couples therapy brca

Couples Therapy BRCA 

At Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, our therapists for brca couples therapy understands that finding out your partner has the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 gene mutation can be difficult to absorb. Partners may feel stressed, confused, and unsure about what this means for their romantic future. There isn’t a right or wrong way to respond per say, but we do suggest coming in for couples therapy if you are worried it will have an impact on your relationship. Couples where one partner has a BRCA mutation, can benefit from having a safe space to talk about their thoughts. 

When the News is Delivered

Upon receiving news about the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation, both partners may be overwhelmed, frustrated, and devastated. While having a BRCA gene mutation doesn’t automatically result in an immediate cancer diagnosis, just the news itself can be enough to shake the core of a relationship. The partner diagnosed may feel guilt and shame, even though there was nothing they could do to prevent it since it is an inherited mutation.

During a brca couples therapy session, our therapists can help couples talk through important topics like family planning, medical decisions, communication problems, intimacy blockages, and financial impacts. When the news is delivered, you can trust that our therapists can offer compassionate support. 

Implications of Testing Positive

There are many ways that a couple’s relationship can be impacted if one partner tests positive for a BRCA mutation. Some couples may start to struggle with being intimate together, particularly if resentments have built-up since the diagnosis. Others may find it almost impossible to overcome their emotions after receiving the news, and aren’t sure how to work through it. 

If a woman chooses to have a mastectomy or oophorectomy, she can become insecure with her body image. Due to this change, complications with sexuality, sex, intimacy, and confidence can arise. A therapist for couples therapy brca has worked with couples in similar situations, and understands how delicate of a matter this can be for both partners. Additionally, if the woman hasn’t had children yet but wishes to, then she and her partner have to talk about how this may affect pregnancy, health, and risks for the children. 

Compassionate Therapy

Here at Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, during couples therapy for brca mutation, we focus on providing compassionate therapy for couples going through this dilemma together. Not all therapists understand the sensitive and complex nature of such a discussion. We have worked with individuals and couples about how to manage their risk in regards to their relationships. One of the most effective ways that couples can heal is through communication. Genetic testing results can cause emotions to run very high, so having a safe place to examine your feelings with help from a therapist can get you on the way towards coping, healing, and acceptance.

If you are having trouble coping with a recent genetic test result, just know there are kind professionals who can help. Couples who would like to speak with a therapist about brca couples therapy for BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutations, can contact Lindsey Hoskins & Associates today to book an appointment. 

How Can a BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 Diagnosis Affect Couples?

Learning that you or your romantic partner has tested positive for either the BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation can leave you feeling overwhelmed, dazed, fearful, frustrated, confused and even angry. There is no single “right” way to react to this reality. You may discover that over time, both you and your romantic partner react to this challenge in different ways. Although it is normal to react to this challenge in a myriad of ways, it is not always easy for couples to understand how to respond to each other’s reactions in healthy ways. This is where BRCA couples therapy can be extremely beneficial. Every couple’s situation is different. As a result, it is important to work with a couples counselor devoted to finding the unique balance of healthy approaches that best suits each individual couple’s needs, priorities and circumstances. At Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, we are committed to doing just that.

BRCA and Romantic Couples – The Basics

It doesn’t take an official cancer diagnosis to rock the foundations of a relationship. Being diagnosed with certain gene mutations that predispose one to specific kinds of cancers can affect a relationship in many of the same ways. BRCA couples therapy can help romantic partners process this reality, plan for the future and work out each individual’s reactions to these issues in the healthiest ways possible. From family planning to medical decision-making, financial considerations to communication issues, intimacy challenges to fear of the future, dedicated BRCA couples therapy sessions can help couples find ways to move forward in proactive and supportive ways. There is no single “right” way to process such a diagnosis. But attending counseling sessions can help to better ensure that your approach is healthy and supports your unique needs and priorities.

As a therapist at Lindsey Hoskins & Associates may tell you, couples therapy BRCA can be quite different compared to individual therapy. When one person attends therapy, the focus is on you, what you need, and how you can improve as a person. With couples therapy, the focus turns to about you and your partner as one entity. Couples therapy can help partners learn more about themselves, each other, and what they can do to strengthen their relationship. Attending couples therapy doesn’t mean you have failed as a couple. It means that you are both willing to work through a difficult time instead of throwing in the towel. 

Here are a few things to keep in mind before attending your first couples therapy BRCA session with a therapist: 

It Isn’t Up to the Therapist to Save Your Relationship

By meeting with a therapist, this doesn’t mean that your relationship will automatically be saved. In fact, in order for BRCA couples therapy in Maryland to be successful, both partners have to want to work hard on their end too. A therapist’s role is to help guide you to a better place in your relationship, but they can’t put in the elbow grease for you.

Remember that you can’t control your partner during this time either. While issues of your relationship are surely to be discussed, it isn’t a blame game. You may be surprised to find that each of you have to do some internal work on yourselves, versus just focusing on what your partner has done wrong. 

It Can’t Work If You Both Aren’t Invested

One partner cannot keep the relationship together. As a therapist at Lindsey Hoskins & Associates has seen before, one partner may be resistant to trying couples therapy. While this is certainly natural, emotional and time investment is required from each partner for therapy to work. At the very minimum, both of you have to want to relationship to continue functioning. Some relationships can be preserved, while others can’t. How much the couple gets out of therapy sessions is directly related to how much they put into it with an open and honest mindset. 

Counseling Assistance Is Available

If your relationship has been affected by a BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation diagnosis, please know that BRCA couples therapy may significantly help you and your romantic partner find healthy ways forward. Not all couples counseling scenarios are alike. Some counselors focus on young couples seeking a way to grow a healthy relationship from the start. Some counselors primarily work with couples struggling with substance abuse issues, empty nest challenges, financial burdens, end-of-life decision-making or infidelity. Navigating your way through a BRCA 1 or BRCA 2 mutation diagnosis is a unique reality. Seeking out specialized BRCA couples therapy could help to ensure that you are working with a counselor uniquely focused on your relationship’s unusual challenges. Please don’t hesitate to schedule a risk-free initial consultation today. You may discover that you can benefit from this effort even more than you might initially believe you can. We look forward to speaking with you.

Couples in which one member has tested positive for a BRCA1 or BRCA2 mutation may benefit from working with a couples therapist who is knowledgeable about how these mutations may impact couples and family relationships, health, and decision-making.

Testing positive for a BRCA mutation has significant implications for a couples relationship, including intimacy/sexuality, family formation, risk-management decision-making, and communication. Couples may find it challenging to reconcile changing body image with their ideas about how their physical relationship can and should function at various stages. Women who choose to undergo risk-reducing mastectomy or oophorectomy will encounter changes to their bodies that can complicate sex and sexuality. A skilled couples therapist can help a couple communicate effectively about these issues and find compromise and satisfaction. Family formation goals and ideas are often affected by a positive BRCA mutation test. When a woman has not yet commenced or completed childbearing at the time of genetic testing, she and her partner must consider the implications of pregnancy on her own health, as well as the risk to their future children.

Understanding all of the factors and options can be confusing and complicated. But a skilled couples therapist who is knowledgeable about these issues can serve as a guide in understanding each other and making decisions that work for your family. The options available for risk-management for BRCA-positive individuals are complicated and frequently changing. In addition, any decision has serious implications for couples relationships – either presently or in the future. Lindsey Hoskins has worked extensively with both couples and individuals to help them make confident decisions about how to manage their risk in the context of their relationships. Communicating effectively with one’s partner is an important step toward coping and healing together. Emotions can run high when working through the complicated process of genetic testing and decision-making, and having a safe place to explore your feelings together with the guidance of an expert in both couples therapy and genetics can set you on the path toward hope and healing.

Don’t Wait Too Long To Get Support 

Waiting too long to address issues in your relationship that have been festering may ultimately lead to its demise. Negative feelings that remain dormant are likely to eventually explode at one point or another. And by then, the damage may have already been done. This is why it is important to seek BRCA couples therapy in Bethesda, MD once issues have begun to arise. If you and your partner try therapy sooner, you are taking proactive steps to prevent your relationship from reaching the brink of breakup. 

If you and your partner are ready to try couples therapy, then we encourage you to talk with us and ask any questions you have. We are happy to alleviate your concerns and tell you about what a therapy session will be like. For more details about Bethesda couples therapy BRCA in MD, you can contact a therapist at Lindsey Hoskins & Associates at your earliest convenience. 

BRCA Couples Therapy FAQs

If you’re seeking MD BRCA couples therapy, we’re here to help. At Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, we specialize in offering compassionate support and guidance to couples navigating this journey. Understanding the nuances of BRCA and its impact on relationships is crucial for couples facing this reality. Here are some insights into frequently asked questions about BRCA and how couples therapy can be beneficial.

What Is BRCA And How Does It Affect Relationships?

BRCA1 and BRCA2 are genes that, when mutated, significantly increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancers, and can also affect men with increased risks for certain cancers. A diagnosis of a BRCA mutation can have profound implications for relationships. It often brings about feelings of fear, uncertainty, and stress, which can affect communication, intimacy, and future planning. Couples may struggle with differing views on handling the risk, making decisions about preventive measures, and coping with the emotional fallout of such a diagnosis.

How Can Couples Therapy Help BRCA Positive Couples?

Couples therapy offers a supportive space for BRCA positive couples to process their emotions and navigate the complexities of their situation. It provides tools for effective communication, helping both partners express their fears, concerns, and hopes. BRCA couples therapy can assist in making informed decisions about preventive surgeries, family planning, and lifestyle changes. Moreover, it can help couples strengthen their emotional bond and support system, crucial for navigating the journey ahead.

What Challenges Do BRCA Mutations Bring To A Relationship?

BRCA mutations introduce a range of challenges into a relationship. The increased risk of cancer can create anxiety and fear about the future. Decisions about preventive surgeries, such as mastectomy or oophorectomy, can impact body image, sexual intimacy, and fertility, leading to complex emotional and physical relationship dynamics. There may also be differences in how each partner processes the risk and their approach to managing it, which can lead to misunderstandings and conflict.

How Can I Cope With The Stress Of A BRCA Diagnosis In Marriage?

Coping with the stress of a BRCA diagnosis requires open communication, mutual support, and often professional guidance. Acknowledge and validate each other’s feelings and fears. It’s important to educate yourselves about BRCA and discuss your options together. Establishing a support network, including family, friends, and support groups, can provide additional emotional backing. Couples therapy can be an invaluable resource, offering strategies for managing stress, improving communication, and maintaining a strong, supportive relationship.

What Communication Strategies Are Helpful For BRCA Couples?

Effective communication is vital for BRCA couples. This includes actively listening to each other’s concerns, fears, and expectations. Engaging in open and honest conversations about feelings and the impact of BRCA on your lives is essential. Utilize ‘I’ statements to express your emotions and needs without blaming or criticizing your partner. Schedule regular times to talk about your feelings and updates on your situation. Remember, it’s okay to seek help in navigating these conversations, and couples therapy can provide the tools and guidance needed for effective communication.

Get In Touch With Us Today

At Lindsey Hoskins & Associates, we recognize the unique challenges faced by couples dealing with a BRCA diagnosis. Our therapists are here to provide support, guidance, and the tools you need to navigate this journey together. If you and your partner are grappling with the implications of BRCA in your relationship, we invite you to reach out to us. Contact our team today, and see how BRCA couples therapy can help.