Couples Therapy

Does your intimate relationship need help? Grumpy Couple
Having the same fight over and over again?
Relationship gone dead?
Wondering if you can really make it work?
Yearning for more intimacy?

Angry CoupleThere is nothing more draining on your energy, creativity and self esteem than having chronic conflict in your marriage!
We all want to feel connected, supported and seen.
At first it might seem to be all your partner’s fault.
But then you could ask yourself: “What is my contribution? What ‘parts’ of me withdraw, defend, attack, or hide out?”

When I began  working with couples and families in 1974,  at a family service agency in New York, I was struck by how many different personas could be activated in each person in the family interactions.
Two people: many selves!
My focus in working with couples is finding opportunities for all of those voices to be recognized and heard.

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Effective “communication techniques” are certainly important to opening up a stuck relationship and getting it back on track, but the real key is understanding the repetitive sequences of interactions that log-jam the relationship. There are some parts that each person habitually speaks from, and other, more vulnerable, parts that are out of awareness. The pain of these hidden parts actually drives conflict.

When each of you can identify the internal parts involved in the difficulties, they can begin to step back and change perspective.

The Internal Family Systems Therapy of Dick Schwartz has profoundly influenced my ability to help each of you speak effectively for your individual concerns and compassionately attend to your own vulnerabilities.

I am artistic at fostering an environment where you connect from the highest part of yourselves, where your protective parts can relax, and your relationship can be more open, spontaneous, creative, and loving. I provide support that is gentle yet strong, and appreciate the importance of looking at the light side as well as the depths.  I have found that humor and compassion are great partners is holding the space for couples to grow together.

My deeply fulfilling 25 year relationship with my husband provides a solid base for my optimism about marriage and the possibilities of partnership. We have used our lives together as a springboard for spiritual and relational growth.

The Four Cornerstones of MyApproach

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Couples that have an intimate knowledge of each other’s world are better prepared to cope with stressful events and marital conflict. You can regain your feelings of affection and appreciation for each other and learn how to express this. You can relearn how to reach out to your partner and respond to his or her bids for contact.

Internal Family Systems

Internal Family Systems Therapy is a powerful new approach that provides a way of discovering your parts or subpersonalities and how they get into conflict with your partner’s parts. IFS allows you to access your core Self which has the qualities of compassion, curiosity, and calmness. From this center, you can heal the pain of exiled subpersonalities and learn to relate to your partner in a healthy way.

Communication

I can help you communicate with each other in a way that is clear, open, and assertive.
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Becoming aware of how you are reacting and what you actually want.
Asserting your feelings and needs and being open to your partner’s.
Being clear and constructive in your statements.
Knowing when to engage and when to take a break.

Understanding Your Interpersonal Patterns

I have an understanding of the various interpersonal patterns that affect the way we are in love relationships. Some people are overly compliant or controlling. Others are too needy or too distant. Using the Pattern System, developed by Jay Earley, I can  help you understand each of your individual patterns that  create difficulties in the way you interact with each other. See the article Patterns in Love Relationships.

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See Articles

Anatomy of Conflict

Don’t Blame Me

Revitalizing Passion in Your Relationship

Transforming a Stuck Relationship