Specialties: Couples Therapy
Whether partnered, married, or not-sure-what-to-call-ourselves, two people in a relationship often find communicating and being there for each other a challenge. Couples therapy provides a forum in which to explore and deepen partners' understanding of themselves and each other. Having a space to work through issues with a professional allows couples to determine best options for themselves and their relationship.
How we approach couples therapy
Our clinicians are trained in several methods of couples therapy and apply a modality or integrate approaches depending on the partners' needs and readiness for treatment.
One widely used approach is Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples, which focuses on the emotions that are contributing to disconnection in a relationship. Research studies have shown EFT to be an effective approach to improving communication and deepening understanding between partners. EFT is based on attachment theory, or the basic human need for belonging and safety within personal relationships. Just as children must be protected by their caregivers so they can develop and flourish, adults also long for emotional security to grow in relationship to each other.
Couples come in for counseling for many reasons, including communication problems, infidelity, preventative "tune-ups," and to determine whether to stay together. We begin with an evaluation phase in which our therapist will meet with both partners first, then each separately, and together again for a "feedback session."
During the evaluation phase, the therapist will take a relationship history from each partner and identify the couple's negative emotional "cycle." If couples therapy is recommended, partners will work on how to address their individual attachment needs by creating new communication patterns with each other. Couples also are taught skills on how to de-escalate conflicts, and learn to argue in a healthier and more constructive way.
The result is a deepening understanding of each partner, which makes it easier to "reach" toward one another and interact more positively. The goal of couples therapy is to help partners strengthen their emotional bond and develop more resilient connections to improve their relationship.
We also offer Family Therapy for relationships that extend beyond a romantic partnership.
How do you know you need couples therapy?
People who are struggling in their relationships often find they are not attuned to each other. Here are a few signs that you and your partner may benefit from couples therapy: