relationship. 

Take Control of Your Relationship With Emotionally Focused Therapy

Research regarding the effectiveness of Emotionally Focused Therapy over the last thirty years, demonstrates that EFT is the most empirically valid form of couples therapy currently in use by qualified therapists. Importantly, the research also shows that after completing EFT, 90 percent of couples experience improvement in their relationships, no matter how much they previously struggled. Research on the success of EFT demonstrates that couples consistently resolve conflict, recapture love, improve communication, and move from emotional distress to recovery.

two men hugging holding a dog

As a therapist with advanced training in Emotionally Focused Therapy, I use EFT with all of my couples and I have enjoyed great success in helping couples to increase connection, rebuild trust, feel supported, and cultivate fulfillment and intimacy in their relationships. EFT is uniquely effective in addressing relationship injuries, including, but certainly not limited to, infidelity. Couples using EFT report feeling more intimate, understood, and valued by their partners. Other common couples therapeutic models that focus on how to communicate better or how to problem solve have been proven less effective than Emotionally Focused Therapy. With EFT, couples get to the root of the problem instead of only treating the symptoms. In session, we will work together in a nonjudgemental, safe space to uncover the vulnerable feelings that lie below the surface and address the real questions that are driving your negative patterns of interactions, such as: Do I matter to you? Can I count on you? Do you value me for who I am? Will you be there when I need you? 

Using Emotionally Focused Therapy, I will help you and your partner identify the harmful, distancing patterns that may have developed in your relationship. In EFT couples therapy, you will begin to see your negative cycle as distinct from you and your partner. You and your partner aren’t really the problem – you are just stuck in a negative cycle. Once you gain an understanding of your negative cycle, you will begin to see this destructive pattern, not your partner, as the problem. 

As your therapist, I will help you and your partner create a safe and secure bond. Having a safe and secure bond does not mean that you will not fight or experience periods in your relationship where you feel disconnected, but EFT will give you and your partner the tools you need to reconnect when disconnection does occur. With EFT, you will be better able to successfully communicate to your partner your needs and vulnerabilities and feel emotionally safe enough to reach out for the care and comfort that you need to create the authentic relationship that you long for. 

During couples counseling sessions, we will also work to unpack all of the emotions that arise during a conflict. You can begin to recognize your reactions – whether you lash out or withdraw, feel angry or sad – and delve into the deeper emotions trapped underneath, such as loneliness, low self-worth, or the simple desire to feel loved. When you better understand your own emotions and start to see your partner in his or her own vulnerable, human way, you are likely to want to offer your partner care and comfort, drawing you both together again. You and your partner are each whole people with hurts, hopes, and needs, and couples therapy can help you recognize each other as such. 

I work with couples of all kinds, regardless of sexual orientation, gender, or racial identification. Relationship counseling is a safe place for you to express your feelings and fears without judgement. And, as your therapist, I never take sides or try to place the blame on one partner. The relationship is my client, and I validate each partner’s feelings. 

You may believe that relationship counseling can help you and your partner find joy together again, but still have questions or concerns…

After the betrayal of trust in our relationship, I don’t know how we can ever heal...

When we are hurt by the person we trusted the most, it can be difficult to know how to move forward. And, most of us did not have strong relationship role models to help us learn the crucial skills needed to repair and recreate a loving bond. Using EFT, I can help you and your partner reconnect, no matter what you’ve experienced. I offer affair recovery because I know and have successfully helped many couples reestablish intimacy, rebuild trust, and return to the positive feelings they once shared.

My partner won’t come to couples counseling...

If your partner is resistant to the idea of therapy, I encourage you to come in by yourself. By gaining a better understanding of your role in your relationship dynamic, you can begin to shift the way you approach your partner and nurture increased patience, compassion, and understanding. A relationship is a system, and by changing your part of the pattern, you will likely prompt your partner to change his or hers a well. 

Other therapists haven’t helped. How do I know that you can help us...

Emotionally focused therapy is the most empirically valid form of couples therapy

You might be wondering if I am the right therapist for you. This is your treatment and you need to feel comfortable with and understood by your therapist. You must also have the confidence that your therapist knows how to effectively help you restore your relationship and make it better. 

In sessions, I don’t just treat the symptoms. Rather, I help couples get to the root of their issues so that they can break out of unhealthy patterns and establish a healthy emotional foundation. Emotionally Focused Therapy is proven to be the most effective couples therapy, and even if you have tried talk therapy in the past, this approach is different. EFT can help you put and end to the pain and loneliness you are feeling and help you find the closeness and intimacy you long for in your relationship. 

You Can Create Connection in Your Relationship

You and your partner can enjoy peace and fulfillment and have an authentic relationship. I invite you to call me at 480-427-3553 or contact me here for a free, 15-minute phone consultation. We can discuss your specific needs, and I can answer questions you have about relationship counseling, marriage counseling, LGBT couples counseling, and my practice. 

For more information of Emotionally Focused Therapy go to drsuejohnson.com