The decision to initiate counseling as a couple can be extremely difficult and scary as it requires you to admit some level of dissatisfaction with your “fairy tale.” Some people avoid couples therapy because of the assumption that things have to be really bad before turning to counseling. While sometimes it is really bad, other times, people seek couples therapy as a tool to deepen their connection. Perhaps this is an engaged couple wanting to be intentional in their preparation for marriage or a married couple wanting to redefine their relationship in the “empty-nester” phase. The decision to initiate counseling as a couple can also be intimidating because it’s inviting a stranger into the messiness of your most intimate relationship.
Couples therapy can be a short or longer-term process that varies based on the values and goals of the couple. In the first few sessions, we will explore what’s been going on that led you to counseling (e.g., conflict, feeling “off,” season of transition) as well as explore the individual backgrounds you bring into the relationship. I practice from an emotion-focused perspective, which means I am primarily attentive to your emotional needs and how you experience connection and safety within the relationship. I will also attend to how your family and relational histories play a role in your current relational dynamics. At times, referral for individual therapy can be helpful alongside couples work.
- Unresolved conflict
- Intimacy issues and sex
- Conflict with sexuality and spirituality
- Communication issues
- Gender roles
- Value conflict
- Growth & deepening connection
- Life-work balance (e.g., professional students)