Improve Your Relationship with Couples and Marriage Counseling
Couples and marriage counseling can help you strengthen your connection as you learn to better understand yourself, your partner, why you are struggling as a couple, and what you can do about it.
you might be wondering -
Is it too late to save my relationship?
Do we really need professional help?
What does couples counseling look like?
Marriage & Couples Counseling
If you are considering marriage and couples therapy, you most likely have a list of things you wish were better in your relationship. You may also have an even more specific list of things you wish your partner would do differently or something your partner has done to hurt you. You may feel distant, jaded, bitter, checked out, insecure, unloved, undervalued, or just bored and unfulfilled.
Our couples and marriage counseling focuses on getting your relationship back on track. With so many external stressors like finances, work, family, and friends, it can be overwhelming to try to balance everything, including your relationship. If you feel like you're losing yourself, your partner, or both, then it might be time to consider counseling.
At the Kansas City Relationship Institute, LLC, relationships are our specialty! By looking at yourself, your partner, and your relationship in new ways, we help couples gain confidence and clarity about the next steps in their relationship. We are trained to help couples strengthen, restore, and build relationships that last and are worth wanting.
Couples and marriage counseling might seem intimidating, but it can be an empowering experience to get some direction on how to enrich your relationship. You and your partner might feel stuck and unable to move forward—this is a very normal feeling. Every long-term relationship feels strain at times, and couples often find themselves out of sync with one another. It doesn’t have to stay that way.
Are you and your partner stuck in a negative cycle?
- Do everyday conversations seem to turn instantly into bitter arguments, criticisms, defensiveness, or personal attacks?
- Do you feel like you're spinning your wheels, that you never get anywhere on the important issues that divide you?
- Do you avoid each other or certain conversations because you know nothing good ever comes from those conversations?
- Do you no longer feel connected and wonder what happened to the intimacy you used to share?
- Do you feel stuck and unsure if there is a way forward?
- Are you afraid you are beginning to live like roommates or have you been living like roommates for years?
- Do one or both of you take things personally more often than not?
- Has the revelation of an affair turned you and your relationship upside down?
- Do you wonder if it’s too late for your relationship, or if there’s just too much hurt to work through?
All of these concerns and more can be addressed and overcome in couples counseling if both partners are willing to self-reflect and work on improving the relationship.
Not Sure if Couples or Marriage Counseling is Best for You and Your Partner?
If you find yourself asking the questions mentioned above, then couples counseling might be the right path forward for you and your partner. Whatever the issues troubling your relationship, we most commonly hear partners who feel desperate for better communication to work through misunderstandings and hurt in their relationship.
In most of the cases we see at the Kansas City Relationship Institute, LLC, couples present with a negative conflict pattern that is usually a cycle on repeat—and usually, both partners are doing something significant to perpetuate that cycle. If you’re thinking about your own relationship patterns, you have probably tried what feels like a million different ways to curb this cycle, sometimes perhaps even going to extremes like the silent treatment, yelling to drown your partner out, or just trying to avoid certain topics forever. Unfortunately, many of the tactics partners use when they feel desperate are ineffective and often harmful to the relationship.
We work with couples to help them understand ineffective and negative conflict patterns and provide each partner with a new level of awareness of how to change those patterns. We often hear partners discuss specifics of what they feel their partner is doing wrong, which is normal and makes sense, especially if you feel hurt or rejected. We strive to help our couples learn ways to better understand their partner’s pain and unmet desires and become more self-aware about their own ineffective reactions to their personal pain and unmet desires. In better understanding your conflict cycle, emotional pain, insecurities, fears, and emotions, you and your partner will be better able to work through issues using the skills our clinicians will help you develop.
So What Will Your Couples Therapist do to Help?
Hopefully, after your first or second session with one of our relationship experts, you will have a clearer understanding of what you and your partner are doing to keep your ineffective and negative conflict cycle alive and well. After getting clearer on your ineffective patterns, you have two options:
Option 1: Focus on Your Partner's Role
You can try and remind your partner of their misdoings when you see them happening and hope your partner changes. This assumes that if your partner can change their bad habits, the cycle will be fixed because you won’t be so likely to repeat your own bad behavior - your bad behavior is probably in reaction to something your partner did to upset you.
Option 2: Focus on Your Role
You can try and focus on yourself and the role you play in fueling the conflict in your relationship, and hope and trust that your partner will do the same. You can try and remain invested in your own growth and change, recognizing that you will be much less likely to change if your partner is forcing you to versus you choosing to.
At the Kansas City Relationship Institute, LLC, we only work with Option 2. Why? Simply put, we believe that humans need to be personally invested in their own growth and change. When our partners try to tell us to change or what is wrong with us, we likely become defensive and/or hurt. When each partner is in charge of their own self-improvement, the changes that take place tend to be longer-lasting.
We believe that each of us contributes to the goodness in our relationships and we also have a part to play when things aren’t going as well. We’ll help you understand your unhelpful and ineffective patterns and the ways that you each contribute to these patterns. We will then help each of you develop the mindset and tools to create new, more effective patterns and ways of communicating that lead to deeper connection and intimacy.
Your couples therapist will work collaboratively with each of you to start self-work within your partnership to explore what areas you are willing to try and change.
What’s another name for self-work?
- Increasing self-awareness
What should I aim to learn about myself?
- What annoys me and why?
- What hurts me and why?
- What things am I doing as a partner that pull me away from the best version of myself?
- What am I most afraid of specific to this relationship?
- What am I most insecure about?
- How do my insecurities show up?
- What negative assumptions do I make about my partner?
What your couples therapist will be doing:
- Helping you clarify your values, growth areas, and goals
- Meeting you where you’re at but pushing you to grow
- Teaching you some new communication guidelines and skills
- Helping you develop an increased capacity to self-soothe, stay calm, and be the best version of yourself when you are heated
How Couples Counseling Works at the Kansas City Relationship Institute
The ineffective patterns we develop in our relationships aren’t created overnight—and neither are new, more effective, and connecting patterns. Most couples find that it takes a minimum of 3 months of meeting weekly or bi-weekly with their couples therapist before permanent changes take place.
Step 1: ID Negative Conflict Cycle
Couples counseling at the Kansas City Relationship Institute, LLC, typically starts with helping couples understand their negative conflict cycle, then moving toward a deeper understanding of the pain, fears, and insecurities that feed into behaviors that drive conflict.
Step 2: Determine Path Forward
This will provide a path forward to decreasing conflict so that you and your partner can work to increase positive connecting moments with each other. It is at this point where you and your partner start to identify where you personally can make changes to decrease conflict.
Step 3: Build Your New Skills
Once you and your partner feel like you have an understanding of what you can personally do differently to decrease conflict, your couples therapist will likely work with you in a combination of individual and couples therapy sessions to build skills around how to communicate about strong emotions such as anger, betrayal or hurt. This includes gaining a deeper understanding of the type of partner you want to be and where you personally want to improve and establishing goals for yourself that you work on together with your partner. As both partners actively work on smoothing out their rough edges, the relationship dynamics can start to change in drastic and positive ways.
Couples Counseling- The Next Step
Take Your Next Step
If you and your partner are ready to get back on track, then it’s time to take your next step. Talk to your partner to figure out what works best for you, contact us to learn more, and/or talk with a counselor to set up a time for your first couples counseling session. We can discuss our rates and the Relationship Investment Program.
Hourly rates range from $75-$150, depending on therapist experience. See our full list of rates and our Relationship Investment Program for more information.
Other Relationship Counseling Services
Are you looking for a jump-start to your couples counseling journey? If you want to get a taste of couples counseling, try our Couples Counseling Intensives. They are a shorter intensive version of our couples and marriage counseling designed to jump-start the counseling process. This first step usually decreases the total amount of time couples are seen in counseling or it provides a strong dose of marriage/couples counseling to get you and your partner back on track.
In addition to these services, the Kansas City Relationship Institute, LLC, offers a range of counseling services. Contact us today, and we can discuss what options are best for you and your relationship.