Your Coupleship: Year in Review 2018

Why would you and your partner want to do a “Year In Review”?  This series of check-in questions is designed to help you invite structure, flow, play and secure connection into 2019. 

Secure Functioning” is being in a relationship that is fully collaborative, fully mutual, + based on justice, fairness, and sensitivity.
— Dr. Stan Tatkin

Perhaps you completed the Coupleship Year in Review around this time last year.  Hopefully it provided you with the opportunity to reflect on your relationship, togetherness and growth both as individuals and a couple during 2017.  This year the Space Between Counseling Services team has re-invented the review. You may notice some similar questions, as well as some new ones.

As the rush of the Holiday season is almost over, and before you ring in the near year, we hope that you can create a holding space for one another. Just being together and enjoying each other is great, but once again Space Between Counseling Services has an invitation for you that will help make your relationship stronger in the year to come.

Photo by  Toa Heftiba  via  Unsplash

Photo by Toa Heftiba via Unsplash

Your Coupleship in 2018

Reflecting on this past year

  • If you had to describe your coupleship 2018 in 3 words, what would they be?

  • What new things did you discover about yourself?

  • What new things did you discover about your partner?

  • What was the best gift you received from your partner and why?

  • What was the hardest moment for you two in 2018?

  • What was your favorite place that you two visited in 2018?

  • What 5 people did you most enjoy spending time with as a couple?

  • What one event, big or small, are you going to tell your grandchildren or future company about?

  • Describe a time when you needed to depend on your partner.  Did they come to your aid?  How did it feel?

  • How did your relationship to your extended family / in-law family evolve or devolve?

  • Do you support your partner’s development as an individual? How? Give examples. 

  • Do you support your partner’s desires even when you don’t agree?

  • In what ways does your relationship mirror the relationship of your primary caregivers when you were a child?  Is this positive or negative?

  • If your relationship was a movie, drama, or book, what would it be titled and how would it end?

  • What single achievement are you most proud of as a couple? Does your partner know your feelings about this?

  • How did you succeed in living out your shared values as a couple?

Coupleship & Intimacy

REFLECTION OF INTIMACY & CONNECTION IN 2018 THAT CAN BE ENHANCED IN 2019. FROM ESTHER PEREL 

  • Among the 5 senses, which one is most sexual for you?

    {Seeing / Hearing / Smelling / Touching / Tasting}

  • What's a dilemma that you carry with you into the relationship or into your sensual space?

  • Of the following verbs, which one are you most comfortable with, and which would you like to stretch a bit further within your relationship? 

    { To Ask | To Take | To Give | To Receive | To Refuse }- within the bedroom and beyond

Your Coupleship in 2019

EMBRACING A PROACTIVE RELATIONSHIP STANCE FOR THE FUTURE & BEYOND

  • What or where do you want to see, discover, explore together?

  • How will you as a couple keep desire and intimacy alive in 2019? 

  • Which habits do you want to change, cultivate or get rid of – to enhance your coupleship in 2019?

  • What do you each need as individuals in the year to come? How will you contribute to partner’s development as an individual in 2019? 

  • How do you want to remember the year 2019 when you look back on it 10/20/50 years from now?

  • What are three things you can invest more money, time and energy into this coming year?

  • What are three things you can invest less money, time and energy into this coming year? 

  • In what ways can your partner depend on you this coming year?


In this space between the holidays, where one year ends and another begins, we’d love to know that you’re strengthening your "coupleship bubble." Maybe you want to think of it as creating your own private snow globe where you sit together in the swirl of your past and present and plan out your future.
Photo by  Aaron Burden  via  UnSplash

Photo by Aaron Burden via UnSplash

First, you might need to understand or remember the special place your coupleship bubble holds in your lives. Stan Tatkin, the creator of the form of couples therapy Susan Stork practices is called PACT, describes the couple bubble as: “a mutually constructed membrane, cocoon, or womb that holds a couple together and protects each partner from outside elements.”

This Year in Review exercise is intended to help you look at some of those “implied agreements” and find a way to talk about them and really understand the power and potential of this couple bubble of yours.

This process can also give you some creative time to discuss the status of your relationship as we end 2018. It offers additional structure so you can join together in a dialogue of connection, playfulness, transparency and mutuality that can carry you into your next year of coupleship, and beyond.

Take this chance to reminisce about your favorite moments within your couple bubble, appreciate all the little and big things that were a part of your lives in the past year, and notice the moments that created connection, lightheartedness, and wholeness in your partnership.

Photo by  Nong Vang  via  UnSplash

Photo by Nong Vang via UnSplash

The holiday season can often incite the pressure for perfection.  Think about the beautiful twinkling lights, precisely wrapped packages, and harmonic melodies all around you.  However, this is meant to be an exercise that reflects real life. This means that you might come up against memories of all the ways you were temporarily out of sync and playfulness and jovial nature of your relationship wasn't part of the picture at all.  Perhaps some moments were messy, painful or embarrassing – much unlike the idealized fantasy world you may find in a snow globe.  

As a team of therapists who work closely with couples, Space Between Counseling Services knows that not all the relationship moments you’ll remember together are going to be positive.  In fact, we are aware that quite the opposite sometimes occurs.

Inevitably, when you talk honestly about your relationship hard topics, fears and sensitive subjects may surface or resurface. And this is why we are including a few questions designed to help you really see if you two are taking the time to understand one another on a deeper, transparent, connected level.

THE COUPLESHIP WAVES WILL INEVITABLY GET HEAVY FROM TIME TO TIME. 

THINK OF THE ANSWERS YOU COME UP WITH NOW AS LIFE PRESERVERS THAT WILL BE THERE WHEN YOU NEED THEM.

Photo by  Steve Halama  via  Unsplash

Photo by Steve Halama via Unsplash

Today, we turn to one person to provide what an entire village once did: a sense of grounding, meaning, and continuity. At the same time, we expect our committed relationships to be romantic as well as emotionally and sexually fulfilling. Is it any wonder that so many relationships crumble under the weight of it all?
— Esther Perel
That quote by the famed couples therapist Esther Perel isn’t meant to make you give up hope. It’s there to help you see that sometimes modern coupleship feels challenging because it IS challenging. But these questions are here to help you understand where you’ve been and where you’re going so you can set loving, realistic expectations together.

The Space Between Counseling Services Team:

Susan Stork, LCPC-ACS, NCC

Marty Weishaar, LGPC, LGPAT, ATR-P

Brittany Spencer, LGPC

Noelle Benach, Office Manager (Awaiting LGPC Licensure)


At Space Between Counseling Services, we hope that these questions may reveal many opportunities and spark the desire to deepen your connection and love within your couple bubble.

IF YOU’RE STRUGGLING WITH THESE QUESTIONS AND YEARN TO DEEPEN YOUR COUPLESHIP, SPACE BETWEEN COUNSELING SERVICES CLINICIANS ARE CURRENTLY WELCOMING CLIENTS IN THE BALTIMORE - WASHINGTON DC REGION. SCHEDULE YOUR COMPLEMENTARY 15 -MINUTE CONSULTATION TODAY. 

SBCS clinicians offer complimentary 15-minute phone consultations for new clients to ensure therapeutic fit for busy couples juggling it all in our modern world.

 

FINDING A RELATIONSHIP THERAPIST IS NO CAKE WALK AND GETTING A FEEL FOR FIT IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF THE PROCESS. Space Between Counseling Services is comprised of numerous clinicians with a wide variety of skill sets & specialties, catered to your specific needs.

 

Meet Our Team of Couples Therapists

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Susan Stork, LCPC, NCC is a Relationship Therapist and owner+ founder Space Between Counseling Services.  Susan works with Individuals + Couples.  Susan specializes in working with Type A’s, Creatives, urban professionals (Individuals + Couples), and Neurodiverse couples, where one partner has High Functioning Autism / Asperger's Syndrome (AS) / Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD) and the other is Neurotypical (NT; referred to elsewhere as Non-Asperger's, or Non-Spectrum).

Susan helps her clients balance schedules, families, stress, and the modern challenges in modern professional life and/or in coupleship.

Utilizing Stan Tatkin’s PACT approach, Susan helps individulas and couples move through the muck of life to achieve a life of purpose and connection. To learn more about couples work with Susan, click HERE.

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Brittany Spencer, LGPC is a individual and couples therapy. Brittany works with couples comprised of young adults, athletes, those who identify within the LGBTQIA spectrum, and performance-oriented individuals. Brittany practices utilizing Gottman Method Couples Therapy. To learn more about working with Brittany, click HERE.

Noelle Benach, Office Manager [Awaiting LGPC Licensure] is an individual and couples therapist. Noelle works with modern couples whom identify as co-habitators & pre-committed duos. Noelle specializes in working with people who identify within the LGBTQIA spectrum, people of color, & young adults. Noelle utilizes the Gottman Method Couples Therapy as she assists couples in developing honest & productive communication, connectivity, and healthy attachments. To learn more about working with Noelle, click HERE.


Photo by  Raw Pixel  via  UnSplash

Photo by Raw Pixel via UnSplash

Are You a Clinician Who Works With Individuals  Wanting to Learn More About Couples Work?

Join Susan Stork, LCPC-ACS, NCC, founder of Space Between Counseling Services, and her colleague, Heather Garner , LCSW-C, founder of Garnering Change Psychotherapy for their upcoming couples workshops: 

Couples Work & Why it Matters in Modern Times

In this highly interactive full-day training, tailored to individual clinicians who are curious about modern couples work, participants will have the opportunity to explore the role that couples therapy plays in individual counseling.  The curriculum is catered to anyone who primarily works with individual clients and would like to gain knowledge and insight on how to collaborate with the couples therapist.  Therapists will explore how trauma shows up in the couples therapy session utilizing Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy (RLT) and Stan Tatkin’s Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT).

Clinicians will gain a multimedia approach to couples work including: couples therapy tapes, clips from popular movies and various educational sources to gain understanding of the couples therapeutic process and the unique features of modern ‘coupleship.’  Additionally, clinicians will participate in group experiential sessions that will allow them to learn new therapeutic interventions, put themselves in the couples “hot seat” and learn why it is so valuable for individual therapists to be a collaborator in the couple’s therapeutic process rather than perhaps being an unintentional opposing force.

Upcoming Training Opportunities:

Photo by  William Stitt  via  UnSplash

Photo by William Stitt via UnSplash

January 18, 2019 at Chesapeake Mental Health Collaborative

Click Here for more information & to reserve your seat - LIMITED AVAILIBILITY

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March 11, 2019 at The Ferentz Institute

Click HERE for more information & to reserve your seat - LIMITED AVAILIBILITY