Helping couples create greater understanding, emotional connection, and the kind of partnership they always hoped for.
Are you concerned that your relationship is troubled, and you have drifted apart? Are you feeling disconnected from your partner and don’t know where to start? Are you struggling to navigate conflict, stuck again and again in similar misunderstandings and arguments, not being able to resolve your differences which are affecting fundamentally how close, secure and respected you feel? Do you desire more intimacy between you and your partner? Does it feel confusing, disappointing and disheartening as no matter how hard you try you can’t seem to get back that romantic love, connection, comfort and support?
If you answered “yes” to any of those questions you’ve come to the right place. Why wait any longer? What could be more important than saving your relationship? It’s time to move forward and make your relationship what you know it could be. Let me help.
When to go to Couples’ Counseling
For most couples, it’s not easy to make the decision to try counseling. It’s not easy to acknowledge that things are not as we would like them to be in a relationship that started out with high hopes and great expectations. It takes courage to acknowledge that everything we have tried at home hasn’t been enough to achieve the results we’re looking for. Research has found that the longer couples wait before seeking counseling, the harder it becomes to turn around unhelpful habits and resolve hurt and resentment. When relationship problems persist for three months or longer, even a brief consultation with a couples’ counselor can be helpful in setting the partnership on a better course.
Couples’ counseling can treat a wide range of serious clinical problems including relationship problems, as well as depression, anxiety, and other individual psychological problems. Research indicates that marriage and family therapy is as effective, and in some cases more effective than standard and/or individual treatments for many mental health problems.
What are the typical issues that couples’ counseling can help with?
- Difficulties Managing Conflict
- Loss of Emotional Connection and Intimacy
- Intimacy and Sex
- Blended Families Challenges
- Extended Family Difficulties
- Discernment to Divorce
- Mental Health Distress e.g., Depression, Anxiety & Past Trauma Effected by Relationship
- Addiction/Partner Addiction Support
Common Couples’ Counseling Outcomes
Like my relationship coaching approach my couples’ counseling approach also utilizes the Gottman Approach and makes wide use of its practical tools. What’s different in couples’ counseling is that I will integrate another research-based couples’ approach called Emotion Focused Therapy (EFT). Utilizing these two evidenced based approaches in couples’ counseling will help achieve the same outcomes as relationship coaching as well as the following:
- Reclaim a deep emotional connectedness, closeness and intimacy.
- Recover from a betrayal,
- Heal from past hurts
- Re-build trust and strengthen a sense of commitment.
- Reduce the cycle of harmful regrettable arguments.
- Understand how you keep fighting about the same things, and how to get “unstuck.”
- Learn how to manage recurring issues within your relationship.
- Know how to approach conflict conversations gently, in a way that addresses specific issues.
- Be able to identify and communicate what your feelings and experiences are around issues that are causing conflict, and how to gently bring them up with your partner.
What happens in Couples’ Counseling?
In the first session I meet with both partners to begin to understand the difficulties for which they are seeking help. The couple will then go away and complete online questionnaires separately to provide a comprehensive overview of the strengths and difficulties in the relationship. I will then meet each partner for an individual session which will include getting to know each partner better, gaining an understanding of what life was like growing up in their family of origin, their perspectives on their current relationship difficulties, and their best hopes from our work together. In the next session I meet with the couple together to talk through the assessment to include the strengths of the relationship as well as the areas that the couple would benefit from working.
Why use a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist?
While most mental health professionals see couples, they may have had limited training in couples’ counseling. Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (LMFT) are mental health professionals specifically trained in couples’ counseling and are licensed to diagnose and treat mental and emotional disorders within the context of couples and family systems.
I’m not sure if my partner will attend, can I come by myself first?
Yes. However, typically it becomes clear that it would be best if you and your partner were coming together. The longer we work together individually, the more difficult it might be later for your partner who may not be able to view me as a neutral figure.
If my partner won’t attend with me, should I still come by myself?
Yes. You can make an impact on your relationship by making changes on your own.