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.