Disconnection. Conflict. Loneliness. Resentment. Ambivalence. Betrayal…

Being in a rough spot in your romantic relationship can put a dark cloud over everything. You might be experiencing a loss of vibrancy, reduced confidence, a short fuse, or a rise in depression or anxiety. Maybe you feel trapped, disconnected, or insecure. Add children to the mix, and you might be worrying if they’re impacted by the problems in your relationship. You really want things to be better but aren’t sure how to get there.

There is hope.

“People are complex. We don’t come with manuals that automate the process of getting along.”
– Dr. Stan Tatkin

All couples face challenges, and relationships are resilient if given the support they need. Entering into couples therapy is a valuable undertaking, and finding your way out of pain and into connection is possible. I’ve worked with many couples who emerge from dark times with a deeper connection and a more satisfying relationship.

I love working with all couples – heterosexual, same sex, married, partnered, dating… all are welcome.

Couples seek therapy with me for any of the following:

  • Infidelity/betrayal
  • “Perpetual problems” – the same issue(s) coming up over and over again
  • Sexual concerns – desire, frequency, communication
  • Adjusting to becoming parents and other transitions
  • Looking for a relationship “tune up”
  • High conflict
  • Disconnection
  • Premarital/newly married – wanting to establish a good foundation

My approach to couples therapy

By the time couples get to my office they are usually feeling stuck, in pain, or checked out; their best efforts to get to a better place haven’t worked, and they’ve decided therapy might be helpful. I enter into this emotional space and help couples get un-stuck and experience new ways to be in relationship with one another.

My style with couples is collaborative, experiential, direct, and down to earth. In couples therapy, my client is the couple relationship; through that lens we begin work on rebuilding connection, understanding self and other, and healing injuries. We interrupt problematic patterns of behavior and deepen the ability for partners to really see and know each other – working to build trust they can both care for their partner, and be cared for in return. In essence, couples build an owner’s manual for one another and for their relationship, and they are able to end therapy with the skills needed to function better on their own.

I am most heavily influenced by my years of training with Dr. Stan Takin and his PACT therapy model (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy). PACT emerged from research on attachment (our relational blueprint), nervous system regulation (how we experience and manage distress), and neuroscience (how our brains work). I am also trained in the work of therapist and researcher Dr. John Gottman and frequently incorporate his findings into my work with couples. Esther Perel’s work on desire and monogamy has also been very influential in my work with couples. I’ve studied many other brilliant clinicians as well: Harville Hendrix’s Imago Theory, Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Therapy, Shirley’s Glass’s expertise on infidelity, Harriet Lerner’s concept of relational dances, and Linda Carroll’s Love Cycles.

Is it the end?…

I am pro-relationship and have seen many distraught couples find their way back to one another with proper support and lots of hard work. But even this pro-relationship therapist knows that sometimes a couple has put forth their best effort and the dynamic continues to be damaging for one or both. When a couple decides to end the relationship, we shift into ending with compassion and intention (versus reactivity and anger). For couples at the end, the work becomes about making meaning of the relationship, obtaining closure, allowing for grief, and saying goodbye to the romantic relationship in a loving way. The goal is to lay fertile soil for co-parenting (if applicable) and future healthy relationships.

If you are in a relationship where one of you wants to work on it, but the other is leaning towards ending it, you might be a good fit for Discernment Counseling, which is a model that was developed for couples on the brink of divorce.

Couples therapy is an investment in the health of your relationship.

Ready to dive in? Contact me here with your questions or to schedule an appointment.

SaveSaveSaveSave