“The point of marriage is not to create a quick commonality by tearing down all boundaries; on the contrary, a good marriage is one in which each partner appoints the other to be the guardian of his solitude, and thus they show each other the greatest possible trust. A merging of two people is an impossibility, and where it seems to exist, it is a hemming-in, a mutual consent that robs one party or both parties of their fullest freedom and development. But once the realization is accepted that even between the closest people infinite distances exist, a marvelous living side-by-side can grow up for them, if they succeed in loving the expanse between them, which gives them the possibility of always seeing each other as a whole and before an immense sky.” ~Rainer Maria Rilke
Relationships are perhaps the most complicated, yet most rewarding things in our lives. They can make us feel excited, happy, and high on life one minute while maintaining the ability to bring us pain, frustration, and emotional distress the next. For all the beauty that comes with companionship and commitment, there can also be times when you have to sacrifice things that you may not want to for the sake of the relationship. Furthermore, maintaining one’s own identity while growing with another person can be a lot to manage. I help couples come to a much more meaningful understanding of how each person is showing up in the relationship so that they can make healthier choices towards a more fulfilling future together.
I provide couples counseling to partners who tend to be experiencing the following issues, among others:
- Constant fighting or bickering over the same things over and over again
- Unhealthy communication
- Lack of intimacy or fulfillment – feeling complacent
- Growing apart
- Codependency: struggling to strike a healthy balance between individuality and togetherness
- Avoiding or struggling to make joint decisions
- Lack or diminished sense of mutual respect
- Relationship transitions (i.e. lifestyle changes, moving in together, buying a house, having children, career or role changes, newly weds)
- Power struggles or imbalances
My approach to couples counseling has many similarities to the approach I take with individuals. I want to help you with what you’re struggling with, fighting about, and getting stuck on by getting you to focus on how you struggle, fight, and get stuck. A large part of what I do with couples is tune in to the patterns they get into while exploring the collective and individual meaning behind those tendencies.
My approach to couples counseling differs from my work with individuals in that I’m less interested in getting you to interact with me and more interested in seeing how you interact with each other. I see my role as your couples counselor as one that helps you and your significant other develop the skills and strengths to ultimately make your relationship more satisfying. I will work with you in discovering how you affect your relationship and how it affects you so that you may have a clearer idea of what you can do to change your relationship for the better.
Premarital Couples Counseling is a MUST:
I list this separately because it can be quite a bit different from other areas of couples counseling. Most couples that come to me for premarital counseling aren’t facing the same issues as other couples. They tend to be in love, content, and things seem to be going pretty well. They come to me because they are thinking about taking the next step in their relationship, but want to talk about their future in a constructive way before making such a commitment. With divorce rates hitting all time highs, they come to me because they don’t want to be another failed marriage five, ten, or twenty years down the road. They want to explore the pros and cons of committing their lives together by addressing each others fears, desires, concerns, and reasons for wanting or not wanting to wed.
One thing worth noting: I will NOT try to encourage you to get married or to not get married. That decision is entirely up to the two of you. I do, however, want to help you and your significant other explore all areas of this matter so that you can make a more informed and meaningful decision. For those who do end up getting married, premarital couples counseling is often times a great way to start off the marriage as it centers and clarifies your thinking while getting you and your partner on the same page.
For more information or to schedule an initial session 50% off, please contact me at 510-329-8674.