You wonder where your beautiful relationship went? You ask yourself, "How did we get here?" As you well know, relationships are our source of greatest joy and the greatest pain. They start out so full of hope, fun, excitement, passion, but after time, they can turn distant, angry, cold, or passionless. We can all fall in love, but the tools and lessons to stay in love, most of us never learned. I assist people to get back on track, stop the arguing, assess the underlying emotions driving the distress, move from disconnection to connection, become true partners in life or parenting, or, in some cases, instill hope even in the most hopeless situations.
The unfortunate reality is sometimes relationships will not work out, but I believe many people give up too soon. The good news is that with effective therapy, couples can improve, creating the relationship they desire.
Imagine feeling heard, valued, supported, appreciated, and understood. Imagine being a couple again: who has fun, who shares, who is connected, who is intimate. Specializing in relationship counseling, I assist couples in putting down the shield and sword, managing the conflict, healing the past wounds, in order to reconnect on a deeper level. The goal is to create positive and lasting change. Given a willingness to work on it, most couples can make their relationship fulfilling again.
How I Work With Couples | Expert Couples Counseling
I work with couples in every stage of relationships: dating, pre-marital, married/cohabitation, remarried, separated, divorcing, post-divorce, and co-parenting. I use a combination of therapeutic modalities, evidence-based and studied at advanced postdoctoral levels. I incorporate the work of Drs. John Gottman and Sue Johnson to create a treatment plan that works for the couple. Gottman's work is straightforward and focused on best practices, best-to-avoids, and skill building. As you well know, much of what happens in marriage includes the day-to-day interactions and actions, and Gottman provides a great framework to deal with what life throws us. Johnson is the principal theorist of Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), one of two research-supported treatments for couples (Snyder, Castellani & Whisman, 2006). EFT is all about going deeper, exploring emotions and vulnerabilities that impact you individually and as a couple and shaping an emotional bond that creates emotional safety for both people in the relationship.
The basic idea of EFT is that couples often get stuck in distressing patterns (For instance, I bet you recognize there is a pattern to how you argue.). These patterns keep the couple from experiencing a safe haven and connection, a secure emotional bond. EFT utilizes therapy sessions to explore the raw spots, identify the triggers, and learn to use emotion as a signal in the relationship rather than something that merely triggers and creates distance or disconnection. With this new knowledge, we work in session to create new emotional interactions that, eventually, become the welcomed norm, the way you will begin to interact at home. The goal of therapy is for the couple to move beyond the more surface issues and arguments, the patterns that make you feel stuck on repeat, to deeper levels of connection and emotional safety. When this happens, the couple is able to address the problems and difficulties of life and not get stuck in a negative, unproductive cycle of interacting. This way of working leads to lasting change, not just putting a bandage on the relationship.
With your commitment to each other and through our work together, I can teach you the tools to:
Communicate to connect without defensiveness and triggering
Create a clear understanding of how and why you get stuck and disconnected
Decrease and manage conflict
Share and soothe each other's vulnerabilities in order to ask for what you each need
Guidance to fostering feeling heard, understood, and valued
Build on and increase friendship
Have more intimacy: sharing, connectedness, bonding
Improve or create the sexual relationship you desire
Rebuild trust and repair old hurts or betrayals
Work together as partners
Learn to self-regulate your emotions and co-regulate your emotions with your partner
And so much more!
A Specialist in Couples Therapy Is Indicated When Working on the Most Important Relationship In Your Life
When your relationship is on the line, you don't want to take a chance with someone who "sees couples on occasion". Couples counseling is a specialty and all graduate school training is not equal (some focus on individual counseling while others focus on relational counseling). I have devoted years to the study and continued advanced training in marriage, couples, and relationships. I specializein couples therapy, continuing to remain abreast of the latest research, continually investing in the cutting-edge approaches to help couples, and training in the most effective, research-based couples counseling methods. This is my focus, not one of the many concerns I dabble in but rather my passion: helping you repair, rekindle, or create the relationship of your deepest longings. So do your research when choosing a couples therapist. It matters.
How I Work With Infidelity
When working with couples who are dealing with an affair or betrayal in the relationship, we first work to stabilize the relationship in order to do no more harm. Next, we move forward to manage the symptoms and concerns created due to the betrayal or affair, taking responsibility for how the betrayal or affair entered the relationship, evaluating and working with vulnerabilities in the relationship in order to build a new story for your relationship. While this is an overwhelming experience for you, it is what I do week in and out. I've heard a lot, and I realize you want to work with someone who is seasoned in this work. Does every couple come out the other side, of course not. My approach is to work in the manner described above so that you can come to a decision about how the relationship will progress, so you can learn about yourself and the relationship whether you decide to stay together or part.
I ask you, is your relationship a place of comfort? If not, I would be honored to assist you in recapturing a safe bond and loving connection. Above all else, there is hope! Should you choose to work with me, my expectation is that you commit to the process of learning about your part in the dynamic, be open to feedback and making changes in order to see the improvements in your relationship you seek. If you're ready to make a change in your life and feel more love and connection with your partner, don't wait another day! Call me to schedule your initial appointment. Your relationship is worth it!