Relationships are one of the most important parts of our lives and help determine our happiness, health, well-being, longevity and resilience in life. A great relationship can be healing. A difficult relationship can cause high levels of stress, frustration and overwhelm–even hopelessness. We seem to choose partners that are similar to use in some ways, yet different in other ways, and those differences can be sources of irritation. It can make a big difference to get some outside support in identifying those differences with greater clarity, developing strategies to minimize the irritations they can cause, and practice dealing with those differences smoothly so they don’t wreak havoc or cause resentment.
Here at Austin Professional Counseling, we specialize in the latest science-based approaches to relationship health and counseling. Through the direction of nationally-known couples therapy educator John Howard, we incorporate the latest neuroscience, attachment theory, change research and related disciplines including couples therapy models like Gottman Model Couples Therapy, PACT (Dr. Stan Tatkin), and Sue Johnson’s EFT (Emotion-Focused Therapy for Couples). We know that a great couples therapist must be neutral between two sides, be able to empathize with multiple perspectives, and help you reach a common goal of harmony, fun, ease and happiness.
We also help singles date effectively, select quality partners, and start relationships off on the right foot. Peter Craig and John Howard help individuals alleviate some of the frustration connected to dating while clarifying important qualities being sought in a partner and developing dating strategies that work. For individuals who need support improving their interpersonal skills so they can form connections and then deep bonds with others, we offer a combination of individual coaching and group therapy to sharpen critical relationship skills.
John is one of the top couples therapists in the U.S. and brings an unusual level of expertise to helping couples navigate their relationship. Peter and Leah work closely with John and in their own practices, help singles and couples navigate their relationship lives more skillfully. The old approach to couples therapy was for the therapist to listen to each partner, their complaints, and dreams, and mediate between the partners, occasionally siding with one partner or another based on the therapist’s knowledge of relationship health. The problem with this approach was that one or both partners would feel blamed or criticized in session, and they would then have to remember what the therapist recommended to do when they got home. The new approach is to challenge you as a couple to come up with joint goals and dreams, and then practice difficult scenarios in session until better skills are wired into your automatic motor memory. That way you are gaining real relationship skill each and every session, and the therapist will encourage you to collaborate rather than complain about one another.
Relationships are sacred. Any investment you put into yours typically pays off many many times over, in the happiness of your kids, in your stress levels, your health, and your own well-being. You can trust us to support your relationship in the best way possible, with the most advanced understandings and methods, and led by John’s many years of experience working with couples and teaching couples therapists nationwide. The research suggests you should always come in to get relationship support before you think you need to, as most couples wait too long to get the best outcome from couples therapy. So come in and see the power of proactive couples therapy to help you develop better loving habits and a more peaceful coexistence!