Couples Counseling

Marriage counseling involves more than working with married couples. Dating, engaged, live-in couples, and empty nesters benefit from counseling. When two individuals come in for counseling, the relationship is the client.

Connection Beyond Conflict

We can create connection beyond conflict. We need skills and understanding from a relationship therapist. Anyone can improve their relationship if both are willing.

  • You’ve been married for decades and feel stagnant or misunderstood.
  • You’re living together, or about to be engaged.
  • In-law or other family problems interfere.
  • Betrayal, dishonesty, or addictions keep you disconnected.
  • You’d like an assessment to see how you’re doing as a couple.
  • Ask for a free 20 minute consultation in my office. It’s a great way to see if I’m a good fit for both of you.

Relationships are Messy

My own marital journey has given me transforming insights. My work with couples gives them dialogue skills and brings connection beyond their conflicts.

Although I have more than 37 years of marital experiences, I can assure you of one thing: relationships are messy. My husband and I continue our journey in our nine-year-old marriage. We get couples therapy and participate in marriage retreats for wisdom beyond our stuck places. My soon-to-be-published book, “Beyond Messy Relationships” is a memoir/self-help book about using the messiness of our relationships to transform into our true selves.

Couples can grow through challenges. Its takes both individuals in the relationship to make that happen.

Training and practical application through marriage counseling

My training as an Imago Relationship Therapist has been transformational for me and my counseling practice. I’m convinced couples dialogue is a skill every couple can learn and get good at. It’s a safety net for making the space between the two of you emotionally safe. It calms reactions and trains our brains to listen from the heart.

I’m a facilitator for Prepare/Enrich, Marital and Premarital Inventory which I use often with pre-marital and married couples. As a trained Gottman therapist, I use the Gottman Relationship Checkup. Couples can save time in therapy by a thorough data-based assessment that helps focus on breakthrough areas in their relationship.

I’ve been privileged to train under renown relationship researchers, Drs. John and Julie Gottman in Seattle. They are known for their work on marital stability and divorce prediction. Their 40-year longitudinal studies are fascinating. Many authors quote Gottman in their books on marriage.

Dr. Sue Johnson is a leading innovator having developed Emotion Focused therapy for couples. Her influence has enhanced my work with couples.

Frequently asked question

If you’re wondering if you can do a combination of couples and individual work, the answer is: it depends. If couples counseling is your main focus, it’s best to start with both of you coming in together. That way, both of you align with me as your therapist. I’m open to meeting your needs if either of you want a short period of individual time as you move toward our main client, the relationship. The question is: Will it benefit the relationship and move toward connection and intimacy?

In some cases, a good scenario is for each of you to employ an individual counselor separate from your relationship therapist. Based on the Gottman method, and readiness for couples counseling, a combination of individual and couples can be the best option.

Here’s what you can do before marriage counseling:

A first appointment is a courageous step. To make that first marriage counseling or couples appointment easier, here’s what you can do.

Improve Your Relationship and Build Trust

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