Working with couples is one of the things that I enjoy the most about my job, and they make up a very large percentage of my practice. Some couples that I see are truly in crisis mode, and others are doing fairly well overall but want to explore how they can make their partnership even stronger. Many people entering couples counseling have concerns that the therapist will take someone’s “side”. When I work with couples I take a team viewpoint, meaning that either you both win or you both lose at having a healthy and satisfying relationship. There is not a focus on blame. I help each person understand how they contribute to the dynamic of the relationship and encourage both personal and shared accountability when addressing problems.
I help couples to more accurately interpret what their partner is trying to communicate and why. Couples can misunderstand each other frequently, and one of my roles is that of translator. I can help you to better understand your different perspectives and motivations behind behavior, develop new conflict-resolution tools and communication skills, and focus on how to use empathy, humor, and positive interactions to bridge gaps and solve problems in a new way.
Common issues that I help with include communication problems, emotional and physical infidelity, emotional disengagement, sexual concerns, anger and resentment, parenting problems, and struggles with alcohol use. I also work with couples who are in the process of separating or need assistance determining if they want to separate. If your partner is ambivalent about counseling I can meet with just one of you to provide support and guidance in how to better manage the relationship.
Typically I would meet with you as a couple for our first session, then I would bring each of you in individually for just one session. This allows me to gain some additional history about you. After that, we would meet again as a couple to continue with counseling. Homework assignments are often assigned as a part of therapy.
Counseling can help you to:
- Get through a crisis such as infidelity or loss
- Understand existing roles, expectations, and patterns in how you think and behave
- Improve how you communicate, handle conflict, and navigate needs for autonomy
- Explore and understand the strengths and vulnerabilities in your relationship
- Learn the importance of positive interactions, empathy, humor, and friendship
- Understand how your personal history and family dynamics impact your relationship
- Re-establish emotional and physical intimacy and address sexual problems
I have received formal training in the Gottman Approach to Couples Counseling.