Taking care of your mental health extends beyond self-care Sundays, weekend getaways, and leaning on friends during a difficult period. Local clinicians at Lukin Center for Psychotherapy, located at 51 Upper Montclair Plaza, Suite 27 in Montclair, recommend seeking professional counseling to create a safe space to navigate breakdowns in communication that can happen in any close relationship. Keep reading to learn more about the Lukin Center + the exclusive offer for The Montclair Girl readers.
5 Tips Every Couple Should Know, According to Dr. Lukin
There are a few basic needs every individual has in a relationship, and focusing on meeting those needs can help create a healthy environment for both parties. Here are five tips from Dr. Lukin, Ph.D.:
- The need to feel heard. This provides an opportunity for two people to engage actively in listening to the other person. The major key of feeling heard is being able to acknowledge and validate what the other person is saying.
- The need to feel accepted. This point is important for romantic relationships and general relationships alike. Having a sense of identity and security within the couple or to the relationship serves as a harbinger of how that relationship will fare in years to come.
- The need for trust. The way to think about trust or safety is: do both individuals in the couple have faith in the consistency of the other individual? The obvious thing that comes to mind is infidelity. Regaining that trust is one of the most important things that people typically work on in couples therapy.
- The need to feel prioritized. In other words, this area focuses on the need to feel important. One question that you want to ask yourself is: do I feel important to the individual with whom I’m spending my time? If the answer is yes, then that need is likely met. If the answer is no, it is definitely something you want to address in therapy.
- The need to feel desired. This can be intimately, sexually, or just as a person — do you feel like the other person wants to be around you?
“A really common question people have is: does a relationship need to have all five of those at the same time? The simple answer is no. What’s important is to be aware of what those needs are and then consider what the most important needs are to you, and that might be one or two,” Dr. Lukin shared. “The key is to communicate what those needs are to a partner so those key needs are prioritized.”
What to Expect in Couples Counseling
Lukin Center first opened its doors in 2014 in Hoboken and in recent years has expanded to include five other locations in Ridgewood, Jersey City, Englewood, Montclair, and Westfield. The center was founded by Dr. Paula Yanes-Lukin, Ph.D. and Dr. Konstantin Lukin, Ph.D., a licensed psychologist who personally matches every patient with the clinician who possesses the right mix of skills, training, and personality for the best outcomes possible. This facilitates the development of a meaningful, productive rapport with a professional you can like and trust.
Emotionally Focused Therapy is a highly effective modality of couple’s counseling to help people improve their relationships. EFT helps people understand and address the feelings, patterns, and emotions behind negative relationship patterns and cycles. It’s also one of the most researched and most effective treatments for long-term results. EFT works more than 80% of the time, no matter the reason for treatment.
“Most marriage issues involve a breakdown in communication,” Dr. Lukin mentioned. “Talking to a therapist helps you see your relationship objectively, uncover and understand feelings, see things from each other’s perspective, and create a safe space for you both to be able to say things you might not be able to say to each other at home.”
The reason why couples seek out counseling varies greatly, but a few common issues include anger, boundary issues, infidelity, cultural differences, divorce, health issues, infertility, intimacy issues, money + finances, parenting conflicts, navigating a blended family, and unemployment. However, marriage counseling isn’t just for troubled relationships; marriage counseling can also be an empowering, healing, and insightful experience for both you and your partner. It can be a wonderful tool for relationships of all stages to strengthen their bonds, learn to communicate more clearly, and support each other in the future.
At Lukin Center, marriage counseling can last anywhere from a few sessions to several months. Regardless of the duration, you and your partner will meet with a therapist to work toward specific goals you set. You will meet with your therapist together most of the time, with individual counseling sessions on an as-needed basis.
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Lukin Center’s Montclair office is located at 51 Upper Montclair Plaza, Suite 27 in Montclair. You can click here or call 201-409-0393 with questions or to schedule an appointment.