Members of a couple naturally want to please each other. However, sometimes relationships fall out of balance; partners forget to please themselves too.
Sometimes the people-pleasing dynamic in a relationship is clear: one partner does most of the giving; the other, the taking. More often, both partners have instances when they overly sacrifice their own experience for the other. Both have moments when they don’t ask for what they need because they don’t want to burden or hurt the other. Both, at times, fall into the trap of setting such high expectations for themselves regarding supporting their partner that they give up. This can all breed resentment, conflict, and disconnection.
My approach to couples therapy is informed by Emotionally-Focused Therapy (EFT). I help couples reduce conflict and find safety in one another. This in turn allows partners to turn to one another with their feelings and needs and express them clearly and effectively. Partners become more responsive and more connected to one another. The aim is for the relationship to become more balanced, with both partners better able to give and receive.
To get a better sense of this type of therapy, watch this helpful animated video created by EFT couples therapist Sharon Mead.