Couples

I specialize in in-depth couples therapy as well as pre-marital counseling. While many therapists are willing to see couples, not all have comprehensive training in couples therapy. Couples therapy is different from individual work and requires dedicated training and experience to navigate the complexity of a couple’s ‘dance.’

Couples should always come in before they think they should, because research shows that couples typically wait too long to seek support, allowing problems to cause more damage than they need to. I am a strong believer in pro-active couples therapy that improves an already-good relationship, helps take it to the next level, and protects against issues becoming major problems.

I love working with couples because I have experienced the power of relationships in my own life. Good or bad, relationships are some of the most meaningful experiences we have in life. It is worth investing time and energy into having the best versions of them we can have. In addition, recent research recommends couples work as an effective way to work on individual issues, as our issues often arise and are magnified in close relationships. Our culture has sometimes promoted a notion of working on our issues individually, but we know now that issues are often more easily resolved when worked on together by a strong partnership. That is because the brain is wired for relationship, and we learn things more easily when such growth is supported day in and day out by those we share our lives with. Couples work also has the added benefit of improving fun and reducing stress in the home environment, which pays huge dividends to all family members.

Couples therapy has seen an explosion in new, ground-breaking research over the last 5-10 years. Improved brain-imaging technology as well as deeper understandings on how the body stores memories have led to a radical shift in couples work. Gone are the 1970’s approaches that emphasize structured communication and the therapist teaching each person how to behave or not to behave. The new models of growth focus on practicing new responses live in session and helping each partner understand the other’s automatic reactions in order to increase safety and understanding between partners.

Modern couples work is influenced by concepts from attachment theory, regulation theory, emotional research, trauma, somatic science and neurobiology. I have trained in several different models of couples work, from approaches that seek to understand the flow of energy between partners to the most current scientific methods of understanding physiology and nervous system activity in relationship. I spent five years training with legendary couples therapist Dr. Stan Tatkin, author of Wired for Love and Your Brain on Love, worked with Dr. Tatkin as a teaching assistant, and was invited onto the Core Faculty of his Institute. I have also studied with notable leaders in the field such as Drs. Pat Ogden, Alan Schore, Dan Siegel, Steve Porges, Don Catherall, Bonnie Badenoch and Diana Fosha. I have studied the couples therapy work of Sue Johnson (Emotionally Focused Therapy–EFT) and am certified at Level II of Gottman Method Couples Therapy. Most importantly, I have many years of experience seeing couples of all types and ages for a variety of relationship goals.

My approach to couples work is challenging, deep, and rewarding. Couples work in my office to get to the bottom of their issues so that they can be fearless at home and masters of their partnership. Goals are set at the beginning of the work and we move efficiently toward meeting them. Couples should come in ready to take their relationship to the next level.