Being in a relationship is like a test; a test of how you treat yourself and how you treat others with whom you are intimate. There are three essential elements; you, your partner, and the feelings/energy/spirit between you. Therefore you must take care of and nurture the relationship in a balanced way while asking your partner to do the same.
Marriage and relationship counseling is a wonderful growing experience with a number of challenges. When relationships are not working, couples either seek out individual help so that they can nurture themselves or they might focus on the dynamics of the relationship.
My couples work is both similar and different from individual work. It is similar in that I would like to hear the stories of both partners, how they both have established relationship/intimacy patterns, and how they might use these patterns to nurture the relationship as well as the partner. Individual work may or may not aim for this as there might be a need for tighter boundaries. My general aim is to preserve relationships and at the same time, look at the possible consequences of preserving the relationship for both partners.
This process does overlap individual work by looking at nurturance of fondness and admiration, communication patterns, mutual influencing, solving problems, and creating shared meaning. Of course, being in relationship will bring up issues that you may not be aware of while out of a relationship.
This work is most successful when both partners understand that they both have unresolved issues, both want to be response-able, and both see a positive outcome for the work. There are some cases, however, where one person carries most of the responsibility for the relationship conflict.
I am located in Birmingham Al, convenient to Georgia Mississippi Georgia and Tennessee.