Thursday, April 17, 2014

Staying Connected

Staying Connected
It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been with your partner or what type of relationship you have, there is always room for improvement. However, it’s not always clear what steps you should take to enhance your connection, which is where we can help. At the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, Dr. Marji Prefontaine has more than 30 years of experience providing quality marriage therapy to couples in New Mexico, and she can help you and your partner stay connected as time goes by.
Couples therapy isn’t just for major problems, such as infidelity. Often, it is the smaller problems, including basic communication issues, that couples should focus on, and Dr. Prefontaine will act as a third set of eyes and ears to help you identify issues that you may not be paying attention to in your relationship. Therapy will also help you gain some basic tools for recovering from any problems in your relationship.
Whether you feel that your relationship is functional and happy or you notice that you and your partner are having some problems, couples therapy is a great way to resolve conflicts and help you and your partner stay connected through open and effective communication.
Schedule a session with Dr. Marji Prefontaine by calling 505-821-1948. For more information, visit

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Patterns of Conflict

Patterns of Conflict and Arguments
Patterns of conflict in relationships often emerge when couples repeatedly argue about certain topics. As a couple argues repeatedly, communication is broken down, preventing constructive conflict resolution. This leads to the development of poisonous patterns of hurtful or unproductive behavior. There are four main behaviors that couples engage in that can lead to conflict in their relationship. These behaviors are criticism, contempt, defensiveness and stonewalling.  
Criticism, in this case, is described as attacking your partner’s personality, rather than their behavior. While airing a complaint can be a healthy relationship activity, criticism is a personal attack that can lead to a breakdown in communication. Contempt is a behavior that often follows directly from criticism. Contempt is similar to criticism, except that contempt implies one partner’s intent to insult or psychologically abuse the other. It is usually expressed through snide or antagonistic remarks, a mocking attitude and hostile humor.
The third common relationship problem is defensiveness, which is what emerges when both partners feel victimized by the each other. It often becomes a reflex and prevents conflicts from being resolved. After defensiveness, there is stonewalling, which appears when relationships are in serious decline. This behavior occurs when one partner or both stop responding to each other, even to act defensively.
With the help of Dr. Marji Prefontaine, you can find how certain common behavioral problems are leading to a pattern of conflict in your relationship. At the Relationship Center of Albuquerque we offer couples counseling that can help you and your partner communicate more effectively and strengthen the bonds of your relationship. Call 505-821-1948 to schedule a therapy session. For more information, visit

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Learning to be Vulnerable

Learning to be Vulnerable
Vulnerability is necessary for developing and maintaining trusting and intimate relationships, but being vulnerable with one another is one of the biggest challenges that couples face. Although individuals often let fear and shame prevent vulnerability, it is the glue that holds a relationship together, helping couples navigate their day-to-day lives together. Vulnerability allows a couple to feel comfortable around one another and communicate honestly and openly. If you and your partner are struggling, emotional discord that accompanies a lack of vulnerability may be the cause.
Shame and fear are major factors in preventing vulnerability and are the main reasons that couples engage in power struggles and destructive relationship dynamics. If you are afraid of showing weakness or exposing yourself to your partner, you might not be aware that you are letting fear prevent you from completely engaging in your relationship. Don’t let fear ruin your opportunity for love.
You will find help at the Relationship Center of Albuquerque, where we can help you and your partner improve your relationship by learning to be more vulnerable. With couples or individual therapy, we can help you develop shame resilience and learn to be vulnerable. Enrich your relationship; call 505-821-1948 to schedule an appointment. For more information,