Couples counseling is a process through which a couple (who may be dating, engaged, married, partnered, or sometimes other pairings such as close friends) works with a trained therapist to identify specific areas of conflict and/or aspects of their relationship that they would like to change. Then, a plan of action is developed by all parties to improve each client’s satisfaction and the overall functioning of the relationship.
As with individual psychotherapy, an atmosphere of safety, compassion, confidentiality, and nonjudgment is necessary for couples to explore how their individual backgrounds and current beliefs, feelings and behaviors may be impacting their relationship in both positive and negative ways. The therapist may assist the couple with addressing any immediate and pressing problems, as well as developing strategies for protecting and enhancing the long-term health and happiness of their relationship.
I work with couples in my practice, offering support and guidance through teaching communication and interactive skills, listening to each client’s concerns and needs, and empowering them to find hope for a better future and the love for each other that they once embraced. Often I help couples who are dealing with addiction and codependency issues, those torn apart by infidelity, others who are suffering from mental illness or a history of trauma that interferes with the couple’s goal for intimacy, and those who are grieving the loss of a child or other family member.