Couples Counseling

Is Your Relationship Not What You Hoped It Would Be?

Couples-Counseling-Brooklyn-Tonya-LesterYou may feel exhausted, drained and lonely. Maybe you can barely recognize your partner as the person you fell in love with. Or, you can barely recognize yourself. It may be as if all of the color has been sucked out of your life together, and everything feels dull and cold. Perhaps, ever since you had kids, everything feels lopsided, and you don’t know how much more you have to give. Most days, it might seem like all of the responsibilities land on you and you feel resentful and angry. You might be asking yourself, “Isn’t this supposed to be a partnership?” Maybe you can’t remember that last time you felt really close to your partner and fear that you’ll never feel that way again. When you think about leaving, your stomach may lurch you imagine how hard it would be to start a new life. How you would ever get on your feet financially? Would you ever find anyone else? But if you stay, all you can imagine are years more of the same: cold silences, heated arguments, and half-hearted promises to each other to try harder. The one thing you really want is to be part of a loving, dynamic, partnership. The certainty that you two are facing the world together. On your wedding day, maybe that felt inevitable, but now, impossible.

You Are Not Alone

Everyone brings their past with them into their relationships. Maybe you are a child of divorce and swore you would not let your own marriage disintegrate. Or, maybe your parents had a long, loving partnership that looked effortless, and you assumed it would be that way for you too. Or worse, perhaps your parents had a terrible marriage but stayed together and were miserable anyway. Now, you find yourself recreating that terrible pattern. In today’s society, where so much is expected of people as parents, working professionals and community members, it is easy to let marriages slide until you suddenly wake up and don’t recognize yourself or your partner. The spark that lit up your early time together has faded, and you do not know how to get it back. But, there is hope. With help, you can begin to reconnect with your partner.

There Is Another Way

Although they may appear perfect from the outside, even the strongest couples have bumps in the road. Many couples have been where you are and, with the help of a knowledgeable therapist, regained their footing as a couple and re-committed to meeting each other’s needs and re-creating a passionate connection. It takes work, but a much improved, satisfying relationship is possible if you can learn better ways to communicate, connect lovingly and approach your life together as a solid, but flexible partnership. In my practice, couples counseling involves skill building in the following areas:

  • Communication
  • Identifying and meeting each other’s needs
  • Ending the unnecessary power struggles that can sink a relationship
  • Allowing more pleasure into your relationship.

My clients describe me as caring, smart, non-judgmental, intuitive and fair-minded. My approach to couples counseling is goal-oriented, with an aim that every session provides valuable insight and moves you measurably toward your goals. Together, we can work through the issues that are driving you and your partner apart. You don’t need to feel isolated, lonely, and unsatisfied in your relationship anymore. You can move toward a fulfilling, connected partnership. You may believe that you and your partner can benefit from couples counseling, but still might have questions or concerns…

Does Couples Counseling Even Work?

Many couples are skeptical about the effectiveness of couples counseling, especially if they have already tried it and had a negative or mediocre experience. Frankly, there are many therapists without a lot of experience doing this work who shy away from getting to the heart of conflict and avoid having the difficult conversations. My method involves authentic communication, understanding of the other’s deepest needs, and finding a balance of togetherness and separateness that you are both comfortable with.

What If It’s Too Late for Us?

The truth is, it might be too late. Not every couple is meant to be together forever. If being together means you are both living at half capacity, then you should separate. But don’t you owe it to yourself, your partner, and your family to give it your best shot? And if you decide to end your marriage, to do it in a respectful, conscious, even loving way? This is possible with the right support. In sessions, we can explore these questions and ways to make sure that you and your partner have the understanding to move forward.

My Partner Would Never Agree to Couples Counseling!

Believe it or not, it only takes one person changing to change a relationship. If you are unhappy in your relationship, take the initiative to get help on your own. Who knows? Your partner might come around once he or she sees the improvements you are experiencing, especially as you develop communication skills If not, you’ll come away with a variety of tools and insights to improve your relationship.

Okay, We’re Ready to Give Couples Therapy a Shot. Why Should We Pick You? In the words of one of my peers:

I send my most challenging clients and their partners to Tonya. She is a dynamic couples therapist, helping partners work through complex patterns of conflict often brought along by each individual’s personal experiences. She has a unique ease in helping people gain further acceptance of one’s self, one’s strengths and one’s struggles, while encouraging greater understanding and empathy for one’s partner. This allows each partner to focus more successfully on his or her own individual responsibility within a relationship. Tonya is sharp and is extremely successful at encouraging couples growth for the long term. – Brian Malamet, LCSW

You Can Reconnect With Yourself and Your Partner

The quality of our relationships determines the quality of our lives. There is no more worthy investment than in making your primary relationship the best it can be. If this all sounds good to you, I invite you to give me a call 212-242-3149 for a free phone conversation to learn more about couples counseling and my practice.

To schedule an appointment with me, click here.