COUPLE Therapy

We are wired for relationships, but that doesn’t mean they are always easy. 

Image by Chelsea Shapouri of two ferns upclose in a dense, but well-lit forest. The image represents a couple working through challenges.

Most of the couples who find their way to me are in distress. The first call they make includes some version of “We just can’t stop fighting” or “We haven’t talked in weeks.”

 

I’ll hear that most began their relationships feeling connected and in love.

 

But with time, and a few life transitions, like having kids, moving, or getting older, conflicts have become harder to navigate. Couples say they feel stuck in a repetitive cycle of either feeling criticized or completely shut out, and a gulf of separation and disconnection in between.

 

There has been blame and defensiveness. Or maybe even bigger ruptures in the form of betrayal, such as infidelity, in need of repair. 

 

It takes a lot of courage to reach out for couple therapy, especially when the common misconception is that it means your relationship is doomed. If you are like most of my clients, the conflict between you two is longstanding.

 

I’m here to help you navigate the disconnection, get a clear map of the emotions you feel, and work together to build emotional responsiveness and trust, restoring a deeper sense of connection and dependence, maybe even greater than you felt before. 

I’m deeply engaged with my couples, invested in both partners, and care about you individually as much as I do for your relationship. 

I believe a healthy relationship is rooted in interdependence — a balance between knowing oneself and being dependent on another.

 

I practice Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT), and you will often find me leaning in and slowing things down to get a clear understanding of what is happening not only between but within. If I don’t get it right the first time, I work hard to understand the second time around. 

 

I don’t shy away from conflict, and I’m often using my own humanness as a point of reference. You’ll know that I, too, have been in couple therapy, and that my partner and I have a cycle all of our own. 

 

You’ll also come to find that I know what it’s like to feel deeply connected and bonded, enriched in the benefits of being healthily attached. 

 

I’m client-centered, which means while I’m a believer that our attachments help us heal, I do not prescribe to clients staying together nor that togetherness is required to stay connected. 

 

My practice includes all different types of relationships, and I work to be culturally responsive and sensitive to the needs of my LGBTQIA+ and BIPOC clients. I let couples inform me about who they are, how they identify, and how they define their relationship, but I also seek to broaden my knowledge on client experiences.

Image by Frédéric Perez of sunlight filtering through trees. The image represents what it can feel like when couple therapy works.

My experience includes working with couples:

 

—partnered and in distress;

—getting married;

—starting a family;

—experiencing challenges in parenting;

—one or both partners dealing with relationship anxiety;

—overcoming infidelity;

—as well as those who are breaking up or seeking a divorce.

I also work with couples wanting to address their:

 

—fighting with and blaming one another;

—lack of emotional and sexual intimacy;

—feelings of abandonment;

—disconnection and emotional distance.

After some time, clients who work with me often

express they feel:

 

—safer to express their feelings;

—deeply understood by their partners;

—connected and attached;

—able to get out of fights faster;

—and experience greater flexibility in relating to one another. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy?


Emotionally Focused Therapy, also known as EFT or EFCT, is an empirically-validated therapy based in 30 years of attachment science that recognizes partner distress is a result of a perceived threat to basic adult needs for safety, security, and closeness. Emotion is key in organizing change between a couple and is the target for altering negative views of both you and your partner, helping aid in your interactions. The result is a deeper sense of shared trust, intimacy, and attachment to one another. EFT is a non-pathologizing, present-focused, and client-centered approach. Research studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and 90% show significant improvement. EFT aims to work with all types of relationships, and is well suited for clients within the couple who struggle with depression, anxiety, and/or trauma. You can learn more about EFT from its founder, Dr. Sue Johnson: https://youtu.be/4nSAxTC4BaI




What will our first session look like? And what should we expect from therapy?


When you come in, we will get a clear sense of what is causing you both distress and begin to explore some of your attachment histories. You’ll each get a chance to share your experience and I’ll ask questions that help map out the cycle of negative interactions that are contributing to your disconnection. I work hard to contain the reactivity some couples experience, especially early on. I might also invite each of you to a session individually to explore your histories in more depth, but more often than not, we will spend time in session learning about this together, as it can be valuable for each partner to hear.




How long will it take?


As EFT is a short-term model, some couples can experience relief in just a few sessions. But more often than not, you won’t start to see improvements until several weeks in, depending on the frequency of your appointments. If there is trauma within a partner’s life, the work could take longer. Individual therapy with an outside therapist might be an important supplement to aiding our work together. If so, I work with the couple to provide referrals.




Do you practice any other modalities of couple therapy?


While I am currently not trained or certified in other formal modalities of couple therapy, if the couple feels their needs are not being met by how we are working together, I lean outside of EFT into the broader scope of my clinical training. I am routinely open to feedback from my clients about what is working and what is not, and no one modality of therapy is going to be a catch-all.





I offer free 15- to 20-minute consultations to learn more about what you want to explore. 

"One thing I’ve learned in the woods is that there is no such thing as random. Everything is steeped in meaning, colored by relationships, one thing with another."

Robin Wall Kimmerer