Couples

Couples

  • Keys to Happy & Lasting Relationships
  • Good Communication
  • Fair Fighting
  • Forgiveness
  • Shared Values
  • Exploring Intimacy
  • Gaining clarity and integrity in interactions
  • Weathering Transitions
  • Re-defining Relationship
  • Understanding Compromise
  • Honoring Self and Other
  • Staying Whole in Relationship
  • Re-dedicating Commitment

Pre-marital Counseling

A fun and depth level approach to establishing the ground work for a successful, long-term relationship.  Creating ceremony that has meaning for each unique couple.

Pre-commitment or pre-marital counseling is a passion for me.  I have witnessed what a strong start it gives to couples and how much heartache it saves down the road.   You gain a greater understanding of yourself, your beloved, and how your strengths and weaknesses  interact both as individuals and as a couple.   You learn how to use those strengths to the benefit of your relationship and how to honor each other’s uniqueness.   It’s a journey of discovery and bringing to awareness (amongst other things): communication styles; vulnerabilities; triggers; how you fight; how you express your love; how to read each other and learn each other’s language; best ways to handle conflict; and how to get your needs met in a loving, healthy way.

  • Inter-racial Couples
  • Mixed Religions
  • Same Sex Couples

Couples Counseling

Many couples come to counseling as a last resort, often only after the ‘D’ word has been mentioned.  Most still love their partners and  have no idea how things got so bad.   For this reason couples counseling is initially terrifying, yet ultimately, the work we do together is the most exciting and rewarding of my experience.  Couples have the unique opportunity to see each other and their relationship in a new light.  They learn to  identify the unconscious patterns of behavior they each brought with them and understand how those have contributed to the shape of their life together.  Bringing the unconscious to light peels back layers of preconceived notions of who the other is and how you are supposed to interact.    You have the incredible opportunity to move forward as free adults – no longer caught in the trap of how you think your marriage or relationship should be. There are no rules.  You can break free of fixed ideas and truly envision a life that will work for you.

Much of the problems in relationships stems from the fear of being really honest with yourself and each other.  It’s scary because you don’t know how your partner is going to react.  So you go about relating in the same old ways; however your needs have changed and you begin to feel stuck.  Communication breakdown is often blamed, but the real issue is that you are not talking about what truly matters.   The beautiful thing is that you both have changed through the years.

Together we create a safety zone where you are each free to explore who you are and what you need right now.   Authenticity is honored and new, respectful ways of relating are learned.  As you discover renewed value for yourself, you become able to forgive each other your failings in the past.  As you learn how to avoid the old pitfalls and relate in a truly intentional manner, you really can have a fresh start and create a new life together.

“I really want to change the way I am living, but am afraid if I do, it will end up hurting the people I love.”

You may feel really scared that if you change some parts of your life you might shake things up that you might not want to change. My work with you is gentle and follows your lead. While I am here to guide and sometimes challenge you, we go at your pace and comfort level. We are a team and you have full control over the direction you would like your therapy to take. You will find that as you gain clarity, you also gain choice.

I recently worked with a client who was afraid her marriage would end if she started to make positive changes in her life. Although she was unhappy in her relationship, she desperately wanted to avoid this from happening. Through our work together she began to separate the parts of her life that had become entangled with those of her husband’s. As she began to heal and grow as an individual she was able to understand how she and her husband had fallen into negative patterns of behavior. As she started to become more fulfilled in her own life, she no longer depended on her husband to fill those empty places and so didn’t have to be disappointed by him all the time. Eventually, they were able to learn new ways of relating that enriched both of their lives.