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Couples Therapy


​​Getting Closer
Over the years I have helped many couples recognize patterns that
limit their closeness and intimacy. Couples are usually so entrenched
in emotional reactivity that it takes a skilled neutral third party to see where things are getting stuck. I help couples find the limits in their communication and identify triggers of reactivity. Beneath the surface communication issues lie deeper challenges to intimacy and relating. As closeness develops, each partner’s fears, needs and discomforts begin to arise. This is when self-protective defense mechanisms take over to maintain a sense of safety and control. As we identify the belief systems that are operating for each of you, you can learn how to actively comfort and nurture each other’s fears rather than unconsciously provoking them. In this way a new sense of safety and openness is developed, creating solid ground for true intimacy.

Role of Conflict

Couples often view conflict as a sign that they are not right for each other. While this is sometimes true, recurring conflicts in relationship provide opportunities for each of the partners to work through the areas of fixation that limit them, not only as a couple, but as individuals. A common issue is the lack of modeling people received from their families growing up. People tend to play out unresolved familial issues with their partners. Your relationship provides a perfect opportunity for you to understand and work through these issues since it so easily evokes a feeling of family.  In this way, your current relationship can serve as a vehicle for mending deep relational wounds from the past. Even if you cannot change your dynamic with your family of origin, you can create entirely new and healthier dynamics with your partner.  What’s important is that you both become aware of these dynamics and are open to discussing them. The resulting common ground not only enriches your relationship, but becomes a solid foundation for your growth as individuals as well.


Saying Goodbye

Ending a relationship is one of the most distressing experiences in most peoples’ lives, especially when you have invested significant time and energy to try and make it work. As a result, many people stay together even though the relationship does not feel right for them. Together we can explore if ending the relationship is right for you. If so, we’ll determine how to end in a way that honors the time you have spent together.  Relationships don’t have to end on a bad note. Ending may be painful but it can also be infused with important learning, mutual appreciation and even deep love. Letting go of what is not working, with intention and in a healthy way, creates space for something more fulfilling to arise in our lives.

Berkeley Therapist, phone therapist, Skype therapist

My practice specifically focuses on couples work. Whether considering deeper commitment to each other, working through ongoing blocks in a life partnership or deciding if your relationship should end, I help couples navigate complex choices and offer guidance during trying times. I welcome couples of diverse ethnicities and sexual preferences.

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