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Impact of Effective Communication in Relationships

A relationship does not exist on its own. Relationships occur between two people who have different history, background, emotions, past experiences and expectations. To have a lasting relationship, there is need for effective communication. Communication also helps you understand each other better and how best to satisfy each other’s needs.

How do you improve the communication in your relationship?

You can improve the communication in your relationship by practicing the following tips:

Listen: In most cases, during a heated argument in a relationship, it is hard for one to put his or her points aside and listen to your partner. However, this act is a bad one as it makes it hard for your point to be heard. When you stay calm to listen, you are able to understand where your partner is coming from and know how best to respond.

Be Open and Honest: Some people find it hard opening up to their partners, some don’t even have an idea about themselves- what they like, their goals and more. Avoid the little lies as this is what turns to the bigger ones.

Being open requires you to be vulnerable and honest with your partner, completely. It gives you the opportunity to see what a true relationship can be.

Be careful with that nonverbal signals: Communication is not all about what we say but how we say it. Nonverbal signals could be the tone of your voice, body language, or eye contact. To have effective communication in a relationship, you have to understand your partner’s nonverbal signals, it might take some time, but the more you get used to it, the better you understand your partner.

Stay focused: During an argument, it is normal to get carried away and you start talking about past issues in order to get the upper hand. Avoid situations like this by simply focusing on the topic at hand. This helps you to solve the problem faster, and create a more effective dialogue.


When Should You Consider Couples Counseling in Sacramento?

Couples counseling is an important part of improving troubled relationships. It is not simply for saving marriages. It’s also for simply making sure that your doing what you can to improve communication, build trust, and creating a stronger bond that lasts whether your relationship is successful or not.

There are many signs that couples counseling may be right for you. Consider your answers to the following:

  • Are any of the issues in your relationships a repeated problem?
  • Is there something you can identify to fix?
  • Are there reasons to try to keep the relationship together?
  • If you knew your relationship was going to end, would you still want it to improve?
  • Do you both have a desire to move forward?

Couples counseling in Sacramento isn’t just about saving your relationship. That’s the end goal, yes. But what it is about more is finding ways to improve – both as a couple and for yourself. Throughout counseling, you learn a lot about yourself and your partner, and develop a better understanding of how to manage yourself and grow in the future.

The most important question to ask yourself is – are you willing to put in the work? If the answer is yes, then it is worth seeking out a Sacramento couples counselor. The sooner you see a counselor, the more you can start seeing the progress you hoped to see.

Individual Counseling in Sacramento, Folsom, Roseville

Life is a gift. But it is also not without its challenges. From finances to aging to relationships, there will be times in your life when you’re faced with difficulties. Many of these difficulties you will be able to overcome on your own.

Yet there may come a time when you need help – when you need someone to work with you to fight the stress, anxiety, depression, or other issues that you’re facing, and help you achieve greater levels of contentment and life fulfillment.

That is what individual counseling is for – to help you get through the tough times, and to find greater direction and satisfaction from your future. If you believe you may be able to benefit from individual therapy in the Sacramento area, contact us today.

Why Individual Counseling?

When we experience life stresses, what we are really experiencing is a type of pain. Life events (such as a relationship breakup, harassment, social exclusion, failure at a task) and negative emotions (such as anxiety, depression, loneliness, and guilt) – these trigger a reaction in the mind that is in the exact same region as physical pain.

Pain can be both psychological and emotional, and activate the same part of the brain – the secondary somatosensory cortex and the dorsal posterior insula – that physical pain activates. There is even evidence that emotional and psychological pain can be felt worse than physical pain. It is no surprise that many people describe their emotional and psychological pain in physical terms:

  • My Heart Hurts
  • I Feel Like I’m Dying
  • It is Like Getting Hit By a Truck

Yet what often makes these distresses and challenges even worse is that the one thing that we can use to overcome them is the same thing that is causing them – our mind and thoughts. Physical pain, like a cut on the leg, can be easy to ignore when you’re feeling happy and strong.

But when you have anxiety, stress, and other life challenges, they are taking place within your mind, and so overcoming them becomes even more difficult.

The 2 Types of Psychological and Emotional Pain

Within a field of therapy known as “Acceptance and Commitment Therapy,” there is an interesting take on the different types of pain. The two types of pain are:

  • Clear Pain
  • Dirty Pain

Clear Pain is a primary emotion. It is what we feel when something happens to us in life, and it is the direct, logical response to that event. For example, if we lose someone we love and we are sad about it, that is a type of Clean Pain. It doesn’t mean the pain is easy, but it does imply that it is a direct reaction to an event or issue.

Dirty Pain is different. Dirty pain is found in the other emotions that we feel when we experience an event. For example, after a breakup, a person may feel like they are a failure, or they will struggle with love, that they may be alone forever. It is the anger they would feel towards that partner, or the frustration they have in themselves.

This type of suffering isn’t a specific reaction to the event. In many ways it is a form of mental bullying – your mind attacking you with thoughts and emotions that are only tangentially related to the event that happened, and based on your mind’s assessment of the situation – not the situation itself.

How Our Sacramento Therapy Services Can Assist With Both Clean and Dirty Pain

Psychotherapy and Counseling are designed to alleviate both of these types of pain. At our individual therapy practice in Sacramento, we use techniques based on sound psychological and research principles specifically to address these types of pain in a variety of different settings.

We do this by creating a comfortable setting that allows you to open up with someone you trust that is attuned to your needs and emotions. Within an effective therapy practice, our role is to uncover that which is creating the most pain for you, and help you to understand a new interpretation, experience, and meaning, so that you no longer let yourself be bullied by these thoughts.

Counseling provides a safe, comfortable space that allows you to release the issues that are causing you pain without judgment, while also helping you establish new and more productive thought patterns to deal with the emotional pain. Studies have shown that these changes and others help to alter not only our thought patterns, but the brain itself, in a way that makes it easier for you to handle emotional challenges and their related pains in the future.

A Safe Counseling Relationship

The counselor/client relationship is one of the strongest tools for helping you overcome any of the issues you may be facing, and that’s something we seek to create here in our Sacramento counseling practice. The approach our psychologists use are different than what you would find elsewhere, because we make it a point to create a relationship with you.

Our goal is to understand you, and become “attuned” with you, so that we can be a partner in your ability to overcome these types of pains. We have the skills, experience and motivation to help you towards emotional health and happiness as we truly believe you deserve it, and we make it a point to assist you no matter what your challenges may be.

Counseling and psychotherapy are there to help you with any issue you may be facing, and our Sacramento therapists will do whatever it takes to help you:

  • Build your self-confidence and self-esteem.
  • Manage your fears and anxiety.
  • Overcome your sadness or depression.
  • Improve communication and conflict resolution.
  • Cope with life changes.
  • Prepare for new relationships.
  • Boost your sexual comfort.
  • Address specific challenges or issues as they arise.
  • Stop being held back by childhood experiences and abuse.

The goals of therapy are to help you overcome challenges, reduce the emotional and psychological pain you’re struggling with, and experience better relationships and a better future.

If you are interested in learning more about our individual therapy services in Sacramento, please call the experts here at Rebuild a Relationship, today. We’re happy to answer any questions or schedule you for your first appointment.

The Issues with Avoiding Relationship Conflicts

Some people want to avoid conflict no matter what. Perhaps they do not want to upset their partner or they avoid conflict because they are fearful. Regardless of the reason, avoiding confrontations can become more problematic than dealing with issues head on. That is because when conflict is not addressed, many of a couple’s problems end up unresolved.

When issues get swept under the rug, they do not go away. This often means that unresolved conflicts will slowly build up in a relationship until they are almost impossible to resolve. That build-up can result in relationships ending suddenly, with one partner unaware that there are problems to begin with. That is because when conflict is avoided, one or both people in the relationship is not getting their needs met.

Occasionally, when a partner is not getting their needs met they may react with passive-aggressive behaviors such as:

  • Refusing to Talk
  • Pouting
  • Angry Outbursts

These sorts of behaviors bring further harm to the relationship and continue to damage communication. As resentment builds and sharing feelings, goals, and needs continues to deteriorate, many couples turn to therapy.

Learning to Have Healthy Conflict with a Relationship Counselor

It is important to remember that anger and conflict are not bad in a relationship. There are many ways to have healthy conflicts with your partner, and it is important to work through any anger issues that you have. Knowing that you can disagree, get angry, and work through these problems makes a relationship stronger.

It is possible to learn how to have solid conflict resolution skills. It takes courage and practice to address conflict if you have been avoiding it, but relationship counseling can help to alleviate any stress. If you and your partner are ready to learn to have healthy conflict in Sacramento, contact me today at PHONE NUMBER to schedule an intake appointment.

Sacramento Couples Therapy – Not Just For Big Issues

There are a lot of misconceptions about couples who go to counseling together. Many people see it as a last ditch effort for a failing marriage, but nothing could be further from the truth. Relationship counseling is not only for those who are struggling with serious problems. Instead, most couples can find serious benefits to couples therapy at various points in their relationship.

Relationship counseling is a great way to keep your relationship strong no matter how long you have been together. I see many patients who come in for a yearly marital check-up to discuss how their relationship is going. They use this time to discuss any problem areas that they’re experiencing, identify strategies to move forward and prevent further problems and to seek an understanding ear.

Others come to see me to prevent any brewing problems from turning into more serious ones down the road. The earlier that a couple seeks help, the better their chances of coming out stronger on the other side. This goes for all kinds of issues, such as:

  • Parenting
  • Money
  • Employment
  • Sexual Issues

Seeking the assistance of a therapist can help you to grow in your relationship and nurture trust and solid communication. Working on you relationship to make sure it stays healthy should never be a source of shame. Making sure that you and your partner show a commitment to the health of your relationship, something that every couple should focus on.

If you and your partner want to make sure that the foundation of your relationship stays steady, consider contacting me at PHONE NUMBER. While many couples wait until there are big issues in their relationship, couples counseling can help to improve your partnership no matter what is going on.

How Pre-Marital Counseling Helps Sacramento Couples

Most Sacramento couples who are planning to get married spend a lot of time planning the wedding. However, many do not put the same amount of energy into preparing for their marriage. Preparing for married life requires a lot of attention to detail and can be greatly aided by the help of a therapist. Pre-marital counseling can also teach you and your partner the skills you need to prevent problems down the road.

Pre-marital counseling will help you to find the areas that you are compatible and locate areas where you and your partner disagree. Some of these areas will only require some extra attention and compromise, while others will need serious discussion. A therapist can help during the course of difficult conversations such as this, as well as help you both to learn to:

  • Identify Your goals – It is important to know what your individual goals are before you get married. This allows you and your partner to determine what happens with those goals after you are married. In addition, it is important to set goals as a couple and figure out how you will both support each other in achieving your goals.
  • Effectively Communicate– Pre-marital counseling can help you and your fiancé learn effective strategies for sharing your feelings and concerns. It also will provide you with the tools that you need to be effective listeners.
  • Strengthen Your Relationship – Learning about yourself and your partner can help you to begin your marriage with a strong foundation. Relationships that are built on trust, communication, and understanding have lower rates of divorce.

Pre-marital counseling can also help to address other marital issues such as differing values regarding parenting, religion, money, or household duties. It can help to stave off problems before they even start. If you are interesting in attending pre-marital counseling, talk with your partner well before the wedding.

4 Common Reasons Couples Visit Relationship Counselors

There are many reasons that couples may decide to seek the help of a Sacramento therapist. However, there are some common themes that counselors deal with when partners are looking for help with their relationship. As a Sacramento therapist, I have worked with many couples who are dealing many relationship concerns, including the following.


Dealing with infidelity is a common reason that couples seek a therapist. Recovering from an affair or deciding whether to work through it can be incredibly complicated. I can help couples to address the reason behind the infidelity and to work through any trust issues or other feelings that came up after the affair.

Lifestyle Changes

Major life changes can have a serious impact in the stability of a relationship. Making a career change, moving to a new area, or becoming parents can easily upset the original rhythm of a relationship. I work with couples to help them identify their needs and expectations while working through changes to make transitions smoother.

Communication Problems

Communication is key to a healthy and happy relationship. When couples struggle with their communication, it can make every other part of the relationship more difficult. I work closely with couples to help them learn new skills and learn to communicate better with each other.

Not Feeling in Love

Many of the couples I see are struggling with feeling in love with each other. Couples counseling can be a great way for partners to learn strategies to help them bond again and rekindle some of their lost spark.

I am comfortable working with couples who are dealing with these types of issues, or any others suck as addictions, mental health problems, parenting issues, and more. If you are ready to work to make your relationship is more solid, contact me today at NUMBER for an intake appointment.

What to Do When You are Thinking about Ending a Marriage

Every marriage has its ups and downs at some point. While some Sacramento couples are able to work through any issues that pop up, others find themselves considering divorce when times get too tough. This is a critical time in a relationship, where immediate actions can make a huge difference in the outcome of your marriage.

At this stage of your relationship it is important to take the time to:

  • Examine What Needs to Change – It is impossible to fix any problem if you don’t know what is wrong. Make a list of what needs to change in your marriage for you to feel happy and fulfilled and have your spouse do the same thing.
  • Communicate These Needs – Wait for a calm moment in your marriage and sit down to talk about what you need in this marriage. Focusing on listening to your partner and try to work with them during this conversation.
  • Focus on Your Own Changes – You cannot make anyone else change in a relationship; however, you can focus on yourself. Not only can your changes help you marriage, they will usually help you as well. Make daily goals and work to achieve them, focusing on what you can control in your marriage.

While these steps can help to move you and your partner into the right direction, sometimes there is too much damage. That is when it is prudent to seek the assistance of a Sacramento marriage counselor. Marriage counseling can help you find ways to improve your relationship by building communication, trust, and intimacy.

If you feel as though your marriage needs support, contact me today to schedule an intake appointment. I see couples and individuals depending on your personal relationship needs. We can work together to strengthen your relationship and make sure that your needs are being met.

The Truth about Love | Sacramento Couples Counseling

As any teenager can tell you, falling in love is easy. What an adult will tell them is that it is the staying in love part that is more difficult. The whirlwind feeling of falling in love will not last forever and eventually a couples feelings will cool. If a couple does not take the necessary steps to work on their relationship, you can fall out of love just as easily as you fell in love.

Falling in Love

Most people find that falling in love is a passive experience for both parties. Your emotions take over and your brain chemistry changes when you are falling in love so that you need less sleep and you have more energy. Falling in love comes naturally and it is overwhelming for most.

Those feelings of intensity do not last forever though. Most studies report that this magical feeling will usually last an average of two years before it wears off. As that happens, some couples fall out of love with each other.

Falling Out of Love

Just as falling in love can be passive, falling out of love can be passive if you don’t fight for your relationship. As time goes on, many feel as though their relationship has gone stale and they worry about their future. Others question if they are with the right person.

Many couples will say, “We just fell out of love,” and that is correct for many who don’t put any effort in. It is at this stage that some couples who want to fight for their relationship seek couples counseling. Choosing to work through these feelings takes hard work and dedication but the end result is worth it.

If you and your partner are feeling the two year slump, contact me today to schedule an intake appointment and start taking your relationship to the next level.

Additional Communication Problems with Struggling Couples

The other day I came across an article by a Long Island psychologist Dr. Marc Shulman entitled “5 Communication Habits of Struggling Couples.” in the article, he discusses many common communication problems that affect others’ ability to rebuild their relationship, including:

  • Defensive Listening
  • Louder Talking
  • Insult Generator
  • Silence
  • Indifference

There is no denying that communication is often a problem in relationships, but I wanted to expand to talk about a 6th one: Namely, poor memory.

What is Poor Memory?

Poor memory may not sound like it is related to listening, but it many ways it is. Poor memory occurs when a partner is listening in a general sense, but they are encoding that information as though it “means” something else. Often when this happens, they recall that moment in the future (often in a fight, of course) in a way that was different from even the way THEY saw the event at the time.

In other words, even though at the time they were communicating well, their minds were so used to being angry and preparing for future fights that they were already coming up with ammo, and recording memories in a way that were different from the way they experienced it at the time.

What This Usually Means

This type of issue usually means that the fighting has gone on for a while, and that they are too set in their communication ways. Usually this is a clear sign that they need some type of intervention, whether it is a marriage counselor or something else, to make sure that they are learning how to change the way they see their relationship and learning how to communicate with their partner.