Couple Therapy

It is important to understand how much your own happiness is linked to that of others.  There is no individual happiness totally independent of others — Dalai Lama

  • Do you and your partner rarely connect?
  • Do you two get into conflict very quickly?
  • Are your arguments repetitive?
  • Has there been a decrease in sex?
  • Do libidinal differences create problems?
  • Has there been infidelity?
  • Do you two feel less secure in the relationship?
  • Are people, places, and things affecting the primacy with your partner?
  • Do you two wish to have a stronger relationship?

If you answered yes to any question above, that is where I come in. As you know, intimate relationships are the most challenging thing in life. We may be successful in other areas of our life, but relationships generate the most confusion and frustration. I know, I have been divorced.

We all have a deep desire to love and be loved and we yearn for meaningful human connection. So why are relationships so difficult?

Since we are social beings, we are wired to seek a secure connection. Problems arise in relationships when partners operate too much from a me-first orientation and not a relationship-first orientation. Generally, we have little awareness that we are doing so, as we are usually functioning within the template passed down from our early experiences. I work to help you two move towards a relationship-first orientation. When this occurs, you will derive more satisfaction and confidence from the relationship. You will have more resources for life as they will not be diverted assessing the availability and motives of your partner.

Marriage counseling and couple therapy address problems resulting from:       

We may find ourselves in trouble if we have never learned, or have forgotten what makes our partner feel loved. Or, if we have never learned or have forgotten our partner’s vulnerabilities. In order to properly care for your partner, it is important to have what Stan Tatkin refers to as an “owner’s manual” for your partner. This means awareness of your partner’s idiosyncratic reflexes and vulnerabilities, as well as awareness of what uplifts and comforts your partner.

As human beings, we are really good at staying alive. Unfortunately, there is a downside to this. We are also very good at detecting threats. If appropriate, in session, we will film and watch real-life interactions and arguments to help you two understand how your nervous systems interact. I will provide tools to help you both keep each other in the “window of tolerance.” As partners, it is important to be able to talk about anything without fear of blowups or shutdowns.

I am a trained in the Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy (PACT). For my experience with secure-functioning professionally and personally, see me in the Community Corner Experience of a past PACT newsletter, also published in my blog post.

Frame of Sessions

As stated on my home page, my sessions are 2-3 hours long with the initial session being 3 hours, and subsequent sessions being 2 hours. When things are well, 1-hour sessions may become appropriate. Initial longer sessions provide enough time to get an ample amount of work done and co-create a cohesive narrative and treatment plan. Longer sessions usually facilitate a fewer frequency of sessions. Having conducted both 1-hour and 3-hour initial sessions, I feel strongly about the benefits of the initial 3-hour session. If that is not doable for your circumstances, feel free to contact me.