A Couples Counselor, Sex Therapist & Love & Relationship Coach From California Relationship Centers and San Francisco Intimacy & Sex Therapy Centers, Speaks On Why Your Relationship or Marriage Is Struggling and How Our Couples Therapists Can Help You Have A Healthy Relationship
Here at California Relationship Centers, most people seeking couples therapy or coaching, believe they have too much conflict, don’t tend to resolve conflict, feel disconnected, and/or believe they are not very good at communicating.
If a couple has prior experience with any type of therapy or coaching, and thus has learned how to identify the deeper causes of problems in a relationship, they might also claim that their relationship is triggering past traumas, and that they are having difficulty creating solid intimacy, trust and safety, together.
Our San Francisco bay area couples therapists, psychologists, sex therapists, sexologists and relationship and intimacy coaches are here to help you realize that the challenges you are experiencing in your sex life, dating life, partnerships, or marriage, are simply symptoms of a deeper issue we all struggle with.
We are here to tell you that the core issue we all struggle with is: insecurity.
It is unfortunate that society doesn’t educate us all about insecurity, given that this is the primary cause of most of our mental health problems, negative patterns, and relationship dysfunctions. For this reason, when any individual seeks to heal, or couple tries to heal together, it is important we all recognize what insecurity is, where we can truly begin to take responsibility for how we perpetuate ways we feel stuck in our lives.
What Is Insecurity?
Insecurity is described using slightly different terminology, in most orientations of therapy and coaching, through the lens of the methodology and paradigm used to treat patients. A basic definition for insecurity is: the experience of feeling uncomfortable, fearful and/or anxious in relating to self or others, while not trusting in the moment, that one and/or the other, are good, whole, and/or well. In fact, many of us have not healed our grief or traumas of our past, and as a result this leads us to feel insecure. We might feel depressed, hopeless, powerless, anxious, angry, sad, despairing, confused, fearful, and/or desperate when we feel insecure, yet are not aware that insecurity is the root of our strong emotions.
This experience of ongoing insecurity often compels people to try to relieve the feelings caused by it, as a means to feel more peaceful, or less disrupted in one’s focus and well-being. Usually, people seek to relieve insecurity, through changing their behaviors toward the self or others, through demanding or requesting others shift or change to alleviate their discomfort, or through distancing or getting away from whatever, or whomever, seems to trigger the insecurity. In effect, when we feel insecure, we often try to control whatever and whomever we can, in order to no longer feel insecure.
In this vein of attempting to control, it is rather common that most individuals point to an external cause of the emotions associated with feeling insecure. And, due to blaming circumstances and others for what it is we believe is making us feel insecure, most of us have a tendency to secretly (or not so secretly) seek couples therapy or coaching, to get a third party to point out that our partner, boyfriend, girlfriend, wife, husband, or fiance, is the one being harmful, and thus needs to change. When feeling insecure, we believe the therapist or coach must magically make our partner be the one to build greater empathy or sympathy for our pain and discomfort, and that this third party will also hopefully get our partner to stop doing what they have been doing. Most of us genuinely believe the feelings that are triggered by our own insecurities, will go away once our partner changes, and thus stops making us feel this way. For people who continue to approach couples counselling or relationship coaching in this way, they are disappointed to find that when their partner changes their behaviors, they are STILL unhappy in the relationship, because they have not addressed the core issue of insecurity.
How can Couples Counseling Help?
To heal within couples coaching or therapy, it is important to label the root cause of these painful experiences with our partner, as insecurity, because this allows us all to begin to recognize we are 100% accountable for our own healing and happiness. Our partner simply triggers what is already within us to be healed. The second any individual or couple realizes this truth, the way in which they learn to relate to their own emotions, as well as to the relationship dynamic, changes dramatically. Feelings are regulated faster, conflicts are resolved more readily, and a couple is able to experience a level of connection that goes beyond what they have ever experienced before. This level of accountability is necessary to finally grow and heal beyond past betrayals, past losses, and all the dysfunctional patterns in your partnership.
Couples Therapy and Coaching Address Insecurity
As highly specialized expert San Francisco bay area couples counselors and sex therapists from California Relationship Centers, we understand that it may be easy to dismiss what our partner reflects back to us about our own insecurities, because we believe our partner is going to be inaccurate, or is perhaps blaming or projecting. We all have struggled with this, too! However, when allowing us, as either your sexologist, couples therapist or relationship coach to observe the dynamic and each person’s patterns, we are able to reflect back what each individual was originally blind to, within the self and the relationship.
You can have the healthy and secure partnership that you long for through successful couples counseling and sex and intimacy coaching…
When individuals or couples are helped by a couples therapist or coach, to identify, address, and take accountability for working actively with their own insecurities, and the emotions that accompany them, they become more deeply connected with their self and each other. They begin to recognize that their fear and anxiety is rooted in ways of relating, beliefs, feelings, and experiences of self, others and the world, that are based in what we all learn in childhood. All individuals and couples, through couples therapy and relationship coaching, learn that their insecurity is based in trying to cope with early life experiences that were painful, in a variety of ways. Individuals and couples begin to realize that the ways we learned to cope, set up structures and foundations of self, and orientations towards, and perceptions of everything, that served to help the world make sense, and to keep us safe in the ways we learned were safe.
Adult Attachment Styles and Insecurity
Our couples therapists and coaches allow you to see that when we enter love relationships, these orientations (based on our own insecurities) often run unconsciously in the background. These orientations can be referred to as attachment styles. In regard to adult attachment, our attachment patterns are referred to as either Secure Attachment, Anxious Attachment, Avoidant Attachment, or a variation thereof. When a person has Secure Attachment, they may feel insecure rather rarely, and only in certain circumstances. Alternately, those with Anxious or Avoidant Attachment feel insecure most of the time, independent of context, though may have an increased felt experience of insecurity based on circumstances.
Based on whatever attachment style we formed in childhood, we all have slightly varied ways we respond to feeling insecure. People with Secure, Anxious, or Avoidant attachment styles generally portray four discernable patterns or orientations, which people learn to enact when they feel insecure: 1) being accountable, vulnerable, direct, open and honest, 2) be extremely anxious and either deny ones needs or boundaries for fear of upsetting the other, 3) alternating between being extremely anxious, angry, having no boundaries, and then withdrawing, blaming, judging, or distancing, or 4) completely dismissing and devaluing the other, feeling disconnected, or withdrawing/distancing. For instance, as an individual with Avoidant Attachment, when someone gets closer than what feels safe, we may feel compelled to withdraw and protect ourself, or feel anxious, scared or unsafe, because our insecurity is triggered. As an individual with Anxious Attachment, when someone is too distant or hard to connect with, we end up feeling anxious, unsafe, and upset, due to our insecurity. When our partner gives us a certain look, or says something that matches a familiar experience from childhood, where we originally felt unsafe, upset, exploited, helpless, powerless, or scared, they trigger our insecurity, and we react to establish feeling more secure in our self, usually through getting closer, fighting with them, distancing or withdrawing, or through saying and thinking certain things, or engaging in whatever behavior we personally associate with gaining back our sense of security.
Sometimes, one’s insecurity may purely be triggered by being in a partnership. In this case, they may be enacting some degree of the above orientations, perpetually, within their partnership, and not realize this is abnormal. This tendency to feel perpetually insecure, and to not be consciously aware of it, is also another reason seeing a skilled couples coach or therapist is important, as we rarely notice the orientations we are unconscious of, due to not being aware of our own insecurity.
Given the importance of gaining greater awareness and taking responsibility for our own insecurity, in order to have a happier, healthier relationships, why not seek a highly skilled counsellor, coach, therapist, or sexologist, for the help you need? Here at California Relationship Centers and our subdivisions such as San Francisco Intimacy and Sex Therapy Centers, we understand insecurity, and we want to help you and your partner, today!