Couples Therapy

Love your relationship… and make it last!

You probably never saw yourself here, did you?

Your resentment builds inside you like a wildfire. Walking around with the heavy feeling of anger – it’s projected in your relationship.

Sometimes you feel like you will or do, explode, which causes more conflict and keeps you further away from working out your resentment.

You have a feeling of dread inside you that weighs you down like a ton of bricks – often feeling sad, lonely, and hopeless. This depressed feeling permeates everything in your life, and it’s hard to smile and enjoy life.

When your relationship is on shaky ground, it rocks the foundation of everything in your life.

You walk on eggshells, anxiously waiting for the shoe to drop. You’re nervous, and it’s sometimes difficult to think clearly and focus on the important aspects of your life.

One of the loneliest feelings is being in a relationship and feeling lonely. Yet here you are. You don’t connect, and trying to find ways to connect – intimately, emotionally, or physically – is unsuccessful. Something isn’t working, and it leaves you feeling isolated.

Feeling unloved and unwanted is heartbreaking. Perhaps it’s been building over time, and you are now at a point where you feel sad, stuck, and helpless. You notice your attempts to connect are one-sided. Your partner doesn’t seem to want to spend time with you. They’ve pulled back and don’t seem interested in your day-to-day life. This lonely feeling is consuming, and you may wonder if you are lovable.

You love this person, and yet you are unhappy – starting to question if this is the right person.

“Am I lovable?”

This feels depressing, and you don’t know how to get to a place in your relationship where you feel happy!

“How did we get here?”

You were so in love that you never imagined you would be having these problems.

After all, you were different from other couples. You KNEW each other, and you talked about everything! And if you had arguments here and there, you never let them get out of control. You knew how to resolve conflict… right?

It’s confusing that you’ve become something you never thought you would be. Now… here you are, suffering through the silence and the blow-out fights, wondering:

Did you marry the right person?

Can you make things work?

Will your partner change?

Have you grown out of this relationship?

Can your marriage last?

If you need help, you’re not alone.

You’ve talked about your relationship over and over and have resolved to make it work. Yet the promises made are not kept, the goals set are not reached, and the intimate time you wanted together hasn’t happened.

It feels lousy, doesn’t it?

But don’t be so hard on yourself. After all, you never got an instruction manual for your relationship, so why is it so surprising that it’s gone off track?

I’m here to help.

Increasing your connection…

Life is busy! We spend so much time with work, family activities and responsibilities, personal time, kids, illnesses, or other circumstances it often is difficult to find time for the “us.” We lose our connection and sometimes find it challenging to get it back. When you feel a loss of connection or wish you had more and don’t, it leaves an empty feeling – a void.

Some couples come to therapy to find ways to connect better, maybe rev up something that has stalled, or seek guidance in the next steps of their relationship. We will process what you envision with your relationship. We will explore how you used to connect – what worked. I will have you share what you would like more of or less of and how you get there.

We will take time to explore and iron out issues you may have that hinder you from being or staying close. You will have a safe space to share your needs and wants, how best to get those needs met, and whose job it is to meet them. I will suggest exercises you can do outside of the office to enhance connection. You will feel closer, have a vision for your relationship, and have a partnership that feels good.

Communicating more effectively…

We will look at the communication styles you each bring to this relationship. We will look at what works and what doesn’t work. I will guide you through sharing your wants and needs in a style that your partner can hear. I will ask you to discuss issues you struggle with so that I can provide you with the proper tools and techniques necessary to communicate more effectively.

You will learn about good and bad times to communicate, what shuts communication down, and what invites it. We’ll also explore how to be aware of body language i.e., eye-rolling, how you are sitting, are you paying attention to your partner or looking at electronic devices, what turns your partner off when talking, what gets their attention, and more. You will learn how to have more successful communication.

Resolving conflict in healthy ways…

Conflict resolution is one of the most important indicators of a successful relationship. Everyone argues/fights differently. What you learned from your family of origin is most likely different from the style your partner learned. When we have different conflict resolution styles, we often don’t fight fair because we don’t understand our partner’s style, and we misinterpret a lot. Things escalate, we don’t feel heard or understood, we bring up other issues unrelated to the original issue – we argue more, we do or say things we shouldn’t, we hurt each other.

Using proven techniques and tools, I will help you learn to argue/fight fair. I am not promising you will never have arguments that are not heated. However, they can happen less, and you can learn new ways to have healthy conflict resolution.

Right off the bat, whatever you do at home will not be what continues to happen in session. I will observe what your arguing style is. Once I understand your conflict resolution breakdown, I will stop in session what is not working and suggest other ways, healthier ways to approach the conflict.

We will look at the styles of conflict resolution you each bring and see how they clash. We’ll also discuss what works and what doesn’t work, and talk about healthy time-outs, good and bad times to discuss problems, how you listen and how you speak to each other. Together, we will work on ways to improve what you know about yourself that doesn’t work and how to change that.

Rebuilding trust and intimacy…

When trust is broken, it can fragment a relationship if not properly healed. When trust is betrayed, it permeates everything in the relationship. It affects our health and emotional well-being. It affects intimacy, joy, safety, and comfort.

Building trust takes time, patience, love, understanding, listening, honesty, and care from both partners! We will begin by identifying what broke the trust. With sensitivity and guidance, I will create a safe space you both can share your thoughts, feelings, and pain. We’ll discuss what caused the trust to break and what you need to trust again. We will process your needs and wants and find the best way to get there. We will work on keeping communication open so that you can support each other.

We will make a verbal or written contract, so it’s clear you’re both on the same page. We will discuss what needs to be changed, added, or deleted to mitigate the chances of the trust being broken again. We will work on genuine apologies and forgiveness, accountability, revisiting relationship boundaries and expectations, and deciding what needs to be changed and how. Some couples stay together when trust is broken with little to no repair, and their relationship is never the same, nor is it satisfying. You can work through the betrayal and trust again with hard work, commitment, and dedication to your relationship. You can have a stronger, happier, and healthier relationship.

Working through painful experiences…

When a couple experiences a tragedy or traumatic event, it can take a toll on the relationship. The heartache of what you’re experiencing is unimaginable. Addiction, loss of a loved one, depression or anxiety, financial issues, or life stressors can push you and your relationship off course.

Often it is not just one thing that couples struggle with. One main issue can breed other problems that also affect the relationship. We will discuss the issues you seek help with and decide on the therapy goals.

Depending on the presenting issues, I will guide you toward solutions using proven techniques and tools to help you reach your goals. Such as more effective communication, so you are heard, creating a safe place for you to express thoughts and feelings around the issues so that you can better understand and hear each other. We’ll also talk about boundaries and what needs to happen to keep the relationship safe.

I’ll help you create a support system, get outside help if needed, seek medical attention when appropriate, and help you find a way to feel the ground under your feet again.

I may also suggest individual therapy in conjunction with couples therapy, specialized therapy where addiction issues are present, and an evaluation to properly guide you to a healthier you. Showing up to your relationship, being better, and feeling better, will contribute to the success of your relationship. Relationships are hard! Being healthy, mentally, physically, and emotionally able and ready to work on your relationship is imperative for a better outcome.

Being ready for the hard work will help you reach the goals you want for a happier, healthier, and more vibrant relationship.

Providing guidance…

For couples who need a tune-up or are just looking for someone to talk to, I can help. It’s a great time to come to therapy – before serious issues arise.

Maybe you feel like things are ok or pretty good and need to brush up on connecting more or have run into some issues. You need help processing, resolving, or guidance on how to work through a problem, have a stressor, or two, and need to communicate them so your partner can hear and understand you, or your communication needs a little help. I will listen to what your therapeutic needs are and we will discuss goals.

Depending on your goals will depend on the techniques we utilize. Often, there will be exercises and or discussions I will suggest you do outside of the office. These are exercises to help you reach your goals using new tools you’ll continue to use in the future. We will look at what’s working, what isn’t working, and adjust accordingly. I will ask you to be creative and develop ideas of what might work going forward to help you figure out what will work best for your lives together.

Parenting kids or blended families…

Marriage and raising kids are two of the most important roles you will take on in life. People are raised differently, and we bring what we know and what we experienced in our homes. The differences in your belief systems will surface in your family and create tension that was not present before.

We will begin by sharing your family upbringing and what was and was not important. You will both have the opportunity to share this in a safe space so that you are heard and understood. I will ask you to write down a list of expectations regarding parenting and review it in session. We will discuss the child/ren to get an idea of what is happening, how the child is responding, and how you both are reacting to the stressor.

You will work on de-escalating when you don’t see eye to eye. We will look at the preferred outcome and the best way to get there. I will provide some tools to implement at home and suggest new ways to lessen the tension. You will work more harmoniously and feel less tension in your home.

By the time we finish…

You will feel more confident, happy, and proud of your marriage.

You will be the spouse you want to be for yourself and your partner.

You will make choices and decisions that support the growth of your marriage.

You will learn how to have the marriage you thought not possible.

You CAN make your marriage work!

The first step in your healing journey is done – you are here. The second step is calling to set up a day and time to talk for a few minutes: (310) 281-7113.

During our conversation, you’ll get an idea of what I will be like to work with. I will share my therapeutic background with you and answer questions about my therapeutic process.

The third step is making an appointment for you to come and meet with me. Some people don’t know where to begin and feel shy or embarrassed. I will open the session to help you feel comfortable and not put you the spot.

The fourth step is starting your journey to a better and happier place.

Therapy is a very personal journey! If either of us feels from the initial phone call or even first or second meeting that I am not the right therapist for you, you are still not alone! I am here to help and give you referrals to a therapist or two who may be better suited for your particular needs.