Underneath the various patterns we find ourselves repeating, within ourselves have the potential to be present in our relationships. Whether we are fighting to be heard, seen, listened to, or to feel validated by our partner, these patterns and coping strategies often find their way into our intimate relationships.

At times, the struggles that we face in relationships to another can be tracked back to deeper feelings of disconnection. This can lead to mistrust, conflict, loneliness or emotional distance within the relationship. There is almost always a pattern, a cycle, that we become stuck in with our partner.

Couples therapy is one way to address the ongoing cycle and find compassion for each. Couples often come to therapy too late in the relationship, after someone has burnt out and is seeking a last resort. It does not have to be.

It is hard to ask someone outside the relationship for help or perspective because we all have friends and family to do that for us. Therapy can be a neutral, objective space to learn skills, or see if your relationship is salvageable.

Further reading


The Gottman Institute


Dr. Sue Johnson: Creating Connections


2401 Stanwell Drive

Suite 460, Office #2

Concord CA, 94520



Tel: (925) 338-1556

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© 2020 by Donna Christianson, MA, AMFT #101873

Supervised by Kathleen Benitez, LCSW #17747

Practicing through the auspices of Grateful Heart Holistic Therapy Center, a nonprofit organization providing affordable counseling & psychotherapy services to adults, children & adolescents, couples and families throughout the greater San Francisco Bay Area.