Written by Rochelle Matthews Stoltzfus, LPC, our couples counselor.
My goal in couples therapy is helping couples build insight, become healthier as individuals, and take action on practices that build healthier relationship with one another. We identify individual and couple strengths that can be used towards building the relationship and a satisfying life together.
I work with partners to build insight on their values, goals, and vision for their relationship. Together we explore their history, expectations, current stressors (both inside and outside the couple), and relational dynamics and patterns. We pay attention to beliefs and behaviors that block or build love and trust. I provide education and encouragement towards skills for connection – including assertive communication, reflective listening, vulnerability, and empathy.
My treatment approach revolves around the premise that a healthy partnership involves both individuals striving to be healthy individuals in healthy connection with the other.
Each individual has personal rights and responsibilities. Each partner is free to have their own thoughts, feelings, beliefs, and values. They may invest in their own dreams, interests, and relationships. Assertiveness, boundaries, and self-care are encouraged.
In therapy, we work towards healthy connection when we practice sharing, listening, understanding, and empathizing. Strengthening the relationship through acts of love, sacrifice, generosity, forgiveness, and support are valued. Great attention is paid to building trust and strong secure attachment. We work together to create new patterns in the relationship, where each individual grows in their ability to be emotionally responsive. Emotional responsiveness is a practice that allows each to feel safe in the relationship knowing they can rely on and reach their partner and know they are valued and loved.
If you are interested in counseling theory, in my work with couples I draw from Family Systems, Emotionally Focused, and Narrative Therapy.