Couples Therapy in Charlotte, NC

Why do Couples Seek a Therapist for Help?

Couples come to therapy often with a multitude of complaints about their partner. Often diagnosis involves acquiring a detailed understanding of the issues, behaviors, frustrations, losses, hurts, and loss of connection each partner is experiencing.

Over time, there may be patterns of behavior or communication that negatively impacts a couple and/or family. Many times, as hard as they try to resolve the conflict on their own, couples may continue to fall back into learned patterns that affect the couple’s ability to relate and connect with each other and cause disengagement and loss of attachment in relationships. Sometimes couples no longer know how to relate after their child-rearing days are over.

What Else can Cause People to Need Couples Therapy?

Causes can be as simple as a loss or lack of communication or disparate ways of communicating. Sometimes couples have suffered serious losses and betrayals in their relationship that are known but never discussed. Couples are increasingly stressed by work and the impact of culture and social media.

Sometimes one or both partner turns toward substances, porn, shopping, solo activities that give an indication that the couple is struggling. Often times couples argue over issues pertaining to money, sex, or family. The real hidden issues emerge over time which may include power struggles, feelings of abandonment and disengagement, anger, or need for excitement which may be missing in the relationship. Sometimes couples no longer know how to relate after their child-rearing days are over, especially if pregnancy occurred during the early stages of the relationship.

What Types of Approaches are Used in Couples’ Therapy?

Dr. Scheel may use varying methods in order to get couples on the right path. Some of the methods used are as follows:

  • Insight-oriented psychotherapy – most useful where couples understand what their needs are and how they are camouflaging their needs or expressing them via arguments or disengagement. Helping couples speak the truth about their feelings, wants, and desires are critical.
  • Cognitive/behavioral treatment- issues are re-framed so that each person can understand the feelings and beliefs of their partner in order to gain acceptance that different perceptions and perspectives are valid.
  • Attachment Theory – enables couples to understand their “style” of attachment in relationships so that better understanding can occur in circumventing old patterns. For instance, if one partner has an avoidant attachment style they may retreat under duress leaving their partner feeling abandoned or anxious, particularly if the other partner has an ‘anxious attachment’ style. Couples can then learn how to understand and respond to each other styles in empathic ways.

Helping couples create a relational infrastructure and repair damaged relationships is a strong component to healing as a couples therapist. Treatment of sex and sexuality issues require utilizing insight-oriented and relational psychotherapy and addressing symptoms, when occurring, with Cognitive Behavioral Treatment. Exercises are often given for couples to discuss in sessions and to carry out at home. Couples are encouraged to discuss their experiences when they return to their next appointment.