"For one human being to love another, that is perhaps the most difficult of all our tasks...the work for which all other work is but preparation." (Rilke)
While relationships certainly should not be 'all work', almost every conscious, committed long-term relationship will benefit from some of this 'work' at some point in time.
In addition to learning how to communicate needs and wants more directly , 'cleanly' and effectively, it always requires us to step outside of the emotional dramas we get caught in, to better understand and learn to interrupt the conditioned responses that lead to recurring conflict, lingering resentment, emotional and/or sexual withdrawal, and other symptoms of imbalance in the relationship.
A skillful couples therapist can help you navigate the difficult passages without a shipwreck, and turn a battleground into a field of exploration, or a stale disengagement into a fertile encounter.
To this end I flexibly apply ideas and principles of family systems theory, Imago, and Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy to my work with relationships.