Who Comes to Couples Counseling?
Couples come to counseling for many reasons and at different stages in their relationship. Some couples need new tools to resolve ongoing conflict or make an important decision about the relationship. Others want to deepen intimacy, clarify values or renegotiate roles. Couples therapy is not just for couples in crisis. I welcome couples at all points on the commitment, gender, and sexuality spectrums.
Common issues that prompt couples to seek the support of a therapist include:
- healing from past trauma
- family of origin issues
- increased fighting
- communication problems
- parenting issues
- loss of sexual or emotional intimacy
- differences in lifestyle or values
- premarital concerns
- contemplating separation or divorce
How Will Counseling Help My Relationship?
I offer practical feedback, useful tools and interactive experiences to guide couples towards new communication habits that make big issues manageable and small changes meaningful. Couples therapy disrupts "stuck" patterns in a relationship so that each partner is empowered to respond to old problems in new ways, with an greater sense of clarity, empathy and security.
What is a Typical Session Like?
My work with couples is guided by Stan Tatkin's Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT). PACT is a dynamic, interactive therapy that integrates attachment theory, physiological arousal regulation and developmental neuroscience. The PACT approach helps couples to develop mind and body awareness of their moment-to-moment interactions and encourages new ways of relating that support a relationship of true mutuality and security. I am a Level 2 certified PACT therapist. I have also completed Level 1 & 2 training in Gottman Method Couples Therapy and integrate principles and practices from the Gottman Method in my work with couples.
Couples sessions are 1 hr. 15 min. in length. This time frame allows each partner to be an active participant and helps me to understand the relationship dynamics, as well as key events that may have occurred between sessions. Shorter or longer sessions can be scheduled based on needs and goals.
Couples Reading List
- Gottman, John & Silver, Nan (1999). The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work.
- Gottman, John (2011). The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples.
- Hendrix, Harville (1990). Getting the Love You Want: A Guide for Couples.
- Johnson, Sue (2008). Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.
- Johnson, Sue (2013). Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships.
- Schwartz, Richard (2008). You Are the One You've Been Waiting For.
- Tatkin, Stan (2012). Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner's Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship.