Los Angeles Psychotherapy for Relationship Problems
"Before I started working with Dr. Raymond I thought relationships were dangerous, scary and unsafe. After working with Dr. Raymond I have come to see relationships as fun, wonderful and the spice of life." Forty-two year old entrepreneur and single mother.
Relationship advice psychotherapy will help you master the 8 most important problem areas that you face in your intimate relationships.
You will learn:
1. How to take the guess work out of relationships
Benefit: you act with more confidence, communicate with greater certainty, and reduce misunderstandings that make your connections unnecessarily stressful.
When you don’t know what’s going on inside your partner, you have to take stabs in the dark and risk being wrong. You don’t know if they want you near them or need some space. You wonder if they would welcome an embrace or feel suffocated. Maybe you want to talk and be close but you have no idea if they are in the mood to communicate or not. Sometimes you fear approaching your partner with a problem or issue because you have no idea if they will explode, ignore you, or participate with you. The constant guess work is intricate and makes you insecure. Relationship advice psychotherapy helps you take the guess work out of relationships so you stay connected and maintain closeness.
Marriage counseling helps you and your partner acknowledge and provide feedback on the missing pieces of information that each of you need to have in order to stop guessing and feel safe enough to act.
2. How to read your partner accurately so you can enjoy comfortable intimacy
Benefit: you feel closer and more secure. You can relax, be yourself and be available for the love that comes your way. You can also give love and affection without worrying about being used or betrayed.
It’s frustrating and stressful when you can’t read your partner’s reactions accurately. Are they feeling okay, are they mad at you or are they not even thinking about you? When you can’t read your partner you are left with imagining and making up the best fit that matches what you perceive. For example you see a certain look on your partner’s face and you interpret it as disapproval. You feel bad, unloved and unwanted. You get upset and start a fight or walk away. You and your partner drift apart and can’t communicate because you misread your partner. Then your partner misreads your response. When you walk away or fight, your partner interprets it as you being hostile or withdrawing when you are actually feeling hurt and disapproved of. Psychotherapy can help you use empathy to read your partner so that it becomes an easy, natural and automatic part of your relationship.
Couples counseling helps you and your partner read each other so that you don’t have to work hard to spell everything out and get frustrated in that process with no guarantee of success.
photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
3. How to get your partner to tune into you from genuine interest and desire.
Benefit: you aren’t permanently frustrated, or conflicted about what to do next with your partner. Relationship advice psychotherapy guides you on the most natural and effective ways to express the stress you feel when you and your partner are not in tune with one another. You get to practice sharing your experience of being left out in the cold so that your loved one appreciates what it is like to be in your shoes. You also get to communicate how difficult it is for you to tune into your partner when you are overwhelmed with uncertainty and fear of saying the wrong thing or making the wrong move.
Marriage counseling can help you and your partner synch with each others emotional rhythms so that you understand each other better. Learning to tune into one another builds safety and trust, which is the key to healthy intimacy.
4. How to put words to your confusing feelings and avoid communication problems
Benefit: You will get taken seriously instead of being ignored or dismissed when you learn to speak clearly, without shame, guilt, fear or stress. Instead of hoping your loved ones will get the message if you give them the cold shoulder or refuse affection, you get certainty about getting through to them. Rather than get angry at having to do all the work to get your message across, relationship counseling enables you to clear up the messy emotions that obscure your message and get the core information out so that you get the appropriate response.
Psychotherapy helps you accept and own your feelings so that they are no longer dirty or unacceptable. When you have the right words to express your fears, frustrations, stresses and wants, then you have an excellent chance of communicating with your partner in an impactful way.
Relationship counseling helps you communicate your wishes without the fear or shame of feeling needy or weak. You won’t have to suffer the stress of trying to carry the weight all alone.
photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
5. How to understand and manage the strong emotions that block intimacy
Benefit: when you understand your strong feelings you are in charge of them. You can use them to explain how you are impacted by your partner’s behavior so that you will get heard and attended to. You will also be able to understand and identify with the same feelings in your partner. So instead of competing for who has the right to be angry or who should feel guilty, you build bridges of emotional intimacy and open yourself up to the love and tenderness that is available to you. Psychotherapy helps you to use your intense feelings as guides rather than see them as relationship problems that need fixing.
6. How to find the right balance of responsibility and commitment towards your partner
Benefit: you don’t burden yourself with unnecessary guilt and responsibility.
When you want to make a relationship work you are often willing to take on all the responsibility and do all the work just to get that feeling of being wanted and secure. But as time goes on, you begin to feel burdened and resentful. You don’t want to do it anymore, but you feel guilty about it, as if you are breaking loose the bonds of connection. You’re afraid of complaining and asking your partner to do their share. So you get a large dose of relationship stress that can and often does make you sick.
Relationship advice psychotherapy can help you figure out what is your personal level of responsibility and commitment so that you can maintain clear boundaries without fear of losing your partner.
Couples counseling offers you and your partner a road map that allows you to navigate the maze of loyalty, commitment and responsibilities you have towards one another as you journey through life together.
photograph copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
7. How to recognize when you need to protect yourself versus when you need to be more open.
Benefit: You will be able to keep your emotions on an even keel instead of feeling on top of the world one minute and a waste of space the next minute.
When you make huge efforts to make your relationship work by giving in, compromising, and sacrificing your wishes and needs you exact a heavy toll on yourself. Your hope that your efforts and sacrifices will be noticed and reciprocated but you get bitterly disappointed and feel betrayed when your partner is oblivious to the strain you are under. You wonder whether you should be open about your hurt and disappointment, or protect yourself from your partner’s attack. Psychotherapy can help you learn how to be open and still feel properly protected against fears of being used, taken advantage of, or misunderstood and dismissed.
8. How to recognize signs of loyalty, reliability and love in your partner
Benefit: you aren’t torturing yourself with worry about being taken for a ride and getting burned again.
The stress of not knowing whether your partner can be trusted to be consistently loyal and reliable makes you insecure. You are constantly on the lookout for signs of betrayal and a loss of interest in you. The intense and constant vigilance you keep up is stressful. You have no room for softness and love because that would mean taking your eye off the ball. Unfortunately you miss out on healthy intimacy while you are filled with worry about being let down. Relationship advice psychotherapy gives you the tools you need to recognize signs of loyalty, commitment and reliability that you overlook. Your fears are soothed and you build trust, safety and security in your relationship.
Your partner may feel hurt and angry that their way of showing loyalty love and commitment is not good enough for you. Perhaps you feel the same way yourself when your efforts are not acknowledged. Marriage and/or couples counseling provides a new theater where you and your partner can learn and practice recognizing the signs of love, loyalty and commitment that each of you demonstrate so that you both have constant proof of love and connection.
Copyright, Jeanette Raymond, Ph.D.
“Today I realized again I could not know myself without you. I understand why it takes two. It is because of you I know what it is like to be seen, heard, loved and accepted. I feel so many feelings now without fear because you sat with me. The feelings that for so long were so hard to bear have become tolerable and easier to share. Now when I am out there, I feel real and know that I am.” A grateful client’s poem expressing her struggle to fix herself so she could have fulfilling relationships until the painful realization that she couldn’t do it on her own.
so make your appointment and start enjoying your relationships
Los Angeles Westside Psychotherapy for Relationship Problems