the art of love

We all come to relationships with our own core wounds. Your love partner can actually be a mirror and guide you on your path to personal growth. Couples that come to counseling are usually caught in gridlock issues and often blame and shame their partner.

When couples come to therapy the first thing I have them do is take an in depth questionnaire that assesses exactly where their strengths and weaknesses lie. I also have them take an attachment quiz so that we can understand their conditioned relational patterns.

each couple has their own unique issues, however, there are certain goals that we work towards to improve the quality of the relationship:

  • Move couple from gridlock to healthy dialogue on perpetual issues
  • Teach couple how to repair ruptures in their connection and how to de-escalate fights.
  • Explain The 4 Horseman (Gottman, 2014). These behaviors when consistently engaged in contribute to the demise of the relationship. Couples will learn them and their antidotes:
    Criticism – Instead what you are longing for
    Contempt – Create culture of appreciation
    Defensiveness – Accepting some responsibility
    Stonewalling – Self soothe and stay connected
  • Work with couple on accepting influence from each other and the Art of Compromise
  • Teach each partner how to approach each other when one of them has an issue.
  • Build a friendship base and a couple bubble to create a rich bank account of positive connections so that each partner feels safe and secure.
  • Deal with the dynamics underlying the behavior and conflict, the deeper feelings such as fear or abandonment and lack of trust.
  • Explain the importance of understanding and respecting each other’s inner world of thoughts and feelings.

More about Dr Nadine Macaluso

“Thankfully, relationships aren’t like baseball, where it’s three strikes and you’re out. The universe keeps pitching us new opportunities to redo, repair, and reinvent ourselves with another person.”

Stan Tatkin