Many couples come to me in despair, afraid that their relationship is beyond repair. Their lines of communication have broken down, trust has deteriorated and sexual intimacy is nearly absent. I also work with couples who, though they may have a stronger foundation, are contending with significant situational stressors or an emergent crisis.
People seek marriage counseling for a host of reasons including: difficulty utilizing clear and direct communication (especially when expressing feelings and emotions), conflict resolution, sexual intimacy issues, anger management, role assignments, parenting philosophy differences, infidelity and trust issues, friction over money and finances, addictions and codependency, stress with in-laws, complications involving step-family issues, and more.
I view marriage counseling as an educational experience in which I help the couple identify and improve their communication patterns. I begin by helping the couple formulate a roadmap which incorporates the hopes and aspirations of both parties. I create a sanctuary and safe haven where problems can be discussed without fear of criticism, judgement and defensiveness. I ask both parties to be humble and open-minded as I teach the couple how to change the tone and substance of their communication. I teach the importance of gratitude and acknowledging the good in one's partner, flexibility, compromise, generosity and forgiveness.