• Naughty or Nice? Navigating Holiday Stress as a Couple

    The holidays are supposed to be “the most wonderful time of the year.” They even wrote a song about it! Many intend this as a time to relax and reset, be with family, and make memories with loved ones. Unfortunately, things don’t always work out quite like we hope.

    Too often, holiday celebrations become a hotbed of family friction that potentially magnifies existing conflicts — and this reality can be especially true for couples. Common sources of holiday stress include: Whose family will you celebrate with? How much time and money will travel cost? What should the gift-giving budget be?

    According to a study by the National Retail Federation, Americans spend approximately $920 on gifts alone, with 33% of them expected to spend at least $1,000! In addition, travel, accommodations, and food can quickly bust the family budget, leading to even more stress.

    And get ready for the intrusive questions from well-intentioned family members. When are you getting married? Are you trying to have kids — or another one? When will you move into that bigger house? Are you still out of work? You also need to be ready for political disagreements, religious discussions, family drama, and just a lot of potential awkward situations in general.

    While you may not be able to stop Aunt Betty from asking questions you’d rather not discuss, and you may still have to negotiate with your partner about where to spend the holidays, things like these don’t have to cause you and your partner undue stress and conflict. All of these issues can be effectively addressed with Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT). This humanistic approach to psychotherapy is a proven treatment method that focuses on the present instead of digging up and dwelling on the past. It allows couples to acknowledge and express their emotions in a way their partner can hear and respond to, and helps both of them fulfill their emotional needs. The goal of treatment is to create a more secure bond and increase intimacy and trust.

    During your EFT sessions, I’ll work with each of you to explore your emotional experiences more deeply, help you better make sense of them, and process and integrate them in a new, healthier way. EFT creates a safe space to express your deepest feelings. Often, in as little as 8-20 sessions, EFT can provide relief and create lasting and meaningful improvements in your relationship. You’ll establish more positive interactions based on the new emotional signals that you explore together.

    It can be easy to get caught up in the chaos of the holidays. With so much going on both at work, at home, and with extended family, there is potential to let your relationship slide off track. EFT can help turn holiday stress into an opportunity to grow closer as a couple. And what better gift can you give yourself this season than that?



    Therapy services available via Telehealth.