Couples come into my ofﬁce for many reasons, but the one thing they have in common is their desire to improve their relationship. This might entail rebuilding trust after inﬁdelity or other betrayals, jump starting intimacy in a passionless marriage, learning communication techniques to express and receive feelings and desire, or exploring whether they should stay together. Other presenting concerns I’ve seen include: sexual desire discrepancy or low desire of one partner, sexual anxiety, compulsive acting out, emotional affairs, distance due to parenting or other stress, worry about being sexual after illness, grief due to fertility problems, and the effects of substance abuse, sexual abuse, or other trauma on the relationship. There are also couples who consider their relationship close and healthy and just want to enhance their intimacy.
You are welcome into my therapy practice whether a straight or same-sex couple, married, unmarried, or dating.
Relationship therapy is most effective when both partners are present, however, changes can occur in the relationship when one partner makes individual changes. So if your partner or spouse will not agree to therapy, you may proceed individually.
Couples therapy begins with an assessment, followed by treatment recommendations, and the work of therapy. The assessment usually takes 4 sessions, starting with a session in which the couple describes the reasons they’ve requested therapy. Background information is gathered, and the couple is observed to identify their relational style. An individual session is then held for each partner to build rapport, open communication with therapist about the problem, and learn about the person’s background. During the fourth session, treatment recommendations are made.
Treatment is where the work of therapy is done. Exercises in session, homework activities, communication exercises, reading assignments, or video training may be used to progress you toward achieving your therapy goals.
Therapy can be an intimidating, scary prospect. These feelings are common and normal. I will work to help you calm your anxiety, by offering a relaxed atmosphere and by being accepting and non-judgmental.