Couples therapy encompasses work with any two people wishing to begin, enhance, repair, or dismantle an intimate relationship. Sometimes one or both people in a couple do not know whether they wish to work toward increased connection and intimacy, or to break up. I may need to spend some time with each person to explore individual perspectives before proposing a plan of action.
As with individual therapy, I consider attuned listening to be the foundation of good couple therapy. In couple therapy though, as with family therapy, there is more emphasis on listening to the process than on listening to the content. In other words, I am more interested in how you disagree than on what you disagree about. I am not here to judge who is right and who is wrong, but to help you find solutions that are respectful of both person’s needs and desires.
A great way to introduce yourself to some of the ideas and methods used in couples therapy is to attend one of the Couples Workshops I facilitate with a colleague. For some couples this will be the kickstart you need to improve your relationship, either on your own, or with some of the resources we suggest for follow-up. And should you find your need further guidance you will have a sense of whether I or my colleague are a good fit for you.
I am often booked up and keep a wait list (which varies from a few weeks to a few months)- I apologize in advance for the inconvenience.
Some of the major forms of couples therapy in which I have training are:
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy
This therapy focuses on the primacy of the attachment bond and teaches people to recognize and regulate their emotions. It is well validated in research. Sue Johnson, co-founder of EFT, has written a popular book called Hold Me Tight..
John Gottman’s Therapy for Couples
John Gottman is one of the world’s leading researcher on couple health, and has created a list of seven principles that underlie happy and healthy relationships, as well as methods for helping couples incorporate these principles into their everyday lives. (See his book The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work).
Relational Life Therapy
This is a newer, but increasingly popular form of couple therapy that takes into account social and cultural expectations of relationships and intimacy. Terry Real says that while other forms of therapy teach skills, his method deals with the part of you that won’t use them. See the book The New Rules of Marriage by Terrence Real.
Other useful links (links to videos can be found on the Couples Workshops page):
Love Languages test: www.5lovelanguages.com
Sexuality and affairs: www.estherperel.com
Psychobiology of love: www.stantatkin.com
Eli Finkel's Love Hacks: https://www.health.com/relationships/lovehacks-improve-marriage