Utilizing over 40 years of research, I integrate Gottman's "Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work" into my sessions with couples. I believe that by working with couples, healing and relational satisfaction can take place; and change in relationships can occur. I focus on emotion, skill-building for managing conflict, developing new skills for enhancing friendship, awareness and understanding of each other's needs and embracing them, and then helping the couple to create a system of shared meaning together. It's sad that couples don't realize how far apart they have grown until it's too late. Only after they've parted do they realize the full extent of what they have lost. And many times they aren't aware of the evidence about the harmful effects of divorce on everyone involved. There is hope and I am here to guide and help you learn the tools needed for improving your relationship and your marriage.
As a Marriage and Family Therapist, I look at the whole family system. When an individual comes into therapy, it many times leads to addressing the whole family system. They might need help understanding their family member or maybe something they are doing is contributing to the issue. As a family unit we can work together to solve what's causing the relationship issues your family has. Whether your family is dealing with divorce, custody issues, co-parenting, or blended families, I have the professional and personal experience to help you navigate the waters of being a family.
My personal passion is working with couples, especially young couples, to prepare them for the highs and lows of a committed relationship. When you find that person that you want to spent the rest of your life with, many times couples don't have deep discussions about issues that are so important for them both to think about before they say, "I do". In session, we will cover those important topics of Finances, Children, In-laws, Conflict Resolution, Leisure Activities, Sexual Expectations, Relationship Roles and Spiritual Beliefs. Research shows that by participating in premarital counseling can lower their risk for divorce by 30%. Look at this as being an investment in your relationship future.
Before you throw in the towel and head toward divorce court, let me help you. Based on 4 decades of research and over 3000 couples studied, there are distinct differences between satisfied couples, called masters of marriage and those couples who divorce, called the disasters of marriage, in how they interact and relate to each other. Allow me to work with you to avoid divorce, if both of you desire that, and teach you the skills of the masters to build strong, satisfying, and meaningful relationships, and negotiate through the web of differences, disagreement, and conflict. If divorce is the final decision for your family, I can give you a safe haven to negotiate communication and what's best for your children concerning child custody and visitation, and communication with your attorneys.
If you find that you and your partner just don't have the intimacy that you once had or you are just not having any sex at all, there is much to be said about new ideas in"sex therapy". You can walk into any bookstore and find books on the mechanics of sex, with diagrams and references to "sexual dysfunction", then go on down the aisle and find books that focus on conflict and resolution or how to become perfect "soul mates"that will lead to sexual nirvana for both. But both not usually in the same book. My method is not entirely about the mechanics of the sex act itself, although I am very comfortable with that topic if needed. I want to provide you ideas and teach you skills for creating simple affection, to enhancing intimate trust through passionate lovemaking. This involves making sex very personal and intimate. Research has shown that couples that have a good sex life do two things: they stay good friends and they make sex a priority. Perhaps more importantly, they are able to talk with each other about sex in an open and honest way. And I can help you with that!
Life is a journey in which change is the only constant. My job is to honor the journey that you are on and provide avenues for healing and hope for you and your family. I see those individuals that are are experiencing anxiety, chronic pain, depression, domestic abuse, grief with the loss of a loved one, infertility, peer relationships, postpartum depression, issues with self-esteem, and sexual abuse to name a few issues I can help you with.
I am a certified educator for the Gottman Institute for "The Seven Principles of Making Marriage Work" and "Bringing Baby Home". I can present these at your physician office, hospital, church or small groups. Please call for additional information.
I also can present Prepare and Enrich for individual couples or groups. Please feel free to contact me.