Have you experienced a traumatic event that has had a significant impact on your intimate relationship?
Do you find it hard to trust your partner because of your past abuse? Does your partner push you away because of a traumatic past? Have you or your partner been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and noticed its effects on your relationship?
Trauma leads to many difficult symptoms. People often re-experience the trauma through flashbacks and nightmares. They can also avoid reminders of the trauma, and experience many overwhelming thoughts and emotions. Many people with PTSD are constantly on guard and alert to possible danger. These symptoms impact not only trauma survivors but also their closest relationships.
The Impact of Trauma on Intimate Relationships
Trauma tends to have the biggest impact on intimate relationships. Couples in which one or both partners have experienced trauma may find their relationship characterized by some of the following difficulties.
- An inability to build trust in the relationship.
- Withdrawal, isolation, and unresponsiveness on the part of the trauma survivor, leading partners to feel rejected and unable to help.
- Sexual difficulties due to past sexual abuse, rape, or other traumatic experiences.
- Avoidance of emotional intimacy.
- Frequent conflict and arguments regarding how to work through the trauma survivor’s symptoms.
A Marriage and Family Therapist Can Help
Perhaps you have never considered how a marriage and family therapist can help you and your partner work through the impact trauma has had on you or your relationship. Although individual counseling is essential for people who have experienced trauma, research suggests that family involvement is also an integral part of the healing process.
Couples counseling with a marriage expert can help you and your partner in two key ways. First, couples counseling can help you improve your relationship by identifying the ways in which trauma has impacted your ability to connect. Secondly, couples counseling can help you learn how to work together as a team to improve the actual trauma symptoms experienced by the trauma survivor.
We Offer Evidence-Based Counseling for Couples Impacted by Trauma
Our counseling methods can provide the help you and your partner need. At the Prescott Relationship Center, we are dedicated to using evidence-based counseling practices. This means that the type of counseling we provide has been proven by decades of research studies to effectively help struggling couples.
In particular, our counseling practice uses Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) in our couples counseling sessions. Emotionally Focused Therapy is a model of therapy that anticipates fast results. Couples who are focused and motivated often experience significant improvements in their relationship after 8-10 sessions.
Emotionally Focused Therapy focuses on understanding and modifying couple’s emotional interactions. It works towards building healthy attachments and bonds between partners. The focus of EFT on emotions and bonding is what makes this therapy such an effective treatment for individuals and couples who have been impacted by trauma. Trauma destroys healthy attachments; EFT helps couples learn how to rebuild them.
Emotionally Focused Therapy used in the context of relationship counseling is highly effective. Research shows that 90% of couples who receive EFT show significant improvements. More specifically, numerous studies show that EFT for couples is an effective treatment for trauma. Research shows that couples impacted by childhood sexual abuse who complete EFT for couples report improvement in relationship satisfaction and reduction in trauma symptoms. Additionally, veterans impacted by combat trauma report that EFT for couples reduces depression and psychological distress related to the trauma.
Consider Couples Counseling in Addition to Individual Treatment
Many couples impacted by trauma have never considered the role that couples counseling can play in their recovery. People who have experienced trauma or been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder should find a counselor to help them on an individual basis. However, many times, recovery from trauma occurs through the help of multiple treatments that each address different symptoms and concerns.
Couples counseling is one important additional treatment for you to consider. When trauma survivors only go to individual therapy, their family members often feel cut out and excluded. They don’t know how to help. But in the context of EFT for couples, partners are not only included, but become an integral part of the healing process.
If trauma is impacting your marriage, EFT for couples can help. Processing your emotions and concerns in the context of counseling can bring healing to your trauma and transformation to your relationship.
Contact Us Today
We are dedicated to helping couples transform and strengthen their relationships. If you think we would be a good fit for your needs, please do not hesitate to call us today at 928-420-8300. We are happy to answer any questions you might have about our approach to relationship counseling and how we might help you and your spouse.
Depending on your situation, we also offer EFT for unmarried couples, couples facing infidelity and divorce, and couples in need of premarital counseling.
If you have any fears or concerns about marriage or couples counseling, we encourage you to read our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you have additional concerns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.
Making an appointment is easy–you can call the Prescott Relationship Center at 928-420-8300. After all, if not now, when?Make sure to ask about our discounts for active duty military, veteran and full-time teachers in need.