Does Your Relationship Need Improvement?

Are you or your partner feeling misunderstood due to unresolved disagreements or differences? Do you feel stuck in the same old patterns and arguments and unable to achieve any resolution? 

Perhaps you are afraid that resentment between you and your significant other may occur if these issues don’t get resolved soon. Where there was once love, excitement, and hope, there’s now only loneliness, misunderstanding, and confusion.

Maybe you’re both wondering if you have what it takes to stay together. Or perhaps you’re planning to get married, but suddenly you’re experiencing more conflict than usual and you’re worried that this won’t work out. 

Couples therapy can help both of you learn how to navigate these disagreements and build a healthier and stronger relationship.

Unhealthy Relationships Can Cause Mental and Physical Stress

If your relationship is going through a “rocky stage,” you and your partner may be feeling emotionally drained or frustrated because no problems seem to get resolved. You may be confused about why nothing you try works and feel isolated and lonely despite being in a relationship.

All these things building up in you may manifest into physical symptoms, such as difficulty sleeping, feeling constantly exhausted, and having trouble regulating your emotions. Because of how drained you are, you may have no energy or motivation to hang out with friends and family. Or perhaps you’re going out more than usual to avoid being at home with your partner. You might even turn to drugs and alcohol to try and escape your relationship issues. 

 If you could just enjoy your time with your partner and rekindle those feelings of love, everything would be okay.

What if we told you that it is possible?

Couples therapy will help you and your significant other learn healthy ways to get back on track by forgoing  pitfalls such as trying to change a partner or having unrealistic expectations for your relationship. Whether you are married, unmarried, or about to tie the knot, we’re confident that we can help both of you deepen your love for each other. 

Tara Rullo's profile on the Gottman Referral Network

Conflict Will Occur In Every Relationship

Conflict is inevitable in any romantic relationship. According to John Gottman’s research, 69% of disputes are perpetual, meaning they will never fully resolve (1). This is why it’s so important for couples to learn the art of compromise and understand that they don’t have to see eye to eye on everything.

With the right support, couples can learn methods to navigate differences so that both people feel understood and cared for. Couples create relationships together, and each person must take responsibility for what part their behavior plays in the relationship. 

Relationships thrive when partners respond with interest vs. ignoring or rejecting attempts by their partner to initiate conversations. John Gottman states that couples need a 20:1 ratio in this area to thrive. In conflict, they need a 5:1 ratio of positive responses to negative responses in order to avoid resentment and gridlock (2).

For A Relationship To Heal, Both People Have To Be Willing To Change

True mutuality in relationships requires accepting your partner as they are which can be challenging for many people, since it’s only natural for them to hope their partner will change.

Couples therapy experts will tell you that trying to change a partner is one of the fastest ways to bring resentment and hurt a relationship.

Fixing our relationships takes work from both parties. When miscommunication, disconnection, and anger take root in our relationships, it results from how both of us show up. Showing up in a new way is hard. We may feel criticized, disliked, or ignored by our partners, and rebuilding trust in these circumstances is scary and takes time. Resolving issues that have turned into resentments can be treacherous, and most couples learn to avoid “hot topics” that they cannot resolve on their own.

Having a professional couples therapist mediate when these topics are discussed can make all the difference in the world.

Couple embracing and smiling

Couples Therapy Is A Safe Place To Rebuild Trust

How we communicate affects our partner’s ability to listen and how they listen affects our ability to feel safe and vulnerable. In couples therapy, we’ll give you and your partner the chance to listen to each other and work on understanding where the other person is coming from. You can learn new communication methods, deepen your empathy for each other, and find the path back to joy.

At Middle Way Psychotherapy, we provide counseling for all couples—married, unmarried, or about to tie the knot. We also work with people in non-monogamous and polyamorous partnerships as well as couples who are part of the LGBTQ+ community. Our skills-based approach helps couples assess recurring issues in new ways with better and more satisfying results.

We incorporate a strengths-based approach that builds on the strong points of the relationship. Everyone needs positive feedback, and that feedback has become infrequent in strained relationships. Middle Way’s counselors help couples express admiration, appreciation, and affection for each other.

Intimacy is built on the foundation of a strong friendship, and we help clients find ways to enjoy each other and rekindle their spark. 

What To Expect In Couples Counseling Sessions

Middle Way Psychotherapy is proud to say that we utilize the Gottman method for couples therapy.  We offer couples an extensive relationship check-up that helps identify what is and is not working. Assessing a relationship’s strengths and weaknesses allows us to understand what is causing problems. 

With a clear road map, we methodically work with couples to teach them how to talk to each other in ways that create connection rather than division and avoid spiraling into anger and negativity. Couples are given concrete tools, psycho-education, and a supportive framework to try new ways of showing up in their partnership. 

Instead of trying to avoid conflict, you will both learn to work through your disagreements constructively. When handled with care, conflict can be productive and help you grow in your ability to communicate with each other. 

The long-term goal is for both of you to deeply understand what components make your relationship thrive.

All new clients will receive extensive intake forms through our EHR, Simple Practice. We ask everyone to fill out an intake form with goals and prior treatment history.

Our couple’s work is Gottman based and involves an extensive relationship checkup that each partner completes which provides data about the relationship’s health. We meet with the couple together for one session then each partner individually before meeting with them together again.

Methods And Modalities Our Couples Therapists Utilize 

Our practice draws from a wide range of skills and resources to help couples. These include:

  • Psycho-education: Helps couples understand what behaviors harm or hinder their relationship. You will learn what makes relationships thrive and what communication strategies can aid you on the path to success.
  • Learning New Skills: New skills are practiced in a supportive and compassionate environment with the guidance of the couples therapist. You are encouraged to start thinking in terms of “we” instead of “you” and “me.” This helps you address conflict and differences as a team rather than as two people in a tug-of-war.

During therapy, you will become more aware of your and your partner’s emotional reactions and sensitivities. You will learn to self-soothe and help your partner calm down. You may speak about topics that could be especially vulnerable, such as past hurts, sexual issues, or betrayal. In the supportive therapy environment, couples like you can finally uncover your issues, share your feelings, and truly heal together.

couple acting playful

You May Be Interested In Couples Therapy But Have Some Questions…

Being in perpetual conflict is draining your time and energy. When you learn how to resolve disputes with ease and a sense of mutual satisfaction, you will feel like you have more time and energy than you’ve had in a long time.

Couples therapy is an investment in your relationship’s future.

It is essential to consider how much you value your relationship and whether you are ready to invest time and money into improving it. 

Consider the benefits of having a long-lasting, mutually satisfying relationship. Another consideration is that couples therapy can be more targeted and time-limited. Most couples therapists recommend six months of couples therapy to begin seeing improvements.

Happy, healthy relationships start with YOU. You always have the opportunity to explore your role in what makes your relationship work or not work. There are many ways to do this including reading books on relationships, attending individual therapy, and attending workshops or groups on relationships. At Middle Way Psychotherapy, we offer Relationship Intelligence Groups to help individuals improve their understanding of their own role in their relationships.

Are You Ready To Get Your Relationship Back Up To Speed?

You can be happier in your relationship, and we can help you learn how to get there. If you want to start having a healthier relationship, we encourage you to pursue couples therapy with Middle Way Psychotherapy. Call us for a free 15-minute consultation at (718) 635-1228 or visit our contact page.

Recent Posts

Avoid These 2 Defensive Behaviors and Powerfully Transform Your Relationships

Avoid These 2 Defensive Behaviors and Powerfully Transform Your Relationships


By Tara Rullo, LCSW

Defensiveness is lethal to relationships.

As a relationship therapist, I am trained to be on the lookout for defensive reactions when I’m working with couples. Longitudinal studies by Dr. John Gottman have shown that defensiveness is one of the predictors of divorce.
Leave Defensive Reactions Behind and Learn Solutions to the 2 Most Common Barriers to Constructive Conflict

Leave Defensive Reactions Behind and Learn Solutions to the 2 Most Common Barriers to Constructive Conflict


By Tara Rullo, LCSW

What is the defensiveness trap?

Defensiveness escalates conflict, but many people still get trapped in a pattern of reacting defensively in conflict. This is what I call the defensiveness trap. Longitudinal research conducted by the founder of Gottman Couples Therapy, Dr. John Gottman, shows that over time, defensiveness kills relationships.
Building a Strong Foundation: Pre-Commitment Counseling with Gottman Couples Therapy

Building a Strong Foundation: Pre-Commitment Counseling with Gottman Couples Therapy


By Tara Rullo, LCSW

The journey of committing to a life partner is a beautiful and meaningful one, but it is not without its challenges. For couples looking to ensure a strong and lasting bond, pre-commitment counseling can be an invaluable tool which can help couples build a solid foundation for a lifetime of connection and good communication!