Frequently Asked Questions

Couples therapy is helpful:

  • When you’re trying to recover from infidelity
  • When you can’t stop fighting about “nothing”, or can’t resolve a particular argument
  • When you’re struggling with infertility and your relationship is suffering
  • When both of you are grieving a loss, but you’re each experiencing it in different ways
  • When there’s a big decision to make and you disagree about it
  • When you’re about to take (or have taken) a big step like getting married, having a baby, moving, or switching careers
  • When your sex life is no longer satisfying
  • When you’re not sure whether to stay married
  • When you’re a formerly monogamous couple thinking about exploring non-monogamy, “monogamishness”, or polyamory
It’s not unusual for a couple to disagree about whether to try (or re-try) couples therapy. I offer two solutions for this situation:

  • Discernment Counseling: This is a specific, short-term protocol designed to provide a couple with clarity about whether to formally separate, or renew efforts at improving the relationship
  • Individual Therapy with the Motivated Partner: Your relationship is a system: a dyad. Your individual movements within that system influence how the system moves as a whole. If you change your movements, the system changes. This doesn’t mean you’re taking sole responsibility for changing your relationship — a relationship is a shared responsibility. But when your relationship is stuck, you can be a catalyst for change in that system — and perhaps get enough traction to inspire your partner to emotionally invest in couples therapy.
  • Couples therapy is very effective when:

  • the couples’ therapist is skilled in systemic thinking and balanced interventions
  • both partners feel understood and respected by the therapist
  • and, very importantly: the couple is motivated to improve their relationship. When that motivation is missing, couples therapy can help uncover where it went, and work to bring it back so that therapy can be effective.
  • Sometimes, couples therapy helps people realize that they are simply not in the same place and don’t wish to reach toward one another. In those cases, therapy can help couples part ways peacefully and with clarity.

    In our first session, we’ll talk about your goals — what kind of relationship you want, and what you hope to get out of couples therapy. From there, we’ll formulate a plan; there will be times when I might meet with each of you individually, and times when we all work in the room together. There’s also likely to be homework, reading, or exercises for you to try at home, depending on what’s a good fit for you.