Interactive/IFS Couples Group

The Interactive/IFS Couples group is for couples who want to enhance their relationship, learn to communicate skillfully, resolve conflicts, and deepen their intimacy.

An Interactive Group can help you . . .

  • Develop your capacity for intimacy and learn how to make a love relationship work
  • Become more assertive
  • Learn what you may be doing to keep your relationships from being satisfying
  • Learn how to deal with anger and conflict constructively
  • Become part of a loving community of people
  • Raise your self-esteem

You can learn these relationship skills:

  • Being in touch with your feelings and expressing them
  • Speaking for your parts, not acting them out
  • Reaching out to others confidently
  • Saying “No” firmly
  • Allowing yourself to be open and vulnerable
  • Expressing yourself forcefully and spontaneously
  • Being comfortable relating to a group of people
  • Asking for what you really want
  • Having the courage to bring up difficult issues
  • Empathizing with others

What Happens

  • You work directly on how you are relating to the other group members and your partner in the moment.
  • You get direct and honest feedback on how people are reacting to you.
  • The group provides a safe place for you to try out new, healthy ways of relating to your partner.
  • You learn how to feel your emotional responses and identify the parts that are activated while interacting with your partner and other group members
  • You learn how communicate openly, clearly, and assertively.
  • You discover your ways of relating that aren’t working for you, so you can experiment with changing them in the group.
  • You see other people struggling with problems similar to yours, and through this you learn about yourself and others.
  • There is a strong sense of support for each person and a warm feeling of community in the group.

Click here to Learn More about Interactive Groups

You will be doing interactive work with your partner and also with the other members of the group. When you do interact with your partner, you will get feedback afterwards from the other group members, so you can learn more about the dynamics of your relationship. You will also learn about your interpersonal patterns through the work you do with other group members, which will help you in your relationship.

I will periodically do some teaching about IFS, communication in conflict situations, and how parts trigger each other iinn couple’s arguments.

If you are having serious problems in your relationship, this group is not for you. Couples therapy would be more appropriate.


The groups meet by videoconference, so we all can see each other, which enhances the group connection. The groups meet twice a month, and you meet with me for an individual consultation on the group every 3 months. Each meeting is recorded, so if you miss one, you can watch the recording.

The groups are limited to 8 people. It is ongoing, so once you join, you are expected to attend all sessions until you choose to leave, though each session is recorded, so if you have to miss one, you can watch the recording.

Second and fourth Thursdays of each month
4:30-6:30 pm pacific time (7:30-9:30 pm eastern)
Starts Oct. 13

Cost: $120/month/person, including consultations

Email me at for more information or to schedule a free pre-group interview.

Introduction to IFS Parts Work Video Series

IFS Parts Video SeriesIf you are new to parts work or IFS, this is the perfect introduction. For those of you who already know IFS, this video series won’t contain anything new, but if you have friends whom you would like to introduce to IFS please share with them.

Do you struggle with…

  • Low self-esteem
  • Procrastination
  • Anger
  • Depression
  • Shyness
  • Eating issues

Or other psychological issues?

Do you want to have..

  • Self-confidence
  • Assertiveness
  • Intimacy
  • Aliveness
  • Success

Or other healthy capacities?

In my 40 years of practicing psychotherapy, I have discovered that, for most people, the best way to make these changes and achieve these goals is by working psychologically with your “parts.”

Click here to get the Parts Work Video Series.

How Can We Be Close Again In Our Relationship

Discover the Patterns of Intimacy in Your Relationship and How to Change ThemIntimacy in Your Relationship

  • Has your relationship gone dead?
  • Do you long for the closeness you used to have?
  • Is the passion and sexual excitement gone?
  • Is there an atmosphere of hostility between you?
  • Do you pretend that you don’t need anything in the relationship?
  • Have you pulled away from your partner?

Learn about how you avoid intimacy in your relationship.

Take this quiz to learn about your patterns of intimacy and what to do about the ones that aren’t working. Have your partner do the same.



Your Interpersonal Patterns: Looking for Reviewers

I have also written a second book on the Pattern System, which covers five of the interpersonal dimensions-

  • Intimacy,
  • Power
  • Conflict
  • Care
  • Strength

This book covers these dimensions, and their patterns and capacities, in enough detail that you can use it to work on any issues you have in these areas.

It covers the following patterns:

  • Intimacy-Avoiding, Dependent
  • Conflict-Avoiding
  • Judgmental, Defensive
  • People-Pleasing
  • Passive-Aggressive
  • Controlling
  • Rebel
  • Self-Absorbed
  • Caretaking
  • Disowned Anger
  • Angry

Right now I have a rough draft of this book, and I am looking for people who would be willing to read it and give me detailed feedback on it in the next month. I don’t need editing per se. What I need is feedback on the content, the organization of the book, and anything else that grabs you.

If you are willing to put in the time to do this, email me at Let me know something about who you are and your background that would make you a good reviewer. Thanks.

Here’s an excerpt from Your Interpersonal Patterns.

A Story of an Intimacy-Avoiding Pattern

This is the story of one person’s intimacy-avoiding pattern, one of the patterns in the Pattern System.

George isn’t happy about the lack of intimacy in his marriage with Kate. He doesn’t like that they seldom have sex. And yet, he doesn’t take action – he doesn’t talk with her about how he feels. Instead, he just lets his disappointment fester in hopes she’ll eventually pick up on the clues. And they don’t share anything else that is important to them, such as the struggles in their lives.

George has noticed they don’t go out on “dates”, and do fun things together, anymore. It is clear to George that Kate certainly has a Distancing Pattern. She tends to be depressed and withdrawn into herself – at least around him. So it is easy for George to point his finger at, and attribute their problems to her.

However, even though George says he wants more sex, sharing, and fun in the relationship, he doesn’t initiate them.

But George thinks he has a “good” excuse…

GEORGE: “I work long hours …okay, probably longer than I need to. But in today’s ify economy, I need to grab all the overtime hours I can get. Anyway, I often come home from work exhausted, and I don’t have any energy left for sex – or “sharing my feelings,” as Kate likes to say. So how am I supposed to initiate those things?”

Equal time is only fair, right?

Here’s what Kate has to say: KATE: “George almost always falls asleep right after dinner. He never suggests places for us to go, or things for us to do. He only complains about what we don’t have with each other. Even though he is clearly unhappy, he won’t initiate the closeness he says he wants.

He’s the male … He’s supposed to be the aggressor. So why does he expect me to take charge of the intimacy in our relationship?”

Of course, even if George found the energy, he might not act on it anyway, because of how much Kate has pulled back from him. In fact, their lack of intimacy is a long-standing dynamic in their relationship that they BOTH contribute to.

But for the moment, let’s focus on George’s part of the problem, his Intimacy-Avoiding Pattern:

GEORGE: “Okay, here’s the thing: I’m aware that I’m afraid of being rejected by Kate. Because when I do initiate sex, she often isn’t interested … and that hurts me.”

For a while, that was the only reason George knew of for avoiding reaching out for intimacy. Then George sought therapy, where he started exploring the deeper issues behind this pattern. He soon discovered that he had other fears that went back to his relationship with his mother:

GEORGE: “My mother tended to be intrusive and controlling, so I associated that with being close to a woman. A part of me is now afraid of intimacy, because I believe that means I’ll be smothered and controlled by any woman I am close to. This belief keeps me from acting on my desire for intimacy with Kate.”

In addition, George’s mother was worried and anxious much of the time during his childhood, and when George got close to her, her anxiety spilled over onto him, and he became anxious, too. So naturally, he didn’t want this to happen. As a result, a part of George now believes that intimacy will lead to him being flooded by a woman’s anxiety, and this is keeping him distant from Kate.