Counseling for Couples

Finding missing pieces & healing wounded places

Couples who are feeling stuck

Couples who want to stay together

Couples who want to spice up their sex life

Reaching connection with each other again

 

If you have been in a long term relationship or marriage, you know very well that relationships have highs and lows. When you are experiencing a low point as a couple, it is common for you to view your partner as the problem.

When is the last time you went on a romantic date to enjoy each other while stepping away from the day-to-day details of your lives? Yet some couples go out on a romantic date and find that they are not really able to connect with their partner which is so disappointing.

Using John and Julie Gottman Approach

I utilize the John and Julie Gottman approach to couples counseling. The first step is meeting with both of you as a couple in person. For the following week, I assign the Gottman Relationship Checkup which is a new online assessment that automatically scores a couple’s strengths and challenges. This clinical tool consists of over 400 questions about friendship, intimacy, housework, finances and how well you manage conflict.

First, I meet with each of you individually in order to understand your particular perspective and family history. To complete the assessment, I meet with you as a couple and present my feedback of your strengths and challenges based on my interviews and the Gottman Relationship Checkup scales. We collaborate on a treatment plan which is targeted to meet your unique relationship needs. I invite your to practice new ways of behaving with each other between the counseling sessions so that your learning is reinforced in your daily lives.

You can get to that sweet place of connection when you refocus on yourself and your partner. If you desire to rekindle your unique connection with your partner, it is possible. It takes a willingness to look at yourself and your relationship in a new way; an openness to learning new tools for connection which we will practice in the counseling sessions.


 
I have completed the Level 2 Training
in Gottman Method Couples Therapy in January 2019.

Couples who are dealing with the aftermath of an affair

Couples who are fighting

Couples who are in crisis

Affair Recovery

You may identify with one of these types of couples who are all striving for a different kind of connection with each other in the midst of a crisis. Repairing the damage done after an affair is possible if both individuals are wiling. Esther Perel states in this video: “Good can come out of an affair.” She defines an affair as containing these three elements: a secretive relationship, an emotional connection, and sexual alchemy. Besides being a betrayal, one aspect of an affair is the longing for emotional connection or aliveness.

An affair does not mean separation or divorce. Often couples jump to this negative conclusion because they do not know how to recover on their own. These couples realize they are in need of immediate help which is a good sign.

Couples who want to open their relationship

Exploring together

These couples (whether heterosexual or LGBT) who want to open up their primary relationship may need some guidance. A critical step is undergoing a relationship assessment to find out if your connection is healthy enough to allow for making new friends and possibly lovers. It is common to repeat some of the same communication patterns with new partners as with your primary one. Then, you and your primary partner need a roadmap to show you guideposts for creating healthy, intimate friendships.

Some of the successful ingredients include establishing the ground rules of opening up your relationship and creating some basic guidelines for both partners. It is common to repeat some of the same communication patterns with new friends as with your primary partner. There will be jealousy in varying degrees – it will require new communication tools to clarify the type of jealousy you are experiencing. I believe I can facilitate both you and your partner in navigating these exciting new waters.

Individuals and couples who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ)

LGBT Issues

 

First of all, this is time to acknowledge that our current socio-political environment outside of the San Francisco Bay Area is challenging for sexual minorities.

In working with lesbain, bisexual, gay, and transgender clients, I understand the role of stigma in the LBGT experience as a sexual minority. As with all my clients, I create a sense of a safety net for the individual in the counseling session. I am aware that my lesbian, bisexual, gay or transgender clients are the expert on their subgroup culture. Affirming their sexual orientation, I provide supportive counseling to reach their fullest potential.

“I think being gay is a blessing, and it’s something I am thankful for every single day.”

Anderson Cooper

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