Couple’s Therapy

Couples usually need help building and strengthening the ground of their relationship, so they can let go of fantasy and learn to live in reality.  This means opening up direct, honest, emotional conversations about what it is like to live with one another that does not blow up in hot defensiveness or peter out in cold withdrawal.  It takes strength to hear the ways our partner is disappointed in us or in life and then do something useful with that information.  Conversely, it takes maturity to recognize that our partner is not supposed to meet all of our needs nor fit our idealized image of what a spouse should be.

Once we can have an honest exchange, we can change some things and also develop the equanimity of accepting what doesn’t change.  Flexibility, a good sense of humor and the habit of reaching for the joy together can put difficulties in perspective returning couples to shared confidence in their happiness together.  The commitment of marriage and family involves sacrifice and letting go of childhood projections that “everything will come true,” but it also allows for great joy and deep fulfillment.  More than any other arena, it holds our feet to the fire inviting us to finally grow up.

As a therapist I help couple’s get to the heart of the matter.  Training each partner to notice and value when the eyes and tone of voice indicate that vulnerability is occurring.  Honoring vulnerability rather than being threatened by it or judging it as too emotional or not emotional enough, too negative or too optimistic.  Cultivating the ability to speak from the heart: the desires, longings, joys and disappointments.  This goes hand in hand with listening from the heart, developing a receptive, open ear that hears the other in a positive manner.  And, finally, creating and re-opening pathways to join your needs and strengths with their own.

1304 Solano Avenue, Albany CA 94706
cell: 510.222.3576

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