With Thanksgiving only days away and the other holidays fast approaching, I am seeing my clients pull back in therapy. Their reasons include: finances, family gatherings, too much going on, everything is ok because we are focused on the kids. Well I am here to say that everything is not fine. The holidays are the reason TO continue the momentum of therapy, not a reason to pull back.
I discuss often with my clients that commitment and consistency is key in counseling, especially marriage counseling. I encourage my clients to take the 55 or 85-minutes for their marriage weekly if possible. This is a blocked out time that they have set aside for themselves especially when most couples haven’t had a date night in years.
Taking a break during the holidays leaves the couple vulnerable. Clients often return after the holidays feeling defeated or ready for a fight. This takes us ten steps back in the therapy process because the foundation we have worked on crumbled during a very stressful time. Some “hot buttons” for couples during the holidays are:
- which family traditions to uphold
- which family to gather with
- family boundaries
- daily stressors of getting it all done and feeling under appreciated, tired, overwhelmed, and a lack of “partnering”
- differences in expectations
- feelings of sadness for loved ones that are no longer with us and having a lack of support
- not being able to communicate what our true feelings are
- too many obligations
- holidays being a trigger as a reminder of an affair
If any of these ring true for you, please be sure to bring these concerns up BEFORE the holidays. Try to have a conversation with your partner about your concerns. Listen to your partner with out being defensive. Most importantly, don’t wait until after because you thought it was better to wait. It’s not! Make the call to see your therapist or to even begin therapy at this time as a gift to relationship, to yourself
Begin Couples Counseling in the Philadelphia Area
If you’re reading this and do not already have a couples therapist, now might be the time. In my Paoli, PA based counseling clinic, I specialize in helping couples at all stages in a relationship. I offer individual counseling if one person is wanting to do deeper individual work as well as premarital counseling courses for couples wanting to enter a marriage as strong as possible. Most popular are my standard couples and marriage counseling sessions. I am passionate about helping couples reconnect and trained in effective couples counseling techniques including Gottman therapy. Regardless of what your exact needs are, I encourage you to reach out to Main Line Counseling today and let’s talk about how my services may be able to help you.
Other Professional Services
As an experienced therapist myself, I am also always looking for ways to help other counselors find the same joy in helping others that I have! I do this through individual coaching services for therapist moms in private practice where I work with moms to find a balance between work, marriage & parenting. Additionally, I take on a select number of new therapists for clinical supervision to guide them on their journey toward their LPC.
Natalie Nesbitt, MS, LPC, NCC loves working with couples! Helping them find the passion in their relationship; remove blocks that are keeping them from being their best; learning to have a marriage they have only dreamed. Providing personalized couples therapy and life counseling at her private psychotherapy practice in Paoli, Pennsylvania, conveniently located on the Main Line. She has helped countless couples save their marriages and/or relationships and come back from the deepest of betrayals.