Despite what Disney may have unintentionally taught us, happily ever after isn’t something that simply happens as we walk into the sunset. Relationships take work and an investment of time, energy, emotions, and thought. The rewards are big, but perhaps fairy tales should end with “and they worked on their relationship every day after.” read more...
I have worked with couples in all stages of relationships from pre-marital counseling to post-divorce. I love watching the signs of love and attachment, the challenge of making sure both parties feel heard and supported, and helping couples learn new techniques and discover new depths to their relationship. For many couples, I serve as a translator, helping them to hear what their partner is trying to say.
Stereotypically it is women who drag men to see a couples counselor to talk, but in truth I have at least as many men as women contact me about relationship issues - whether coming as a couple or individually. Men just as much as women appreciate having a third party translate the intention and deeper meaning behind their attempts at communication. The truth is when we try to talk to the person closest to us, we often fail to communicate effectively, end up discussing peripheral details rather than "the main thing", and unintentionally create more distance rather than finding agreement or even compromise.
Couples counseling can be for partners in any stage of relationship seeking a more conscious, connected relationship. I utilize Imago theories and exercises with most couples. In general, I recommend couples schedule 90 minute sessions so everyone feels they have had enough time to share from their perspective. I also enjoy working with couples together and separately as individuals.
Common Reasons for Couples Counseling
- Criticism, Contempt, Stonewalling, or Defensiveness
- Difficulty communicating, including feeling misunderstood, having difficulty explaining your position, or not understanding your partner's position
- Feeling that disagreements are never truly resolved
- Disagreement on major relationship issues including parenting or finances
- Differences in opinions and/or backgrounds
- Change in sexual relationship, communication, affection, etc.
- Feeling like one or both of you don't fight fair and need help with conflict resolution
- Contemplating or participating in an emotional or sexual extra-marital affair
- Sexual problems, including disagreement on frequency or technique or lack of sex for several weeks or months
- Grief, trauma, or major life stressors like job change, move, change in family dynamics, etc.
- Conflict with in-laws and/or extended family members
- Work/life balance concerns, including managing household and parenting tasks
- Feeling more like roommates than romantic partners
- Considering separation and/or divorce
- Deciding whether marriage is right for your relationship or not
I do not ask for lots of paperwork to be completed. Each individual will be asked to complete an intake form and informed consent contract. You can find copies of the paperwork here. You can also complete the intake form online.
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