Speaking The Same Language: Communication In Couples Counseling
What Do Your (And Your Partner’s) Communication Concerns Look Like?
How do you talk to each other as a couple? Are you speaking the same language? How do you ask for help? How do you express pain? Are you hearing each other? How do we learn to talk? What are the obstacles to talking? What’s the relationship between not talking and being close? How do your emotions interfere with your ability to hear and speak in a manner that helps your partner hear you?
Nearly every couple who reaches out to us for couples therapy cites communication concerns among their list of things they need help with. When we dig in, however, it’s clear every couple means different things by this. Sometimes it’s a challenge with arguing, feeling distant from one another, punishing by being withholding, avoiding conflict or struggling with big decisions. We help couples bring clarity to what they mean by communication so we’re sure to tackle the right issue.
Communication As Closeness
Being heard is essential in a relationship, but at best, we can only go through the motions–convey the experience of hearing (follow the rules of communication)–unless we’re willing to be close to our partner. We help couples develop as communicators not just by establishing some “best practices” and helping couples build their skills at using them, but also by examining what’s needed for both people to be available for the closeness that comes with better communication.