The first step in couples counseling or marriage counseling is to understand what’s getting in the way of conflict resolution, closeness, and/or trust. Every couple has a cycle, or patterned way of relating, trying to connect, and trying to resolve conflict together. Sometimes the cycle is positive and the couple can get through it on their own; at other times it’s a negative cycle and they get stuck. Another way to describe the negative cycle is as a pattern of communication happening below the surface of partners’ actual words or behaviors. This “deeper” conversation isn’t about details; it’s about unmet relationship needs. Until these relationship needs are addressed, the real conversation will usually go nowhere. I will collaborate with you on how to get unstuck and create change that lasts.

When couples get stuck in a negative cycle they tend to be disconnected, unhappy, and unfulfilled in their relationship. The simplest of comments can lead to a conflict and/or not talking. If the negative cycle is not addressed then it will continue to be the norm for the couple.

I have extensive training in recognizing and understanding relationship cycle, when you are in the relationship it is not always easy to see the cycles. The first several sessions are getting to know the couple and their individual needs and the unique cycles of the couple. Next the focus becomes on replacing the negative cycle with positive ones and helping the couple to recognize when they are in or headed towards a negative cycle and how to stop it. This helps both empower the couple and create intimacy in the coupleship. As couples experience positive experience with one another and have the tools to recognize the cycle and redirect negative cycles to positive cycles they begin to build trust with one another.

What if one partner won’t come in?

Sometimes it’s less difficult to agree to just four or five sessions. Then if therapy is helpful you can continue.

Can EFT help if there was an affair?

It takes time to recover from affairs. No one is pressured to forgive their partner if they’re not ready. But it is possible for many couples to heal what’s happened.