Couples Counseling

Are you experiencing struggles like those in the video to the left? Or are you experiencing even greater relationship distress with endless and escalated conflict?                                              As your Marriage or Relationship therapist we will:

*Map the underlying negative cycles of fighting and disconnection

*Learn how to communicate with each other and really hear one another

*Create and restore safety in your marriage or relationship

*Reignite sexual intimacy

*Learn how to enjoy each others company again

*Restore Hope 

If you are unsure about couples counseling, I also offer discernment counseling (Keep scrolling for that section).

Why Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT)?

  • This model is the gold standard in terms of empirical support on its effectiveness (up to 70% recovery rate ).
  • It targets the roots of the emotional bond and naturally leads to enhanced communication. 
  • It doesn't take sides. We work on the process that allows for you both to find a solution to problems (its not me telling you who is right or wrong).
  • Other couple therapy approaches have a low rate of long term success. 
  • It creates the groundwork  for healing relationship trauma's such as infidelity.

Take a Quick Relationship Assessment 


Get to Know Me. Short Video I made in Grad School on EFT. 

Lets get you unstuck from the pattern that has led to the erosion of the closeness you once felt. In my work with couples, I primarily draw from Emotionally Focused Therapy. 

The other model I utilize is the Gottman Method Couples Therapy Approach. For the limited amount that do not find full recovery with EFT, I find that Gottman Method skills can often be the answer.  

Discernment Counseling or Relationship Direction Counseling

(An Alternative to Couples Counseling)

*I follow a similar process to that which Doherty created.

Experiencing turbulence in your marriage often leads to a pivotal juncture in your life. It's a crossroads fraught with questions like:

Deciding whether to stay married or divorce involves navigating through a complex labyrinth of considerations that can be overwhelming even for the most discerning of individuals.

Such a monumental decision can lead to self-doubt, overthinking, and in some cases, even depression. It may provoke you to make a hasty decision just to escape the torment of uncertainty.

For those trapped in this indecisiveness, discernment counseling can serve as a lifeline.

The Two-Sided Nature of Traditional Marriage Counseling

Traditional marriage counseling can indeed be beneficial if both partners are equally committed to working for their relationship. It's a demanding journey, spanning many months, where both partners need to learn and employ new skills to reform their relationship. The commitment must be unwavering; if one partner hesitates from the onset, it might cripple the process.

Individual Therapy: A Partial Solution

One partner might choose to undergo therapy alone. While this could positively influence the marriage dynamic, it's often insufficient. The roots of the issue usually extend deep into the dynamic the couple has established over the years, and breaking the harmful patterns often requires a concerted effort. Further, some individual approaches can work against the relationship with rigid boundaries that do not allow the risk reach reassure process that is essential for restoring a love bond.

The Path of Discernment Counseling

If you find yourself uncertain about the future of your marriage, discernment counseling could be the answer. Its primary objective is not to fix your marital issues, but to determine if they are fixable. From there you can proceed on one of three paths:

Unlike traditional marriage counseling, which generally aims to salvage the marriage, discernment counseling concentrates on helping couples decide their relationship's future.

Discernment counseling offers:

If both partners can answer "yes" to this question, they can proceed with intense work on their marriage. After six months, they revisit the divorce question, equipped with greater clarity about their marriage's potential.

Potential Benefits Regardless of the Outcome

Even if one spouse decides to end the marriage after five sessions, the process of reviewing the marriage's history and exploring the behaviors that led to the divorce can be beneficial. This reflective process can help them move into future relationships without residual guilt.

Discernment counseling can provide a supportive environment, helping both partners adjust to the idea of divorce, reducing the potential for high-intensity conflict typically associated with divorce situations. This is particularly important when children are involved, often resulting in the couple seeking mediation for the divorce instead of two opposing attorneys.

The Path Forward: Focusing on the Marriage

Couples who choose to work on their marriage post-discernment counseling will have identified key areas for each spouse to address, directing future therapy to effect personal changes.

The homework is split into three stages according to the stage you are in. If you don't the stage your in, ask me. 


Review Your Cycle Individually and then Together

When you find yourself feeling disconnected or there is some tension, what do you do?

Write it down. Do you Probe, blame, get critical, ask questions, interrogate, tell your spouse how to improve, express anger, demand attention, complain or do you shut down, get defensive stonewall, leave, get logical, change the subject, refuse to talk, think about getting away, chase your spouse, freeze, not respond, minimize, focus elsewhere, numb out or something else? 

You move toward your partner by_________________


You move away from your partner by______________

“The more I_____________________, the more you (your partner) ____________________ , And, then the more I _______________________ and around it goes over.

“The more you (your partner) ____________________, the more I _______________________. And then the more you (your partner) ______________________ and around and round we go.”

(hard or hot emotion) (action) And then you (your partner) _________________ and I hear it as a message saying something like ‘_______________________________’ and then I feel (meaning)___________________. And then I ___________________. And around and around we go.”


When do you remember this cycle showing up? 

Is there anything from your past that may contribute to how you respond to contain the interaction or disconnection? 


Ok, so you have found yourself in the cycle. Call it out: "we are doing that thing again that keeps us disconnected." Then go to opposite sides of the room. 

Begin Implementing the Weekly State of the Union Meeting


Together with your spouse, watch this short music video. After watching it, discuss. 



Coming Eventually. If you are in Stage 3 and need homework, ask me for some (I may forget to hand it out or you may not need it at this point)

If sexual frustrations have not yet resolved, lets begin discussing this now. Please fill out the following individually and discuss at home and bring it to the next session (Copied with Permission from Penner & Penner "Restoring the Pleasure")


Completing this form will give each of you time to individually sort out how you

experience your dilemma. Sharing your responses with each other may clear up

differences that neither of you realized. Use this structure to individually reflect

on your difficulty and then listen carefully and actively clarify as you share with

each other.

What particular sexual difficulty are you experiencing?

How is it affecting you?

How is it affecting your spouse?

When and how did the problem first develop?

What have you done about it (counseling, reading, self-help, etc.)?

Which one of you initiated this process to work on your dilemma?


______ I do

______ I don’t

______ It’s normal

______ It’s okay before marriage

______ I shouldn’t

______ It’s a problem for me

Sexual fantasies are . . .

______ wrong

______ normal

______ okay before marriage

______ okay after marriage

______ a problem for me

Lovemaking is a good experience for me. ______ Yes ______ No Lovemaking

is a good experience for my spouse. ______ Yes ______ No We make love

_____ times a month.

Woman initiates _____ percent of the time.

Man initiates _____ percent of the time.

I wish my spouse would initiate more often. ______ Yes ______ No FOR MEN

I ejaculate prematurely (before she is or I am ready to respond) _____ percent of

the time.

I have difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection _____ percent of the time.

She is orgasmic _____ percent of the time.

She is orgasmic . . .

______ by masturbation

______ by external stimulation

______ during actual intercourse

Does she experience pain during intercourse? If so, what kind?


I am orgasmic _____ percent of the time.

I am orgasmic . . .

______ by masturbation

______ during actual intercourse

Do you experience pain during intercourse? If so, what kind?

He ejaculates prematurely (before he is or I am ready) _____ percent of the time.

He has difficulty achieving or maintaining an erection _____ percent of the time.


I would like to enhance the sexual fulfillment of our marriage by working on the

following areas (check as many as desired): _____ frequency of intercourse

_____ variety within the lovemaking experience _____ increased interest for


_____ increased interest for my partner

_____ change in the pattern of initiation

_____ control of ejaculation for the man

_____ orgasmic responsiveness for the woman

_____ ease of gaining and keeping an erection for the man _____ reducing pain

for the woman

_____ general pleasuring of each other’s body

_____ freedom of sexual activity between my partner and me _____ other:


1. Compare and discuss the previous three pages.

2. Determine individually and then together which is the most important area

to work on. You may choose several areas. If you do, list them in order of

priority. Decide this together.


How would your sex life be different? If sexual retraining is successful, what

would your sex life be like after the retraining?



Compare your personal goals and decide on joint goals.

More Coming Soon!