Specialty:  Couples Counseling

Many couples look back fondly on a time in their relationship that was joy-filled. A time when they not only looked forward to spending time together, but they felt loved, respected, and listened to. When they experienced real connection and intimacy.

But something changed along the way…

“Why do we keep getting into the same arguments? Nothing ever gets resolved. Sometimes it doesn’t even feel like we’re speaking the same language.”

You still love each other, and yet at times an argument can erupt and spiral downward so fast, that it leaves you overwhelmed and confused.

How did things get so heated so quickly? How could we say such horrible things to each other? How long can we keep going on like this?

Or maybe you rarely fight, but you operate more like roommates than lovers and long for that closeness and passion you once had.

Do any of these sound familiar?

  • I feel like he doesn’t hear me. Whenever I tell him how important something is to me, he just dismisses me or agrees, but then the same thing happens again. I’m starting to wonder if he even cares.
  • She’s always criticizing me. I can never make her happy.
  • She blows up over the tiniest of things. I don’t know what’s going to trigger her next. It seems like I’m always doing something wrong.
  • As soon as I bring up an issue, he shuts down or retreats.
  • I feel like when we argue I always get blamed. It’s always my fault.
  • I hate having conflict. I would do anything I could to avoid it, but we always end up there.

If any of these statements resonate with you, you’re not alone.

I’ve worked with hundreds of couples who have experienced these same things. Many couples fear that their only choices are to continue to live in this distress or break up. But you can have a more satisfying relationship with your current partner, and I can help.

When relationships are in distress, people often point to communication as the problem. Fixing this issue is not just about learning “communication skills” though.

Why? Because when we are upset, we enter “fight, flight, or freeze” mode, and the part of our brain that takes control at that moment acts in much more automatic, defensive, attacking, or self-preserving ways. Our brains respond the same way to a threatened loss of relationship or emotional connection as they do to a threatened loss of life.

Effective couples’ therapy has to begin with this understanding of how the brain works.

I practice Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, scientifically proven to improve relationships.

I will listen deeply in order to understand and trace the argument cycle that you get stuck in. I will help each of you articulate what is happening for you during those arguments so that you can learn how to turn to one another in a way that can be heard by the other person. The result can be that your disagreements will leave you feeling closer instead of further apart. Not being able to be heard and understood by your partner is painful. It can leave you wondering how someone can love you and yet see you in such a terrible light. It can be difficult to know how to find a solution together.

I will work with you to change this dynamic and to help restore the intimacy you once had.

Don’t wait for that next big argument. Many couples spend six months to a year or more talking about therapy before they begin the process. Sometimes it is only once one partner is threatening to leave that they enter therapy. To find out today how we can begin to improve your relationship, call for a free 15-minute phone consultation: (818) 397-0636.

“To be loved but not known is superficial. To be known and not loved, is our great fear- but to be known and loved, that transforms you.” – Tim Keller

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

We’ve tried couples’ therapy in the past. How will this be different?
EFT is one of only two couples’ therapy models that are empirically validated through outcome studies. What does this mean? It means that EFT is proven to create long-lasting change--change that strengthens over time. It provides a way to make sense of your partner’s behavior. We will begin to trace the cycle that you fall into together, to better understand your own and your partner’s responses, and to help you securely share those with each other in new ways, so that your partner can listen in a way that leaves you feeling heard, understood, accepted, and more connected.

What if my partner won’t come with me?
While having both people attend is ideal, there are many changes that can occur in a relationship when just one person gets help. Especially if you and your partner are having repetitive arguments, I can help you develop some new ways of responding that can open up possibilities for new conversations with him or her.

Are you just going to sit and watch us argue?
No. I will be actively involved in sessions. I will have a plan and a direction to lead sessions, so you won’t feel like you’re just coming to rehash old arguments instead of seeing things improve.

What if there has been an affair?
I work with many couples in the wake of an affair. While it is incredibly painful, there are many couples who choose to stay in the relationship and work to rebuild deeper trust and connection after an affair.

Do you offer premarital counseling?
Yes, I provide premarital counseling for couples wanting to start their marriage out on the right foot. Typically premarital counseling consists of 6-10 sessions and covers the following topics: communication and conflict resolution, money, sex, in-laws, family of origin dynamics, and marital roles. I am certified in Prepare/Enrich (prepare-enrich.com) to offer a structured assessment or can tailor sessions to suit each couple’s needs.