Irina Firstien NYC Therapist CBS Interview Psychotherapist New York

Couples Therapy NYC

"Relationships are end all be all"

Relationships are a source of the greatest joy in life as well as most intense pain. Romantic relationships present potential for the deepest connection, attachment, feelings of love and being loved. However, when relationships change over time, they can sour and become a source of our deepest pain and satisfaction. That's when couples therapy is a great option.

 

Couples Therapy can be effective in healing troubled relationships especially if you start sooner rather then later. If you are experiencing same arguments and same cycle of arguing and conflict, escalating and leading to longer periods of anger, resentment and general disconnection, it is time to realize that you need professional help.

 

Some couples come to my office with their relationship in shambles, as a last ditch effort before breaking up. Some have a solid connection bur are in a state of crisis, going through a difficult passage, looking for help and guidance on how to get past it. Couples Therapy is often very successful in facilitating a more open and honest communication and mutual empathy thereby bringing a couple closer, creating deeper connection. The key is a commitment to the relationship, hard work, openness and willingness to be vulnerable and take emotional risks. Couples most likely will disagree over Money, Sex, Trust, Friends, levels of commitment, including "next step", vision of future life and life goals. These are emotionally and psychologically loaded areas which bring into focus our deepest values, attachment needs and expectations.

Starting Couples Counseling:

Starting Couples Therapy is a big step. Contacting a Couples Therapist comes from a realization that your relationship needs help, you can not solve the conflicts on your own and this relationship is very important. Just about every couple at our first appointment when I ask what brings them to my office will say: "We have communication problems" or "We fight all the time and it's getting worse". The most immediate goal in relationship counseling is to establish an atmosphere or safety, openness and alliance. Many couples in our sessions will say things like "I never knew this" or "You never told me this before". I am always wondering if, in fact this is the first time things are being said because of safety of my office and my being there, or if these things have been said many times, but not heard. My goal with couples in Couples Therapy is to get a clear understanding of WHAT couples fight about and HOW they fight. The goal of therapy is to change the patterns of fighting, as conflict in relationships in inevitable. One of the first goals in any couples therapy is to learn de-escalation in fighting rather then escalation.

 

Working With Couples

My template for work with couples is EFT (Emotionally Focused Therapy) developed by Sue Johnson. All my couples in the course of therapy with me, sooner rather then later, read her book, "Hold Me Tight". EFT is based on the premise that we all long for deep connection with people and especially with a romantic partner, which is why we seek romantic love. Using the EFT model, I view all interactions through the lens of attachment theory, we look at each person's attachment style and the emotions that are triggered in what most couples call "communication problems". I then guide my clients in sessions to understand their own and their partner's attachment needs and emotions and learn to communicate about this to each other from a more primary emotional and vulnerable stance. My couples learn to understand that their conflicts have predictable negative cycles, they recognize these cycles as they are occurring and learn to interrupt and change these cycles. They view the cycle as the enemy and not each other. We work in the sessions to have different interactions, creating "positive" cycles, using the language of attachment, emotions, vulnerability and empathy.

 

It may be time to consider Couple Therapy if you are dealing with any of these issues:

You are not sure you are on the same page in terms of where the relationship is and where it is going.
You are having more and more fights
You sexual relationship and romance are diminishing and/or changing
You are having some trust issues
You want to go to the next step but are not sure you envision the same life or life goals
You are having same arguments and they are getting more and more escalated.
You are having trouble with each other's past history or family of origin

 

Interested in learning more? Read our articles about Couples Counseling.

 

Recommended Books:

"Hold me Tight" by Dr Susan Johnson

"Rekindling Desire" by Barry McCarthy and Emily Mc Carthy

If you are ready to start Couples Therapy, Please contact me, Irina Firstein, NYC Couples Therapist at: 212 953-1388 (phone) irinafirstein@aol.com (email)

Featured Videos On
 
Featured On
Therapist NYCcotton candyWhen love fails take me time
 
Subscribe To My Newsletter

Been Caught Cheating? Take These 10 Steps Right Now
Reader's Digest
3/2017

10 Things Besides Affairs That Could Spell Trouble for Your Relationship
Woman's Day
2/2017

15 Things People Struggle With In New Relationships
Redbook
1/2017

6 Subtle Signs Your Partner May Be Depressed
Prevention
12/2016

10 Things You Should Never Do After Your Partner Cheats
Reader's Digest
11/2016

7 Things You Should Never Tell People About Your Relationship
Redbook
11/2016

6 Things Not To Do When Your Partner Cheats
Cosmopolitan
10/2016

11 Things That Take Less Than 10 Minutes To Do That Can Improve Your Whole Relationship Dynamic
Bustle
10/2016

Brangelina Proves You Should Never Trust A Cheater
New York Post
9/2016

11 Signs Your Relationship Is Still Worth Working On
Bustle
9/2016

11 Signs Your Partner Isn't Being Entirely Honest With You
Bustle
8/2016

Relationship Issues Everyone Encounters
The Date Mix
5/2016

8 Things Your Friends Would Never Tell You About Your Relationship
Huffington Post
5/2016

What Marriage Experts Do Differently When Arguing With Their Partners
Huffington Post
4/2016

"Are You Happily Married"
Men's Health
3/2016

"Surprising Secrets of the Most Happily Married Couples"
Marissa Laliberte - Reader's Digest
2/2016

"16 Relationship Tips That Actually Aren't B.S."
Anna Borges - Buzzfeed
2/2016

"How Trauma Can Lead To Depression"
Chris Iliades, MD - Everyday Health
1/2016

"Those Magic Moments: Keeping An Active Sex Life Means Doing Due Diligence"
Erika Prafder - New York Post
12/2015

"The No. 1 Thing 15 Relationship Experts Have Learned About Love"
Locke Hughes - greatist.com
12/2015

"Bored With Your Relationship? Here's Why That Isn't Necessarily a Bad Thing"
Rachel Nussbaum - greatist.com
11/2015

"Signs You and Your Fiance Are Ready to Get Married"
Tyler Atwood - brides.com
8/2015

"6 Tips For Communicating During a Multicultural Wedding : Brides"
Stephanie Cain - brides.com
7/2015

"16 Real Ways to Stay Crazy in Love After You Have Kids"
Nicole Blades - Buzzfeed.com
4/2015

"18 Tips You Need Before Moving In With Your Significant Other"
Alison Caporimo - Buzzfeed.com
4/2015

"17 Expert Tips To Help Couples Actually Solve Relationship Issues"
Alison Caporimo - Buzzfeed.com

"Make This Winter Your Relationship's Best Ever"
Jane Bianchi

WomansDay.com
2/2014


10 Marriage Rules that No Longer Apply
by Jane Bianchi
Redbook Magazine
06/12/2013


"Let Me Tell You About My Ex" and 9 Other Dating Mistakes Guys Make
by Dana Baardsen
Knowmore.Tv
03/04/2013


Decoded: Emotion In The Office
by Julie Strickland
Inc.com
01/15/2013


Finding the Right Guy
by Irina Firstein, LCSW
CottonCandyMag.com
03.15.2012


How to Learn from Your Mistakes
by Irina Firstein, LCSW
CottonCandyMag.com
11.28.2011


He Loves me, He Loves Me Not
by Irina Firstein, LCSW
CottonCandyMag.com
10.20.2011


The Stress-Free Life
by Irina Firstein, LCSW
CottonCandyMag.com
10.3.2011


Gossip Girls
by Irina Firstein, LCSW
CottonCandyMag.com
9.6.2011


The Confident Woman
by Irina Firstein, LCSW
CottonCandyMag.com
6.29.2011


In Praise of On-Off Relationship by Kiri Blakely
Forbes.com
7.7.2011


What Does Weiner's Wife Do Now?
by Kiri Blakely
Forbes.com
6.7.2011


Your Action Plan for Dealing with Change
by Chris Iliades, MD
EverydayHealth.com
5.30.2011


Irina Firstein Psychotherapy on Initiative Radio with Angela McKenzie
by Irinia Firstein LCSW
Archive.org
5.21.2011


Marie Osmond Marries Her First Husband Again
by Kiri Blakely
Forbes.com
5.4.2011


Are You Just Not Interested?
by Rosemary Black
QualityHealth.com
  

Therapy Blog 
Facebook 
Twitter 
Linkedin 
Google Plus