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Counseling Center of Cherry Creek

If It Doesn’t Burn, You Aren’t Changing

September 28, 2015
Posted By: Counseling Center of Cherry Creek

Couples Therapy Denver COI spend a fair amount of time at the gym with trainers in small group environments. I have written in the past about my love affair with CrossFit and the many metaphors with marriage counseling. This morning, there was another one.

Today I was attending a HELLth class at Endorphin (it’s my new thing) and the trainer Chris Lindley, per usual, was verbally encouraging (aka yelling at) the class to “Go Go Go!” Our legs flying on our bikes, the class of 24 women and 1 man, quite literally drenched in sweat as we each pushed beyond our own personal limits.

Chris instructed us to turn up the resistance on the bike which, of course, decreased my ability to “Go Go Go” with any fervor.

I didn’t want to turn up the resistance.

I didn’t want to push harder.

I wanted to stop.

I hate this!” I thought.

Why do I even bother!” I thought.

This is stupid.” I thought.

And yet, as Chris wend his way around the steamy room filled with his acolytes, I found myself trying to go faster…pushing beyond where I believed that I could go because someone else in that moment believed that I could.


As I peddled, my legs on fire, Chris said, “If it doesn’t burn, you aren’t changing.”


True at the gym...and true in your relationships.

Left to my own devices, believe me, I would not be getting out of bed at 4am in order to attend a 5am class at the gym. I would much rather sleep another 2 1/2 hours and just take a jog around the block.

But one of the things that I know about myself — I am not very good at pushing myself on my own. [Which is why I cannot just go take a run because I stop after one block.]

This is why I have people in my life to help hold a greater vision for me and with me — a business coach, a therapist, personal trainers/coaches, teachers and mentors, and honest friends and family.  

These people are a valuable part of my emotional, spiritual, and physical wellness because they are able to see the goal and hold the vision when frankly…I’d rather go back to bed.

In couples therapy, our therapists hear a lot about the discomfort about the process of therapy because we are asking people to change. Change is uncomfortable and frankly, left to our own devices, many of us wouldn’t change at all.

Part of what we do as therapists in couples work is hold the vision for you when you are unable to see it for yourselves

Your vision might be:

  • a more intimate relationship
  • a less volatile marriage
  • clarity on what to do next
  • improved sex and desire in relationship
  • personal wholeness and well-being

It is our job to help provide hope, guidance, and encouragement in those places where you would rather go back to bed.

A big part of couples therapy is doing your own work which means:

  • looking at what you bring to your relationship
  • examining your own feelings, thoughts, and behaviors
  • taking accountability for what you put in to your marriage
  • committing to changing the parts that are no longer serving you and your marriage

Often, when we begin this process it burns…and like Chris said to me this morning…”if it doesn’t burn, you aren’t changing.” 

  • The burn happens when we take a breath and think about what we are going to say before lashing out at our partner. 
  • The burn happens when we take the vulnerable step to open up emotionally rather than attack or defend. 
  • The burn happens when we take accountability for our part of the toxic dynamic rather than giving all of the responsibility to our partner.

Couples therapy is not for the faint of heart. It is tough…but like just about anything that is worthwhile in life once you get through the tough, the reward on the other side is massive and lasts a lifetime.

If you are ready to feel the burn call us today. Our therapists are specially trained in working with couples and are available for you.

Call our Client Ambassador at (720) 457-3342 ext 0 or click on one of the red BOOK ONLINE  buttons on the top of the page.

Don’t wait one more moment. You don’t have to do this alone.

If you have difficulty using our website, please email us or call us at (720) 457-3342
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