Couples Counseling

I have specialized advanced training in working with couples through the Couples Institute in California, and I also use many of the wonderful tools offered by the Gottman Institute in Seattle. I also have been trained by the Institute for Relational Intimacy which focuses specifically on helping couples address sexual concerns or sexuality issues in their relationship.

Some couples come for assistance in making a decision about whether or not to stay together; some come for help in creating an amicable divorce; and some come to actively improve their relationship so it can be more satisfying and richer for both members of the couple. Some couples come for pre marital counseling and others have come for guidance in how to decide whether or not to have children.  All reasons are excellent for partaking of couples therapy.

I find working with couples to be quite a bit different than working with individuals .  I ask for 90 minute sessions and I structure each session much more than I do working with individuals. Successful couples work, especially if the couple has been together quite awhile, can be quite a long term affair and may take numerous sessions, so  patience and persistence is helpful.

I very much enjoy and am fascinated in working with couples to improve their relationships or make decisions about their futures. In my work with couples, I see the relationship itself, rather than either individual partner, as being my client, so I am always seeking to work in the best interests of the relationship.   I work with the couple to help them develop their teamwork and to not only strengthen the positive aspects of their relationship, but also to develop individual skills in weaker areas, that will ultimately improve their relationship.  I try to structure each session so that the process of how the individuals interact is the focus, giving the couple opportunity to practice new skills in our sessions that can then be carried over into their interactions outside the office.

Couples should be aware that we really only can change ourselves, not the other person, so the focus in our couples counseling is on each individual working on themselves and gradually making effort towards personal changes that will benefit the relationship.  When both members of the couple are doing this in tandem, significant positive change can occur.  Each member of the couple formulates individual goals that they commit to working on, in the best interest of the relationship.  It’s hard work, but extremely worthwhile.