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Couples Therapy | Building foundations.


Couples are unique relationships, in how they identify themselves and define their relationship, and how it develops/evolves throughout their existence, which is recursive. Because of the uniqueness of couples' relational dynamics, there is no surprise that there are specific therapeutic approaches that are effective in working with them accordingly, such as Gottman and Emotional Focused Couples Therapy; others may include Solution Focused, or CBT, to name a few. Fundamentally across the therapeutic approaches, it is essential to validate and normalize some of the challenges the couple is facing, acknowledging the unique attributes (type of attachment, communication style, love language, cultural beliefs and influences (not limited to ethnicity but also, cohort, communities, groups identify with, etc.), diversities (gender, SES, disabilities, etc.), and so forth) each individual brings to the relationship and how that influences their interactions accordingly.


Dr. Arias Shah respects and acknowledges the uniqueness of the different types of couples, as she is mindful and intentional in understanding in considering that uniqueness (heterosexual and LGBTQ relationships, multiracial and multilingual relationships, disabilities, ) in identifying appropriate evidence-based practice for such couples and their unique circumstances accordingly. Take comfort, Dr. Arias Shah does not intend to be the expert of the couple's relationship, but instead of the therapeutic process, as she collaborates with the couples on working towards their identified goal/s (may change at some point in the therapeutic journey).


Therapy can help couples develop the insight and skills needed: to identify their apparent vicious cycles; to externalize the problem (the problem is not the individuals in the couple, but instead the problem is the problem; that will look different across couples, but its typically the interaction (the way couple interacts with the problem- how they respond to another and the situation), which depends on potentially some of the attributes noted earlier); to process emotions; to identify their needs and wants effectively; to improve communication skills; to be mindful of another and the relationship; to commit to nurturing the relationship; to address and cope with infidelities (physical, emotional, and virtual); to rebuild trust and forgiveness; to regain a partnership that allows them to tackle challenges and griefs (hardships (work, finances, moves, death, etc.); to develop parenting skills; to address separation and/or divorce; to prepare and be a blended family; on so forth.


Note, if in the chance the couple relationship is hostile such as current domestic violence (all victims are encouraged to seek help immediately from the proper authorities (police), as well as family/friends, and professionals (therapists, MD, Church, etc.)), it is recommended that the individuals seek their own counseling at least initially to assure safety and for each to gain to space and time to process and build/develop the necessary insight and skills it might take for them to be healthier individuals and then work on their relationship/s accordingly.


Disclaimer -Therapy does not guarantee couples are staying together. In fact, some couples seek divorce/separation counseling accordingly

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