Common Reasons to See a Marin Therapist
There are as many reasons to see a therapist or counselor in Marin as there are trees that blanket the county’s gorgeous land. There is no right or wrong reason to start therapy because the reality is the human condition can be tough to bear. It certainly doesn’t matter where you live, relationships are hard! We can all use support at points in our lives. Whether you are seeking couples counseling or individual therapy to support you in overcoming marital issues, dating challenges, major life transitions, stress, addiction, trauma, or self-esteem issues – all of these issues impact our relationships.
- Relationship Challenges – All relationships go through periods of tension, frustration, disconnection, and misalignment. We come together and the relationship feels harmonious, joyful, and easy. Then a family member passes, someone goes through a career change, your partner enters a bout of depression, you feel like you’re growing apart, you encounter fertility issues, and the list goes on of events and dynamics that can lead to a sense of disharmony and disconnection. You may even be considering separation. In the dance that is relationships, couples therapy can help guide your next step together so that you move toward each other in instead of away, and come back into connection and alignment with whatever comes next for your relationship.
- Communication Issues – Maybe you’ve always struggled to express your thoughts and feelings in relationships because you felt afraid or anxious about your sweetie’s reaction. Maybe your communication is usually on point, but due to recent stressors you’re not sure why it’s not working. You might be having the same argument over and over. Maybe one of you is stone walling or criticizing. We all want to feel heard, understood, and accepted by our partner. Tension and conflict don’t mean you’re failing or that it’s the end. We just aren’t taught communication skills in school. There are tools that you can learn and practice. In couples counseling we focus on identifying and effectively communicating the feelings that aren’t being heard, and the underlying needs that are going unmet. Not only can you find ways to move forward, but you can feel closer to each other and deepen your emotional intimacy.
- Boundary Setting – Feeling drained, overwhelmed, resentful, constantly frustrated, unable to say no, or excessively guilty are just a few signs you may benefit from setting healthy boundaries in your relationships. You might also be dealing with a boundary violation such as a betrayal or affair, keeping secrets, excessive smothering, gaslighting, or abusive behavior. Boundaries help us define ourselves as separate and unique individuals with our own thoughts, feelings, bodies, values, and needs. Understanding, communicating, and upholding our boundaries is not only empowering, but in the right relationship, actually supports connection, balance, and respect.
- Online Dating – With the rise and normalizing of online dating apps in 2012 came the rise of painful experiences like ghosting, cat-fishing, repeated rejections, confusion about messaging, overthinking, anxiety, and a pattern of non-commitment. To some people it feels like a game or a way to distract from everyday life, and that is not a way to start a relationship. Lacking face-to-face interactions that we need in order to build a trust and connection can breed anxiety, confusion, and hopelessness about dating. Don’t get me wrong, online dating is often successful, but it comes with its challenges that can feel highly discouraging. The support of a therapist can help you navigate these dynamics, help you catch red flags, and even decide when it’s time to meet someone in person.
- Work stress & burnout – Job burnout takes a much bigger toll on our relationships than we think. When you’re feeling empty, exhausted, and void of all care at work, you’re likely showing up in these ways in your relationship too. If left unaddressed, burnout can lead to depression and anxiety. It can cause you to be disengaged, detached, dismissive, and act in ways that are hurtful to others. You’re not yourself and that can drive your partner, your friends, and family members away. Therapy can help you identify what you need and the ways you can reduce stress and come back to yourself again. It can also help you communicate and re-connect with your sweetie so they know how to support you as well.
Relationships of all kinds and durations challenge us in ways we likely didn’t anticipate at the start. But conflict and tension are not signs that there is anything wrong with us or the relationship. We are unique and complex beings, and when we enter into a relationship with another unique and complex being, things aren’t always going to be smooth. Conflict is normal and healthy depending on how you respond to it. It helps us grow and evolve as individuals and couples. It helps us learn about each other and deepen our connection. Just because we don’t always have the foresight or tools to see how we can move through an issue at the moment, doesn’t mean we can’t.
It just takes a willingness to try. Reach out for support to see how a therapist can help guide you through the relationship dance.