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Marriage and Couples Counseling


 

Couples often get caught in “negative cycles” or patterns of interactions. A negative cycle is a repetitive pattern of behaviors, thoughts and feelings that cause distress.  You react to your partner’s reactions and your partner reacts to your reactions and around and around it goes. Understanding and untangling your negative cycle is the first step in climbing out of distress." (NYEFCT).

When couples argue about such issues as money, sex, jealousy or sex, the origins of these arguments are usually some form of protest from one partner about not feeling connected, not trusting, or not feeling safe or secure with the other partner. 

It is common for mundane, simple disagreements to turn into painful, intense arguments when feelings of hurt, resentment, frustration and fear build. It is easy to fall into old unhelpful patterns of reacting to one another, thus feeling hopeless and stuck. It may feel impossible to imagine ever recreating a sense of respect, admiration and love for one another.

Couples seek counseling for a variety of reasons including:
  • Communication issues
  • Sexual issues and sexuality
  • Stress and pain related to substance abuse or other addictions
  • Trying to decide whether to stay together or separate OR
  • Have decided to separate or divorce and want guidance of how to end the relationship
  • Recovering from infidelity in the relationship
  • Adjusting to life’s transitions, such as a new baby, “empty nest,” grief from a loss, job changes or financial stressors
  • A desire to reconnect and enhance feelings of closeness, safety and trust
  • Issues specific to inter-racial relationships
  • Navigating the societal/gender roles/expectations unique to  same-sex couples
My approach in couples counseling is active, collaborative and structured. In our work together, we will work to identify and explore unmet or unexpressed needs, desires, or fears that are often the underlying source of tension and pain.
You will learn to identify and shift unhelpful thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. In addition to increasing your awareness around the sources of pain, tension and conflict, you will learn concrete skills and behaviors that will promote growth and connectedness.