Barkley Therapy

(213) 700-5372

Couples and Family

Couples Counseling in Burbank, Santa Clarita, and Beyond

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Unlike the movies, real-life relationships don't automatically end with a happily ever after. Marriage or commitment is only the beginning of a lifelong endeavor that will have many twists and turns. After the excitement wears off, relationships require work to be successful. Couples must choose to love and care for each other and make sacrifices every day - even when the going gets tough. Over time, people change and grow, both as a couple and individually but not necessarily at the same pace or in the same direction. As a result, you and your partner may need help to navigate those changes or relearn how to communicate.

Many people view couples therapy as a last-ditch effort to save a broken relationship, an attempt to change undesirable aspects of a partner, or necessary only for healing extreme issues. Yet, seeking couples counseling before things get out of hand not only can save your relationship, it can make it stronger. If you are uncertain whether couples counseling can help you and your partner build a stronger, more connected partnership, it is worth talking to a relationship specialist to learn if and how your relationship can be helped.

What causes relationship problems?

The idea of true love and soul mates is pervasive in our culture and promotes the idea that you should always feel madly in love with your partner. If you fight or do not feel butterflies every time you see each other, you might be concerned that you are just not right for each other. For some couples, that may be true. But most couples' feelings wax and wane and face changes or obstacles both together and individually throughout the course of their relationship.

Regardless of how solid your relationship is, everyone has bad days and experiences struggles from time to time. A partnership between two people is going to have occasional conflict. How you work through and solve those conflicts (or do not) will affect your relationship over the long term. If you do not address the core of your struggles, it is easy to fall into patterns of dysfunction that can tear your relationship apart. A partnership filled with conflict or even apathy may continue to decline without the intervention of a relationship counselor until one or both of you are no longer invested. When this happens, even a previously healthy relationship can devolve into deception and dissatisfaction, or end acrimoniously.

How to know when to seek help

There is a perception that by the time couples consider counseling, it is already too late - or that only couples dealing with significant problems such as cheating or addiction need the help of a relationship counselor. As a result, couples who would benefit and thrive from working with a relationship specialist may go years struggling through problems on their own. Many unhappy couples spend years fighting, and ultimately decide to end a relationship that could have been saved.

Problems for which you and your partner might benefit from the assistance of a relationship counselor include:

  • A significant betrayal such as infidelity, financial problems, sexual difficulties, or addiction
  • Repeating the same fights without resolution
  • Communication problems
  • Boundary issues
  • Feelings of jealousy or resentment
  • Difficulty adjusting to parenthood
  • Emotional affairs
  • Deprioritizing the relationship
  • Loss or lack of trust
  • Conflicts over important opinions or decisions on issues like parenting or religion
  • Undergoing stressful life events like infertility or health issues
  • One or both partners considering ending the relationship
  • Pre-wedding counseling to assess readiness
  • Assistance with a blended family
  • Working out different expectations or goals

If you or your partner is unhappy and question your relationship, or you are struggling to communicate, couples therapy can address the issues you are facing. Perhaps you are not sure what the problem is, yet feel something is wrong. I can help you uncover underlying problems giving you pause or concern.

Benefits of therapy

Typically, couples come to relationship counseling together for joint sessions. During couples therapy sessions, you will each have the opportunity to share your concerns and perspectives on what is happening in the relationship. As a relationship specialist, I can help you learn to communicate openly, solve problems together, and understand and appreciate your differences.

My role as a relationship counselor is to provide a safe space for you to discuss your problems and examine unhealthy patterns or habits you may be stuck in. I offer couples counseling in Burbank, Santa Clarita, and remotely throughout the state of California, to help you learn to recognize your triggers or frequent sources of conflicts so you can interrupt them before they evolve into a fight or problem.

If you and your partner are dealing with problems that seem too challenging to overcome, don't be afraid to seek help. You chose to be with your partner for a reason. Through relationship counseling, I can help you rediscover why. Give me a call today to build a healthier, stronger relationship that withstands the test of time.

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