Couples

COUPLES THERAPY SERVICES
What do you really want from couples therapy?  If your relationship problems were solved, if the pain was gone, would you have more intimacy?  More fun? More love?  More inner peace?

gottman_certifiedPEQI offer a way, using the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy, to show you how to…
Foster respect, affection and closeness
Keep conflict discussions calm
Build and share a deeper connection
Break through and resolve conflict gridlock
Strengthen and maintain loving growth in your relationship

The Gottman Method of Couples Therapy is based on scientific research for improving relationship communications.   I was drawn to this way of working because it offered research-based tools in a semi-structured environment, that when applied by a generally well-trained therapist, makes it easy for couples to understand what, why and how “changes” might be accomplished in their relationships.

I trained with Drs. John and Julie Gottman at the University of Washington in Seattle.  After several years of study involving over 100 hours of videotaped couples sessions, segments of which were reviewed by the Gottman Institute, I became a Certified Gottman Therapist.  With additional advanced training, I became a Certified Gottman Couples Workshop Leader  of the two-day Gottman Couples Workshop:  The Art and Science of Love.   As a psychologist and relationship coach, my style is compassionate, interactive, and sometimes with a bit of humor.

What services do I offer to couples?

A) Gottman Couple’s Private Marathon Session, 3 Hours

My initial session with you is both a “working” session and an assessment interview of the couple and each partner, and a “working” session where I provide you a mini-workshop.  It includes semi-structured dialogues and provides immediate tools and skills to assist the couple to begin to make movement on some issues.   At home, each partner will complete an extensive Relationship Questionnaire (for therapist’s eyes only) that will be blended with observational data from the session.  In the follow-up session, I provide feedback in a written “Couples Profile” report.  We discuss your responses to my observations, set treatment goals and I identify which research-based interventions will help you achieve these goals.  We become a team, the Couple and the Therapist, working together to establish an open dialogue on your deepest concerns.  As your Relationship Coach, I do not mediate an issue but rather I help you to communicate and negotiate in a healthy ongoing way.

B) Gottman Couple’s Sessions, Ongoing, 90-Minutes

Ongoing sessions are 90-minutes because my years of experience have shown me that the “50-minute hour” is not enough. When two distressed people are in the room.  As your therapist, I draw from over 44 Gottman Method micro-skills and exercises to improve your relationship intimacy and make progress on solving some problems. I strive to create a safe space for each partner share their subjective realities. I guide you through the difficult discussions. There are also “homework” assignments in between sessions, to practice and make the new skills your own.
I work with couples representing many types of cultural diversity. I work with any two people who want to resolve conflict. Many clients have observed that the Gottman skills they have practiced also helped them improve relationships with family, friends, and coworkers.  Compassion and communication heals many relationship dilemmas.

C) Pre-Martial Counseling.

I encourage couples in the dating stage to improve their relationship skills as they invest time in one another. As a new couple, you will learn early to dialogue effectively about differences in personality, values, lifestyle choices and daily behaviors.  You’ll keep your relationship strong and joyful. Got sexual concerns?  As a trained sex therapist, I can help you talk with your partner about your desires and fantasies. My motto is:
“The couple that plays together stays together.”

What if your partner won’t come to counseling?  Then, in individual therapy, I can help you practice ways to renegotiate meta-agreements with your partner in order to get more of your needs met in the relationship.  If you are ambivalent about staying in the relationship, I assist you in a semi-structured way to clarify your motivations for asking, “…should I stay or should I go…”

Don’t Wait Until It Hurts Too Much. Most couples (married or just long-term partners) wait an average of six years before seeking help for relationship problems, according to research by Dr. John Gottman. By the time these couples seek counseling, they are usually stuck in pain, anger, and distrust.   One or both partners may feel despair, hopeless, or may be coping with dysfunctional behaviors like alcohol abuse, drugs, sexual power struggles or sexual acting-out (…infidelity).

To repair the damage to each partner’s self-esteem, self-respect and ability to trust intimacy, it will take a lot more work than “…just a few sessions.”  If you want to invest in your relationship, to make the repairs necessary to save and improve your relationship, don’t wait.
Call me: (415) 373-4030.

Sometimes therapy just isn’t enough.  While I have helped several hundred couples to understand their core needs, improve their communications skills, and solve some problems, each partner in a relationship must consider that sometimes there are deal-breakers in a relationship.  In such cases, my goal is to facilitate a respectful way for the couple to end the relationship, particularly if a co-parenting relationship will continue.

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Love is not something you get; Love is what you are.

Marianne Williamson, author, A Return To Love

Psychologist and Neuropsychologist