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Couples Counseling Can Help You Connect With Your Partner Again

Are you struggling to communicate with your partner, wondering why you can’t talk and laugh as easily as you did early in your relationship? Maybe you’re both circling around conflicts about libido-killing issues, from who always changes the diapers to how long the in-laws will be visiting. It’s also possible that you’ve been working so much that, to your dismay, you’re more intimate with your email than your partner. Are you finding it difficult to maintain balance in your life, and you just wish your relationship could be a place of mutual support and fun?

Are relationship problems eroding your sense of affection and arousal? It may feel that all the mystique and passion between you has been utterly drained. Instead of savoring real, loving interactions, you might be caught going through the motions of each day—physically together, but emotionally worlds apart.

When the communication and connection in your relationship are strained, it can feel as though you’re trying to talk under water… in two different languages… in two different lakes. Perhaps conversations that used to go easily are now devolving into finger pointing and blame, especially if your relationship has been rocked by a betrayal of trust. When you look for love, joy and connection, you might find nothing but stress, frustration and loneliness.

Do you wish you and your partner could once again feel like teammates, lovers and friends? Do you want to learn how to resolve conflict and ignite openness and intimacy?

Many Couples Face Distance and Strain

Difficulties with communication can drive a wedge in even the most loving relationship. The resulting disconnections can leave your relationship feeling like a cover band made up of first-time bagpipe players—out of sync, out of tune and just plain confusing.

While some relationships do erupt into explosive conflict, it’s more common for couples to suffer from more subtle, gradual changes. Over time, your relationship may have shifted into autopilot, while the thrill of being together started to flicker and fade. You might have forgotten what it was like when you and your partner could relax and have fun together. When there is a lack of passion and joy, it makes sense that you can’t connect. Instead, you’re both caught spinning in opposing currents.

The stress of working and raising a family can also damage relationships. Even if your family is stable, you and/or your partner might work long, strenuous hours. In our fast-paced, production-focused culture, many people feel guilty about prioritizing their relationships.

Even outside work, the growth and overuse of technology has caused many to feel less connected than ever before. We often focus more on social media and surfing the Internet than on the people around us. Like many people, you and your partner might communicate with emoji more than words and touch. While technology has its benefits, a text message is a poor replacement for the sound of your partner’s voice and the expression on their face.

The good news is that there is help and hope. With the guidance and support of an experienced, sex-positive therapist, you and your partner can get to the root of your issues and learn how to communicate and connect with ease and enjoyment again.

Fertility Therapy

Dr. Libby works with couples who are either patients at fertility clinics or who are considering a fertility clinic among other options because of difficulty having sex or achieving pregnancy.

Couples have found that a few sessions can ease their anxiety about reproducing, and about making love during the fertile period around ovulation. Some couples may be nervous about having sex during this period, and as a result some men experience ED or they do not ejaculate. Similarly, some women are anxious about being in the mood so they can have intercourse under what for some is a very stressful time.

As with all of his sex therapy and couples counseling, Dr. Libby uses cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) to facilitate the easing of mind and body, and to get at the intricate mind/body/relationship connections. When couples have difficulty conceiving, they are subject to anxious thoughts and emotions, which then affect their behavior with each other.

Dr. Libby always develops a treatment plan to solve the fertility puzzle. He is more than a “how do you feel?” therapist. He uses humor and commonsense to help couples achieve their goals in an effective and often entertaining way in fertility therapy.

Fertility clinics have been a source of referrals for Dr. Libby, and when appropriate, he refers to fertility clinics as well. Dr. Libby’s experience and credentials make him the best choice for sex therapy and couples counseling.

How I Do Couples Counseling

No matter what you and your partner are struggling about, my counseling approach tosses out shame and blame to focus on curious collaboration. The hurt and frustration you might be feeling are serious things, but I truly believe that your relationship is not doomed. Counseling sessions aren’t a funeral—they’re a space for play, exploration, and renewal.

As an ASSECT-certified sex therapist, I offer sex-positive counseling, which means that I won’t stop with simply addressing the issues that have brought you into therapy. I’ll also help investigate ways you can lower your inhibitions and spark new desire for one another. With my nonjudgmental guidance, you can rediscover shared attraction and create rich, rewarding intimacy.

As we begin couples therapy, I will meet with each of you individually to better understand both sides of your relationship problems, as well as each partner’s innermost hopes, wants and needs. Then, we’ll meet together in order to create an individualized therapy plan that best addresses and supports your personalities, histories, and therapy goals.

I’ll encourage you to keep working on your relationship at home between sessions. I take a multimedia approach in the assigned work I offer, and I will provide you with supports and practices that range from journaling prompts to engaging videos. I will also ask you to schedule your own weekly time to discuss issues at home. After all, the key to learning to listen and talk to each other is… listening and talking with—not past—each other!

Because of these additional activities, couples counseling is generally not a lengthy process. If both you and your partner are truly committed to improving your relationship and are willing to fully engage in therapy, you can usually build a stronger and more satisfying relationship fairly quickly.

Relationship problems can be challenging to discuss, which is why I create a relaxing, welcoming environment, where you don’t have to put on a front. I laugh at myself and I invite you and your partner to do the same—without poking fun at each other’s feelings. It’s important that you recover the fun in your relationship, and an environment that promotes laughter really helps!

Couples Counseling Can Help You Rediscover Emotional and Physical Intimacy

Marriage and other intimate relationships should be part of our lives—not our whole lives! Unfortunately, in America most see a marriage as all of their life, with no privacy for each person. There is a line between privacy and secrecy that each couple must find. Most people do not even discuss what is OK to be private.

When we try to make any intimate relationship meet all of our desires and needs, we overtax the relationship, making it more likely that it will fall apart. Friends, including mutual friends, support a relationship. They are mirrors for all of us. They meet some of our needs. It is not likely that we can meet all of our needs in one relationship. For some couples, this includes sex by consent with others, and for others, this includes anything but sex with others.

We cannot all fit into the same mold. There are marriages, not just marriage. We need to suit our relationship boundaries and needs to each of us in the relationship.

All of what I have said here applies to those who choose to be polyamorous, to swing, or to have an open relationship. I deal with these couples and their other relationships and experiences too.

We are not all alike. We have our own values, goals, and needs, and we have our own personality. This is why no one definition of a marriage or other intimate bond can possibly work for all people. My couples counseling and sex therapy practice addresses all of these issues with sensitivity, clarity, and honesty.

After over 40 years of doing relationship and sex therapy, I know how to fully appreciate the complexity of relationship issues. By utilizing humor, expertise and an individualized therapy plan, I can help you reconnect with your lover.

You understand the couples and marriage counseling process a little more deeply now, but still may have questions or concerns, such as…

We don’t need help with our relationship. We can figure this out on our own.

If you are experiencing communication and connection issues, it is vital to the health of your relationship that you seek help. Most often, issues do not resolve without professional guidance. In fact, they can worsen if left unaddressed. By working with an experienced couples’ therapist who takes a nontraditional approach, it is possible to restore the connection in your relationship.

We’re concerned about costs and time required by couples counseling.

Your future with your significant other is something worth investing in. With therapy, you can remember that you really do like your partner, even with those weird sounds they make when they’re sleeping and their tendency to lose the thread of a conversation. After all, you likely want to improve your communication because your partner is someone you genuinely want to talk to. You want to share your inner world, with all your experiences, emotions and hopes, and gain some access to theirs.

Additionally, my work with couples is usually short-term and can be completed relatively quickly if you both commit to the work both in and out of my office.

I also offer receipts, which usually get some insurance reimbursement for those out of network. Most insurances cover about half my fee out of network. I will help you navigate the insurance issue.

My partner does not want to come to sessions.

It is very important that I see both of you to determine and solve the underlying issues in your relationship. Neither of you created the problem alone, which means neither of you can fix it alone.

Sometimes I see one partner before the other agrees to come in. Explaining how important collaboration is for rebuilding your relationship may help your significant other understand the need for their participation.

If either you or your partner fear that I’ll take sides, know that I am only and completely on the side of your relationship. No matter what has triggered this fissure in your relationship, I emphasize not blaming each other, as this results in spinning your wheels in the proverbial sand. There is a better way to thrive in your relationship—together.

Your Relationship Deserves Revival

Feel free to give me a call at 206-244-8788 or 360-394-4568 to set up an appointment. I’m happy to talk with you about couples counseling, as well as answer any questions you have about my practice in Seattle, WA.

I work with all couples—heterosexual, gay and lesbian; monogamous, non-monogamous and polyamorous, etc. I am not here to judge, but to help you improve their intimacy and your fun.