Sometimes we grow together and sometimes we grow apart. In a healthy relationship we shelter one another from life's storms.
I work with couples in any stage of their relationship. When you come to me we will begin by identifying what you are seeking from therapy.
I often begin couples work with discernment counseling, a process during which we clarify what each person is seeking, and I help you, as a couple, reach agreement on the best way forward.
Some couples are actively seeking tools and strategies to help them stay together and make their relationship healthier. Others need support and assistance with the decision whether to stay together or separate; or they may need assistance bringing the relationship to a healthy conclusion.
For couples committed to staying together and making your relationship work, couples therapy can be highly effective. My goal is to help you evolve into a healthy and productive team with a deep understanding of one another, and with respect and compassion for each other's needs.
We will explore areas of distance and/or conflict in your relationship, identify unhealthy patterns of interaction and develop improved communication strategies. We will also look for ways to deepen your connection with one another, with a return to the original reasons you were drawn to one another.
Relationship Maintenance through Life Transitions
Couple relationships require regular maintenance to remain healthy, yet many couples don't engage in this work. They may not know how, they may find it difficult to begin, or they may worry that talking about challenges in the relationship means the relationship is in trouble. In fact, the opposite is true. Raising issues and working through them together is like changing the oil in your car. It clears out assumptions and misunderstandings that cause your relationship to overheat, and keeps things running smoothly.
Life transitions can have a profound effect on our closest relationship. You may need to re-evaluate, re-negotiate, and refine your partnership as you work through the inevitable ups and downs of your lives together. I will teach you skills and strategies to get comfortable with the process of checking in with one another and ensuring you are working effectively through the many changes you will face together.
The decision to marry or publicly commit to one another is often the first major transition in your relationship, and even this happy decision can sometimes cause stress. Other transitions, such as moving, becoming parents, and changing jobs can also impact your relationship in unexpected ways. Crises, such as an affair, will rock your foundation and require deep reflection and frank and honest repair work. A tragedy such as a serious illness or loss of a child may change your lives so dramatically you no longer know how to support one another and operate as a cohesive unit. Even the joyful experiences of launching your grown children or retiring can require new ways of sharing your lives together.
In addition to those situations described above we may work on a variety
of issues, including:
- Communication styles and skills
- Conflict resolution strategies
- Patterns of either fighting constantly or increasing distance in the relationship
- Sexual compatibility
- Parenting challenges and disagreements / transition to parenthood
- In-law issues
- Money issues
- Spiritual/religious differences
In all cases we will work to build intimacy within your relationship. Achieving and maintaining intimacy requires balancing your needs and wants with those of the other person's. The goal is to feel a deep sense of connection with the other while maintaining boundaries and a sense of individuality. This may require exploration and resolution of your past relationship history along with development of communication skills so you can express your vulnerability and at the same time feel respected within the relationship.
LGBT couples welcome
I was a proud and active supporter in the fight for marriage equality. I believe every relationship needs support to stay healthy, no matter how hard you may have fought for it to be recognized.
I am interested in and aware of the unique challenges of maintaining a healthy relationship as sexual minorities. You face struggles many couples do not, in addition to experiencing all the same challenges. My practice is a safe environment in which to explore and strengthen your relationship.