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Conflict in Couples Offers Clues for Change

Most couples enter couples therapy as a result of unresolved conflict. Stated reasons for explosions may be as small as a dish in the sink or a delay in texting. But the thoughts, feelings and responses these minor actions trigger paint a far bigger picture of unmet relationship needs and that is where couples therapy can help create change.

When a situation which causes discomfort escalates into yelling, accusing or more threatening aggressive behavior, there is competition between partners about who is the victim. The overblown reaction, while understandably upsetting, is identified as the problem and the feelings triggered by the dish left in the sink seem less important. But, in order to change negative behavior, we have to dig a little deeper.

Areas to Explore in Couples Therapy

Did you feel disrespected? Ignored? Worthless? Did you imagine your partner was deliberately trying to hurt or disregard you? If an action takes you to such a miserable place, we need to explore the origin of this vulnerability and see if you are piling on past hurts to make the current feelings harder to tolerate. By doing this in session, you will increase self-awareness, and offer your partner the clues to understanding your sensitivities on a more useful level.

Patterns of relationship conflict, whether about small or larger issues, may be hard to break on your own and attempting to push your partner into changing can inspire pushing back or shutting down. That cycle creates distance, lessens trust and won’t solve your problems. Together in therapy, we create a space where you both may openly express feelings and be truly heard. We will explore the underlying issues which turn uncomfortable situations into threatening emotional reactions. By increasing understanding, you will support yourselves and each other through the steps toward a safer, stronger connection. While arguments may be frightening and frustrating, they do not predict relationship failure.  On the contrary, the flag they wave signals a desire for change and growth and seeking help will make that happen.

Couples Therapy NYC

My office is located in Midtown NYC, and I specialize in working with individuals, couples, and families navigating through relationship and trying to create healthy patterns of relating. Relationship struggles can often seem overwhelming. I’m here to help you make sense of what is happening so you both can move forward.

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Joan Warren, LMFT

Joan Warren Therapy

Contact Details

Office Location

280 Madison Avenue
Suite 208
New York, NY 10016


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