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COUPLES
THERAPY

The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.
-Eden Ahbez

Falling in love

is one of the most exciting things we can experience as humans,  but it is not easy!

Romance can feel ecstatic, loving, safe, secure, like the greatest adventure of a lifetime.  Conversely, romance can trigger powerful feelings of uncertainty, jealousy, worthlessness, and scarcity.  I work with couples to explore the bounty of feelings that show up around love, to take a deep dive into the inner workings of romance,  and to develop practical tools for building stronger relationships.

Communication Skills

The quality of a couple’s communication determines the quality of the relationship.  Breakdowns in communication are rarely due to poor intentions.  Rather, it is accidentally missed bids for attention, exhausted nervous systems, differences in communication styles, and unexamined assumptions that ruin a moment. I help couples learn to recognize and repair these ongoing ruptures, leading to more satisfying communication.

Attachment Styles

Many problems in relationship show up because we learned different things about love from our families of origin.  Often, one partner is using a very different strategy than the other, leading to a dysfunction dance.  I help couples recognize and interrupt the habitual pattern, and learn what each partner needs to feel safe and connected.

Conflict

Conflict is a necessary element in relationships.  We have different styles, different needs, different goals.  Too much conflict is a problem.  No conflict is also a problem.  I help couples learn to fight fair, how to respect a partner while bringing up a problem, and how to listen when a partner has a complaint.

Breaking Up

Breaking up is part of the relationship dance.  Sometimes, a relationship really needs to end!  Taking that leap, even when it is the right thing, is one of the hardest things we ever do.  I help couples explore breaking up as a choice, one that can be made with honor and respect.  I can help you ask the hard questions, to be real with yourself and a partner, and assist in the process of letting go.

Sex and Intimacy

Couples often come to therapy because of sexual difficulties, such as discrepancy in desire around frequency of sex or type of sex.  Sex is often accompanied by feelings of shame that make it hard to talk about.  Therapy is a safe space to talk about sex - so you and your partner can be more connected and have greater satisfaction. 

Infidelity and breaches of trust

Infidelity and breaches of trust can tear a relationship apart, and leave both parties feeling devastated and confused.  I help couples learn more about why it happened and what to do about it.  Many couples can repair a breach of trust and even build a 2.0 version of their relationship that feels stronger and more secure.  Therapy can be a safe place to voice hard feelings, risk vulnerable truths, make solid repairs, and build the next chapter together.

Opening relationships/polyamory

All relationships have boundaries, and those boundaries evolve over time.  I help couples talk honestly about their needs, and to explore the relationship structures that support getting those needs met.  I help some couples explore the nuances of their monogamy.  I help others bravely dip their toes into the waters of a first open relationship, or to refine practiced poly identities and structures already in place.   I firmly believe there are a multitude of ways to be in a healthy relationship, and I’m here to support you as you figure out what works for you. 

Schedule a consultation to learn more about my approach to couples therapy.

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