I have been working with couples to repair and enhance their relationships for most of my career as a therapist. I find this work to be the most dynamic, intensive, and rewarding work that I do. I have guided couples of all ages through a wide variety of struggles, challenges, and issues.
While each couple has their own dynamics, needs, and concerns, I often help them explore three themes. First, how do past relationships affect their current relationship? Second, I help couples identify their implicit relationship “contracts,” talk about these “contracts,” and work together to develop new flexible ways of relating and expressing themselves. Third, I teach couples how to improve communication with the goal of allowing each person to both listen and express his or her self. This type of communication has helped many couples improve their understanding of each other and their relationship.
When couples commit and invest in this work there are often considerable improvements in both individuals’ relationship satisfaction, their sense of connection, and general well-being. I work hard to balance the needs and desires of both members of the couple, respecting and encouraging their individuality, so they can bring their best selves to the relationship. In some cases, one or both partners may engage in individual therapy, either before, during, or after a course of couples therapy.
Here are some typical issues/questions that I have helped couples address (though each couples’ needs are truly unique):
– Need to improve communication
– Frequent arguments about the same topic
– Transitions – empty nest, new baby, new job, retirement
– Need to determine if they could stay together
– Coordinating childcare in the midst of a divorce
– One individual has ADHD that is affecting the relationship
– The aftermath of an affair
– Adjusting to chronic illness in one partner
– Learning about and developing a healthy sexual relationship