Couples Counseling

All relationships experience conflict. It is not the absence of conflict but the capacity to deal with and resolve conflict that is a hallmark of deeply fulfilling relationships. Sometimes a conflict is too heated to handle without professional help, or a couple can simply feel stuck. Couples therapy provides the opportunity to transform old relationship patterns with new skills, compassion, humor and insight.

Here are four primary areas of focus that I have found to be most helpful to couples I’ve worked with:

1) Communication Skills. When one’s partner brings up a sensitive issue, many individuals have a tendency to defend, counter attack, or shut down. Any one of these reactions will tend to aggravate the situation. Often the tension escalates and a fight can ensue. In couples counseling, you will learn communication skills to help you and your partner work through difficult issues and find ‘win-win’ solutions.

2) Healing Resentments. Openly discussing resentments with a neutral third party in a safe ‘container’ presents the opportunity to gradually eradicate long held anger and allow a couple to attain a level of intimacy they have never experienced before.

3) Making and Keeping Agreements. This is often the ‘nuts and bolts’ aspect of a satisfying relationship. Moving from painful conflict to a mutually satisfying, new agreement is often the key to releasing resentments and evolving into harmonious relating.

4) Practicing Gratitude. Learning to appreciate the differences or polarities you and your partner are holding rather than being in conflict about them can yield amazing results. You can also begin to integrate the healthy aspects of your partner’s strengths, just as your partner will gradually integrate your own. The result? Two increasingly empowered individuals experiencing partnership with much more fulfillment.

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2305 Ashby Avenue
Berkeley, CA 94705

445 Bellevue Avenue
Oakland, CA 94610
(510) 394-2209

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