Communication between partners can be difficult when opinions on a matter differ, or the solution is unclear or nonexistent. Another potential problem with couples' communication over time is that it becomes monotonous, covering the same topics day after day. Many of our couples report that the content of their communication includes discussing the kids, their day, and what they have planned. In order for couples to regain the feeling of being close and connected, it is important to uncover their communication patterns and make changes to increase the depth and quality.
We work with couples to take surface-level communication to a deeper level, increasing understanding and empathy. We develop strategies for setting aside time for one another, as well as teach emotional communication, using Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy. Most couples report that increasing the depth of their communication helps them feel like a team, rather than just two people talking through a situation.
We also work with couples who have a difficult time problem solving. A common example of this is co-parenting. The first step in effective communication is listening, and this is made difficult by many factors, which we discuss with couples. Once a couple feels that both sides have been heard and understood, they are able to tackle problem solving as a cohesive unit, rather than defending opposing positions to “win” the argument. We find that couples who use these strategies rarely feel frustrated when they disagree, and they report feeling more understood and respected.