"We are never so vulnerable as when we love" - Sigmund Freud

How I help couples

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Some couples come to therapy in a great deal of distress. They can’t seem to find their way out of painful, shattering conflict. They feel, hurt, angry, numb, afraid, abandoned, and perhaps betrayed. They may be evaluating whether the marriage is worth saving. Other couples are not in acute distress or crisis, but they yearn to feel more connected, to communicate and solve problems more effectively, and to experience a deeper level of intimacy, vitality, trust, and secure bonding in their marriage. Sometimes couples have had one or more failed therapy experiences already. Others may have waited years to finally take the first daunting step of making an appointment. I know that no matter what, it takes a lot for a couple to walk into my office.


With this in mind I offer a therapy that is generally short-term, structured and highly experiential. I draw from an attachment theory framework in helping couples increase their ability to have key needs met without pushing the most important person in their lives away. Attachment theory is based on the understanding that all of us have a very deep need for loving, safe emotional connection. I help couples develop a more coherent understanding of their distress by guiding them to recognize and then reorganize the key interactional patterns and emotional responses, that keep their relationship trapped in a cycle of negativity and conflict. Couples learn to exit their negative cycle as they use their clearer understanding of themselves and each other to begin responding in new, completely different and more effective ways. Ultimately a couple will learn new steps in their dance that make it possible for them to enjoy a lifetime of love together.

RECOMMENDED READING FOR COUPLES

  • Hold Me Tight: Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love by Sue Johnson
  • Love Sense: The Revolutionary New Science of Romantic Relationships by Sue Johnson
  • The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work by John Gottman
  • How to Be an Adult in Relationships by David Ricco