Is Your Relationship Stuck?

  • Do the same problems keep coming up over and over?
  • Are you constantly fighting but nothing seems to get resolved?
  • Do small disagreements seem to escalate and become major problems?
  • Have you and your partner given up on communicating with each other?
  • Are you worried that you are heading towards a separation or divorce?
  • Do you want to break free of painful patterns of relating so that you can have a fulfilling relationship in the future?

All relationships have their ups and downs.

Relationship Ups and Downs

The road to an intimate, satisfying and emotionally mature relationship can be painful and bumpy. There are good times and hard times. Couples who work through the rough times tend to develop stronger bonds that make their relationships more satisfying.

But when couples are unable to overcome the difficult times, their relationship starts to feel stuck. Frustration and anger builds and resentments increase.

When you are at this point in your relationship, you are probably wondering how you got here.

What happened to the hopes and dreams you had at the beginning of your relationship?

How did the feelings you once had for each other change so much?

It can be really painful to realize that your relationship hasn’t turned out the way you thought it would.

Even with the best of intentions to resolve their problems, couples don’t always have the necessary skills to work things through in a satisfactory way. Often, problems keep occurring and you end up feeling overwhelmed about what to do next to repair your relationship. Sometimes it gets to the point where it just feels hopeless.

H: Before we started counselling, I was confused about the state of our relationship. I felt quite unhappy and wasn’t sure why.

K: For me, I was quite depressed. I felt like I had no direction and didn’t feel much of a connection with H. I felt like we had lost our way in communicating with each other and was ready to give our marriage away.

H:  When we decided to have counselling, I felt quite relieved to talk to someone neutral who would be able to interpret and understand why we were in the position we were in.

K:  I started counselling feeling like there were a lot of things I needed to get off my chest about the relationship and my life in general. I was also relieved that we would be getting some help with this.

H & K:  Counselling helped to clarify where we were going wrong. Lauren was able to support us in learning how to communicate with each other in a way that the other person could really hear. This helped us to understand each other’s experience of the relationship. It was really important to have a safe place to look at the really difficult aspects of our relationship.

H:  Now, my relationship with K has improved, as has my relationship with my kids. Life is improving by using the skills that Lauren has taught us.

K: I feel more supported by H and that he has a better understanding of where we were at and how we got there. I feel more confident in myself.

H&K:  Working with Lauren has enabled us not to judge each other immediately, to be more open to listening, less defensive with each other and more realistic about each other’s feelings and needs. We have a better understanding of each other’s feelings and a much greater acceptance of each other. Lauren was very caring, non-judgmental and extremely skillful in helping us to get clarity around our relationship dynamics as well as our own personal issues. Our relationship is much more solid now.

H.B. and K.B. aged 44 & 43

If your relationship seems stuck in a negative rut that you can’t seem to get out of, relationship or couples counselling can help you overcome:

  • Communication problems and misunderstandings
  • Chronic conflict that never seems to end
  • Anger or resentment that seems to keep getting worse
  • Mistrust caused by infidelity
  • Sexual problems or difficulties with intimacy

After being in an unhappy, abusive relationship for over 10 years, I went to see Lauren in a last-ditch attempt to save my marriage. My husband and I had, both separately and together, seen various counsellors over the years. From the first meeting, I was very impressed with Lauren. She laid very clear boundaries. She wouldn’t see either of us separately as she didn’t want to be perceived to take sides. This allowed for very open discussions as there were no secrets between either of us and Lauren.

Lauren has great recall and was always able to accurately reference back to previous discussions. She kept discussions flowing and on topic and never let situations denigrate. Through these interactions I was able to more clearly see how negatively I was being treated in my marriage and the lack of love and warmth that existed between us.

Counselling empowered me to finally make the decision to leave my husband. After a brief break, I have gone back to see Lauren in order for her to assist me in dealing with separation issues, particularly as there is a young child involved.

I find Lauren to be highly intelligent, her comments are well-considered and her advice is extremely beneficial and easily applied. In comparison to previous counsellors who only seem to question, Lauren helps find the answers. She has helped me regain my happiness and sense of self.

Karen, aged 38

As your relationship/couples counsellor, I can help you to:

  • RelationshipsUnderstand each other’s conflict style to help you communicate in a better way
  • Heal some of the personal issues that are preventing you from having a meaningful relationship
  • Deepen your connection with each other
  • Communicate better so that each of you can hear what the other is really saying
  • Discover skills to manage your own distress/anxiety around the conflicts you have
  • Develop yourselves as individuals within a caring relationship and discover the joy of really connecting with each other in a new way
  • If single, resolve old relationship patterns so you can have a healthy relationship

Why choose me as your relationship or couples counsellor?

I have over 20 years experience working with individuals and couples as a relationship and couples therapist.

As a marriage and couples counsellor, I have helped many couples restore their relationship. I have also helped countless singles to heal painful patterns of relating so that they can move on to have a healthy relationship.

My therapy clients tell me that I am gentle yet honest. They often express surprise at what they are able to talk about with each other in the safe haven of the counselling room. Before coming for couples counselling, many couldn’t imagine having the conversations with each other that they have with my guidance and support. Through therapy, couples deepen their connection to each other and continue to grow closer together.

Below is an example of some of the results my clients receive in couples counselling:

Dave and Sharon

When Dave and Sharon first came for couples counselling Sharon had recently moved out of the shared home. They felt that if they didn’t sort things out once and for all, their relationship was going to end. Dave felt that they seemed to be communicating less and less each day. He also felt Sharon was pushing him away and that she was angry with him a lot of the time and he had no clue as to why. Sharon expressed that she sometimes felt totally overwhelmed by Dave’s emotional demands and that this caused her to shut down.

After the second counselling session, Sharon moved back in with Dave. As they continued with the therapy, Dave and Sharon began to communicate in ways that were more respectful of each other. They learned how to be curious about what the other person was saying, how to talk about issues in a different way, and how to not take what their partner was saying so personally. Dave and Sharon became aware of what was going on inside themselves and learned not to make assumptions.

Sharon reported feeling calmer. She had made a 180-degree turn with respect to the relationship. She expressed that she felt more connected to Dave and had re-discovered her feelings for him. Dave was very happy with this outcome.

Dave made great progress in managing his own anxiety when he felt Sharon pulling away. They were now able to have conversations with each other that didn’t immediately escalate into fights or withdrawal.

Dave and Sharon finished therapy when they each felt stronger in their relationship. They were clear about their commitment to each other and had learned new ways of relating that enabled them to have a more emotionally fulfilling relationship.

If you want to achieve the same success Dave and Sharon have had, marriage or couples therapy may be the solution.

Please call me today on 0423 932 200 or email me at lauren@laurensokolski.com.au to set up a FREE confidential 10-minute phone consultation.

Lauren Sokolski is a Melbourne therapist, couples counsellor and registered social worker who helps singles and couples with relationship problems and those struggling with issues of grief and loss, life transitions, depression and anxiety. She has offices in Bentleigh, South Yarra, and Caulfield North.

Lauren Sokolski

Lauren Sokolski

BA, BSW, MAASW, acc

Therapist/Counsellor

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