Counseling for Couples

Are you tired of having the same fight over and over?

Have you lost your romantic and or intimate connection?

Couples therapy can assist you both in finding new ways to reconnect that match your unique love story

Reaching For Connection With Each Other 

If you have been in a long term relationship or marriage, you know very well that relationships have highs and lows. When you are experiencing a low point as a couple, it is common to view your partner as the problem.

Using the John and Julie Gottman Approach

I will be utilizing the Gottman Method during our couple therapy sessions. The Gottman Method was developed by two nationally recognized psychologists Drs John and Julie Gottman. Over the last 40 years , Drs John and Julie Gottman developed scientifically proven techniques that have helped more than 100,000 couples (Gottman Institute).

Questions Couples Often Ask

What is your specialty in working with couples?
About 80% of my practice is comprised of couples; I enjoy working with couples and holding both partner’s points of views. I facilitate the couple in developing their emotional understanding even in the middle of an argument and finding ways to compromise without a sense of “giving in.”

I enjoy working with couples from cross cultural backgrounds, various sexual orientations and LGBTQ+. I specialize in affair and betrayal recovery. For couples who are considering Ethically Non-Monogamous Relationships (ENM), I start with the Relationship Checkup to insure that their current partnership is strong in the areas of friendship, conflict management, and honest communication.

What is Gottman Relationship Checkup?
The Enhanced Gottman Relationship Checkup is a powerful online assessment tool that identifies challenging areas of your relationship as well as your strengths. The questionnaire is completely confidential, fully HIPAA compliant and I would be the only person viewing your results.

The first step of the Gottman Method is for me to conduct a comprehensive couple assessment which includes interviews and an online tool; the next step is for me to offer you as a couple a series of effective research based interventions based on your unique relationship needs based on your assessment results.

How is Relationship Checkup used in couples counseling?
I have used this Relationship Checkup assessment tool on about 250 couples. Most of these couples have reported that the tool was useful in gaining a wholistic view of all aspects of their relationship including friendship, conflict, and trust. Many couples wonder if this Relationship Checkup predicts whether or not they should break up. The tool does not make this prediction; it for the couple to determine if they wish to mend communication issues in their relationship; my role is to facilitate honest conversations in a safe space supporting the couple’s relationship.

I will share a written summary of the Relationship Checkup with you and we will review it in detail together. Then, we will collaborate to set appropriate, behavioral goals to meet your relationship needs and wishes. After the assessment feedback session, I use the Gottman interventions with standard handouts in counseling session and demonstrate new ways to connect with each other for more understanding.

How do couples use Gottman approach?
In order to learn new skills, it requires practice; typically, I invite couples to experiment with various practices that amount to 15-20 minutes a day. Just like working out on the gym with a personal trainer, most individuals make progress with building their new muscles by maintaining a consistent gym schedule. You can get to that sweet place of connection when you refocus on yourself and your partner.

Starting couples therapy is the first step towards making changes. All it takes is a willingness to look at yourself and your relationship in a new way; an openness to learning new tools for connection which we will practice in the therapy sessions. Learning to disagree in healthy ways is a common goal for many couples that contact me. A typical pattern for a couple is to engage in the “blaming and defending” style during conflict. I teach couples to understand each other’s subjective experience during a conflict and then learn to make a sincere apology to each other.


I have completed the Level 2 Training
in Gottman Method Couples Therapy in January 2019.

Couples who are dealing with the aftermath of an affair

Those who are in crisis or a frequently fighting with they partners

Affair Recovery

You may identify with couples who are all striving for a deeper connection with each other in the midst of a crisis. Repairing the damage done after an affair is possible if both individuals are wiling. Esther Perel states in this video: “Good can come out of an affair.” She defines an affair as containing these three elements: a secretive relationship, an emotional connection, and sexual alchemy. Besides being a betrayal, one aspect of an affair is the longing for emotional connection or aliveness.

An affair does not mean separation or divorce. Often couples jump to this negative conclusion because they do not know how to recover on their own. These couples realize they are in need of immediate help which is a good sign.

Individuals and couples who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or queer (LGBTQ)

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LGBT Issues

First of all, this is time to acknowledge that our current socio-political environment outside of the San Francisco Bay Area is challenging for sexual minorities.

In working with lesbain, bisexual, gay, and transgender clients, I understand the role of stigma in the LBGT experience as a sexual minority. As with all my clients, I create a sense of a safety net for the individual in the counseling session. I am aware that my lesbian, bisexual, gay or transgender clients are the expert on their subgroup culture. Affirming their sexual orientation, I provide supportive counseling to reach their fullest potential.

“I think being gay is a blessing, and it’s something I am thankful for every single day.” ~ Anderson Cooper

Hybrid Model of Psychotherapy

Video sessions and/or in person sessions

For individuals using short-term therapy
For couples utilizing the Gottman Method of Couples Therapy

LYRA HEALTH PROVIDER

For employees covered under Lyra Health — no cost for therapy sessions

Individual and Couples Therapy

I provide clinically appropriate short-term therapy using evidence-based treatment to clients.
Clients in crisis may call 877.505.7147.