Serious about making personal changes. Finding fault with a partner is easy; seeing and changing our own contributions to marital discord is hard. Here are some relationship-building habits we help individuals develop.
- Mindfulness vs. Defensiveness. “I actually might be guilty of wrong words, actions or attitudes in this relationship.”
- Self examination vs. Blame. “My partner’s wrong words, actions, and attitudes might not be 100% responsible for our relationship problems.”
- Negotiation vs. Anger. “You hurt my feelings, but this doesn’t mean I can rage at you any time I want.”
- Differentiation vs. smothering enmeshment. “Two becoming one doesn’t mean one soul in two bodies”
- Realistic vs. Unrealistic expectations. “I know when I’m expecting too much.”
- Freedom vs. Control. “My moods do not depend on your behavior.”
- Assertiveness vs. Avoidance. “I don’t want to talk about it…but I will.”
- Responding vs. Reactivity. “I will not let one tiny irritation send me into orbit!”
- Resiliency vs. Hypersensitivity. “I won’t take things personally but believe you did not offend me on purpose.”
- Desire vs. Aloofness. “I will forsake all others and cling to my partner.”
- Truth telling vs. Lying. “I will gently but honestly tell the truth even if it hurts me or isn’t what you want to hear.”
Baffled. Balancing “We” with “Me” is hard. Long term intimate relationships need lots of connection and lots of freedom. Putting these together is a challenge for every couple. If you feel stuck, welcome to marriage! It’s our joy to help couples get unstuck and create a satisfying relationship for both of you.
Teachable. Are you willing to see couple conflict as an opportunity for personal growth? Blending two lives forces us to work on self control, calm responses, long suffering, and differentiation.
Creative. The ability to connect the dots works wonders in relationships. We’ll show you how to approach conflict resolution from a variety of directions. There’s more than one way to solve a problem. Recognize co-created chaos with the funny name of Schismogenesis. Manage your partner’s irritating mannerisms. Respond to an emotionally distant spouse. Unpack baggage from your past.
Willing. Counseling is voluntary. Forcing your partner to go to counseling feels controlling, coercive, manipulative, and rarely works. If your partner refuses to come in we don’t encourage forcing them; it’s usually a waste of time and money. Instead we suggest you come alone and we’ll brainstorm new options on what to do next.
Erik will not be a good fit for you if you need a psychological evaluation; Erik does not diagnose or treat mental illness, drug/alcohol addiction, or eating disorders.
If you’re ready to set up a first appointment click either the forms button or contact button on the top of this page.