I am honored to work with couples who are ready to develop healthier skills and approaches to their relationships. Some couples come to me when “in crisis,” although that may look very different depending upon the couple. Other couples see a particular issue or pattern that causes concern or simply want a tune-up.
The decision to see a therapist usually weighs heavily upon a couple before even picking up the phone to call me. Because of how much I respect this, more than ever, making sure we are a good “fit” is a must.
What We Work On
We don’t work on fighting. I cringe when couples describe arguing as the standard of what they do in therapy. We work on identifying areas where improvements can be made. We look for the spots in our patterns where we get derailed. We also make sure we keep the end goal in mind. It is so easy to get lost in the “who said what” and we forget that we are there to help this relationship.
To do that, we will sometimes look to see where where we learned the behaviors that are showing up in our relationship. That sometimes means looking at childhood and/or other relationships. Typically, this will be done in session as a couple. It can feel vulnerable, but really, it’s also strengthening to work on ourselves with our partners present.
Who I See
I see couples. Some are just starting out. Some are married, and some aren’t. Some have babies and young children, some are about to be empty nesters, and some have “fur babies” or no babies. Some are blended families with stepchildren. Oftentimes, there may be some “baggage” that is hard to look at, but that we know is so important. Sometimes the couples are on the verge of divorce or really uncertain if they can survive together. Others are deeply committed and feeling positive about their relationship, but they know that getting support will just help them that much more.
I am a trained Level 2 therapist in Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy. This approach gives helpful tools and makes powerful, results-driven work for couples. Couples want results, and they want to regain intimacy, rather than keeping pushing against one another. They know there are habits that are no longer working, and they want to switch things up, not just show up at therapy so that they can argue. Terry Real’s techniques offer ways to end the “dance” we do too often when we argue.
So much of what I do with RLT and couples also aligns John Gottman’s incredible research on couples and relationships. Couples will hear me reference Gottman’s research and strategies as appropriate in session.