Couples and Marital Therapy
Helping you Live and Love Fully
Couples therapy can help you deepen your connection, and foster a safe and secure bond. Whether you are planning to take a step in your commitment and want to be proactive before problems become a pattern, or when you or your partner are challenged by a medical condition or mental health issue, these could be reasons to consult with a therapist. Couples therapy can also be useful when there has been a significant disruption or difficulty in the relationship.
It makes sense to work on understanding your reactions and staying connected! Couples therapy is one way to do that, and there are helpful approaches available.
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT)
When you and your partner are having difficulty, you may ask yourself, “How much do I matter to my partner? Will they be there for me when the going gets rough? Can I really be myself with this person?” You may experience fears and worries during your conflicts or arguments that the emotional bond and security of the relationship is not solid. Your fears and worries may make you feel isolated and alone, or as if you are fighting for survival itself. These reactions can cause the negative cycle to continue.
Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) focuses on the emotional bond between partners, as most problems in relationships arise from disruptions in this bond. In therapy, partners can learn to be more open and trusting with each other and to reach out to each other effectively. The EFT approach was developed by Dr. Sue Johnson and her colleagues, and refined in recent years through research on adult love, attachment and bonding. Research has shown that with EFT, approximately 90% of couples show significant improvement and 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery.
Couples sessions are usually 60 minutes in length and scheduled once weekly, unless we agree otherwise. I usually meet with the couple together, unless we agree it is useful to have 1-2 individual sessions for assessment purposes near the start of treatment. It is hard to say how long each couple will benefit from couples therapy, but generally the typical duration is 8-20 sessions.
I enjoy working with couples who are embarking on a journey towards greater commitment, including marriage. I strongly believe it is beneficial for most couples to have facilitated conversations before getting married or at other times in the relationship, Issues that can present challenges in any committed relationship include work, parenting, children, family relationships, step-families, sexuality, spirituality, lifestyle and multicultural issues. I may use the PREPARE/ENRICH relationship inventory and skill building program, which can be custom tailored to your relationship and can provide exercises to improve relationship skills. Facilitating crucial conversations in a proactive sense is very meaningful to me, as well as helping couples sort out their differences once they arise.
I also work with couples to assist them in discerning whether to make a greater commitment to stay together, get married or have children, as well as to help individuals or couples decide whether to move on from the relationship or divorce. I value being able to walk with people during these difficult and important decisions. I am also a trained mediator, so I have experience and interest in facilitating effective and meaningful conversations around divorce, co-parenting and “uncoupling.”
Issues I work with:
Pre-engagement, Pre-marital therapy
Infidelity or aftermath of affairs
Lack of emotional and/or physical intimacy
Parenting and co-parenting
Extended family issues
Support around mental health challenges
11711 SE 8th St., Suite 315
Bellevue, WA 98005