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Communication

In both individual and couples counseling, we can help with any harmful communication patterns that may be impacting your relationships. If you find yourself struggling to feel heard or understood, if conflicts tend to get off-topic or heated, or if issues remain unresolved, we can provide valuable support. Expressing needs and frustrations effectively involves being respectful, assertive, and non-judgmental. Some ineffective communication styles we address include:


Criticism

The most common communication threat that emerges is criticism. Frustrations, annoyances and resentment inevitably build up over time. It’s important to distinguish between criticism and complaining, because minor complaints are part of any relationship. Problems arise when complaints turn into criticisms. A complaint focuses on a specific behavior, while a criticism attacks the character of the person or is laced with sarcasm, blame, or accusation. 


Contempt

Contemptuous words can severely damage emotional bonds and intimacy by fostering a toxic atmosphere of negativity and hostility. Contempt often manifests through name-calling, insults, mockery, humiliation, and aggressive sarcasm, leaving one or both parties feeling belittled. This makes it challenging to feel secure, valued, and heard. 


Defensiveness

Defensiveness can arise as a self-protective response to feeling attacked, judged, rejected, disrespected, or even misunderstood. However, it can actually intensify conflict and hinder the path to resolution. Instead of constructive dialogue and problem-solving, defensiveness can create barriers. Understanding triggers and insecurities is key to navigating interactions smoothly. 


Stonewalling

Stonewalling is retreating from aggressive or intense communication when so overwhelmed that shutting down and withdrawing becomes a coping tool. Couples therapy offers a safe space where both people feel respected and understood. In counseling, you'll discover alternatives to stonewalling that help you navigate conflicts with more openness and compassion, even when emotions run high.

anxiety

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depression

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relationships

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adhd

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life changes

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MEET YOUR THERAPIST

attend sessions, share concerns and goals, receive guidance and support, work through challenges 

  our process

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