In any long term relationship, the same arguments often seem to repeat without resolution. This is because repetitive arguments are driven by emotional undercurrents. The way we react to our spouse is far more a function of our emotions than our thoughts. The emotional brain responds in 50 milliseconds—well before the part of your brain that “thinks” can respond. Your “thinking” brain needs an additional 450 milliseconds to even become aware of what your spouse has just communicated. By that time, you’ve already reacted… and your spouse has already reacted to your reaction!
These reactions become like a “dance” that you and your partner repeat over and over. All couples have developed their own unique dance based on how their emotional brains have been wired. Couples therapy is about identifying the dance you do with your spouse, naming why that dance exists, and learning to dance differently.
During counseling sessions, one or both partners often experience intense emotions that feel uncomfortable, threatening, and unexplainable. Counseling becomes a safe holding environment for containment and exploration of these painful emotions. It also becomes a place where partners learn to attune to each other’s inner emotional world. Attunement occurs when you allow your inner world to resonate with your partner’s.
When your partner truly understands what you are feeling inside, you have a sense of “feeling felt” by your partner, a sense that he or she “gets” you. This experience of “feeling felt” is critical if you want to feel close and connected to your partner. You each have an innate need to be seen, heard, and taken seriously.
You need to know that when you are in distress, your partner will be there for you—available, responsive to your needs, and willing to engage with you. When you truly feel felt by your partner—when you know that your partner knows what your inner world is like—then you begin to dance very differently.
$200 per 50 minute session