Couples Counseling

Maintaining an intimate relationship probably ranks as one of the most rewarding and also the most challenging activities in which you will likely engage. While you stand to derive terrific benefits from the companionship of a partner in life, many couples often find themselves struggling to maintain a fulfilling and healthy relationship. You may have experienced some of the following issues:

Communication problems that lead to misunderstandings, hurt, and anger

Feeling attacked and criticized by your partner

Feeling alone, abandoned, or uncared for in the relationship

Your partner pushes your buttons, seeming to want to hurt you

Fighting about the same issues over and over

Issues around infidelity

An unfulfilling sex life

Conflicts with in-laws or extended family

Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy

I believe that when we feel disconnected in our relationships, everything in life can feel out of balance. I work with couples to help them find healing and connection with each other. Emotionally focused couples therapy (EFT) was created primarily by Dr. Sue Johnson and is based on Attachment Theory developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Research finds EFT to be one of the few couple’s therapies that is effective – over 70% effective – in helping couples move from distressed to no distress. And 90% of couples experienced at least some improvement.


Wired for Connection

We as human beings develop important and essential relationships in our lives that help us to grow, heal, and explore our world. For many of us as adults we choose a partner with whom to develop a lasting emotional bond – we fall in love. EFT assumes that a secure attachment with our partner provides a solid foundation that helps us manage emotional distress. It also assumes that when people love each other, they matter to each other, and therefore they have the capacity to upset and wound each other.  


Are You There for Me?

As we develop a secure attachment with our partner we constantly ask in big and small ways, “Are you there for me?”

  • Are you available to me?
  • Are you responsive to me?
  • Are you engaged with me?

When the answer is yes, more connection results. But sometimes couples can get caught in negative cycles of interaction.


Caught in a Dance

Sometimes partners miss each other’s cues for connection and over time a negative dance develops. Couples can find themselves having the same fights over and over – whether it’s about parenting, in-laws, sex, or cleaning the house – the feeling of disconnection is the same. Both partners find themselves in a cycle that neither wants and that leaves both feeling isolated and alone.


What We’ll Do

I work with couples to get to the heart of the matter. I assume that you have tried everything that you know how to do and still find yourself getting stuck. In therapy we will:

  • Deconstruct your negative dance – outlining how you get caught and why so that you can start to slow it down.
  • Use your emotional responses in the here and now because emotions are compelling, they tell us what is important to us. When we take the time to explore them, our emotional reactions make sense, although what we do with them may not always be helpful.  
  • Deepen your connection by helping you share underlying feelings and what you really need from each other.
  • Consolidate your secure attachment, helping you to better communicate and problem-solve together.  
  • Work collaboratively. You are the experts in your lives and relationship. I will work with you as a consultant to help you reach your goals.


Who Can Benefit

Any couple who wants to strengthen their bond can potentially benefit from therapy. Couples who are just starting out and want to work on “a few problem areas” and couples who have struggled for years with negative interactions can benefit. If you have questions about my approach or how it might work with your issues, please feel free to contact me.

Pre-marital and Relationship Enrichment Counseling

Some couples may not be experiencing significant conflicts, but seek counseling either in preparation for marriage or to focus on relationship enrichment. I have a wide range of tools and resources that can help you to build a solid foundation for your marriage and create a more fulfilling connection with your partner.