When an individual or couple seeks help with their relationship, the psychologist is usually the last stop after many months or years of trying to unsuccessfully resolve the issues on their own or with the help of a biased or ineffective third party.
I am a relationship affirming therapist with over 20 years experience researching couples' issues and working with couples directly. I view the couple as the client and approach you both with total acceptance and non-judgment. A break up or divorce is something that both parties need to earn after hard work in therapy. Just because you have been together for years does not mean you have been working through your own individual and/or couple issues. It just means you have been "doing time."
Attempts to work though the problems by yourselves and to get your needs met can often be quite damaging to the relationship. This is sometimes when one or both members of the couple engage in emotional or physical infidelity or a multitude of addictive behaviors including drug and alcohol abuse, gambling, and food addiction to name a few.
I will work with you initially to help you identify what is called the Problem Maintenance Cycle in your relationship which is essentially helping you each to see what thoughts and behaviors that you both engage in that help to maintain those problem areas of the relationship. In effect, we will look at why you seem to have the same arguments over and over and can't get beyond an issue.
Further, I will teach you some basic communication skills so that you can learn how to approach each other in a caring, compassionate, and validating way.
Then, we will work on identifying deeper problem areas and the origin of these problems. This may involve some concurrent individual work either with me or another therapist as it is not an efficient use of our time in couple's therapy.
I use cognitive behavioral treatment to help explore your perceptions of each other and to develop behavioral homework assignments. However, I have found that relationships often require some deeper work. We accomplish this through the use of IMAGO therapy. Imago therapy is a more in depth therapy that helps you to understand the role your childhood primary caregivers played in your selection of a mate as well as your current problematic behavior in the relationship. With this knowledge, partners develop a unique empathy toward one another that can create a nurturing and supportive environment where the relationship can grow. We will then begin to change what seem like deeply entrenched and repetitive negative relationship patterns.
Please feel free to contact me to set up an initial relationship consultation or if you have further questions about my relationship treatment methods.
OTHER RELATIONSHIP AREAS TREATED:
- Pre-Marital Counseling
- Interfaith, multi-cultural, interracial relationships
- Non-Traditional Relationships: Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender