Couples Treatment

For all of us, as we develop emotionally we come to discover who we are largely by the way we experience others being affected by us.  Few figures in our lives have a greater influence over how we see ourselves and feel about ourselves than our life partners.  If our partners ever become consistently dissatisfied with us, it is likely to constitute a personal crisis for us. 
 
Establishing Emotional Security
 
In treatment, I help couples develop relationships in which they are emotionally available, sensitive, and responsive to each other.  Typically, problems in relationships arise from insecurities about ourselves or doubts about our partner's esteem and affection for us.  Such feelings usually lead to negative judgments about each other.  At this point, the relationship ceases to provide the emotional security and vitality each member requires and longs for.
 
I work to establish relationships with each member of the couple in which there is the security to freely share affection, attention, and intentions with each other and with me.  I help couples to be curious about each other's feelings, even when they arouse defensiveness.  Our work together influences each member of the couple to value knowing their partner's experience from their partner's point of view. 
 
Deepening Intimacy
 
With my guidance, clients learn to look beyond their partner's hurtful behavior to recognize its meaning for their partner.  This involves understanding the behavior in terms of a partner's experience of vulnerability and need for self-protection or in terms of a partner's desire for responses of validation, acceptance, or understanding that only their counterpart can provide. 
 
I assist couples to establish an emotional system in which a member of the couple who is in distress can count on their partner to respond in ways that help restore them to feeling more whole and secure.  Distressed couples develop confidence that they can make sense of and work their way through repetitive, painful, belwildering exchanges to regain a loving connection.