Couples Counseling

Understanding the factors which impact a realtionship is the first step to saving it.
Couples Counseling

Clients tell me my approach is warm but also very direct.  From the very first session, you will begin to understand some of the factors that have impacted your relationship. When differences, too much strain, or too much time apart causes irritability to creep in, your partner can feel more like an adversary than an ally. Your relationship is too important to let this trend continue.

Learn how to discern whether you and your partner have a truly untenable difference or just poor communication about resolvable differences. Research tells us that most problems in relationships can’t be immediately solved. Conflict is a constant in relationships.  So the important thing is to emerge and acknowledge where you differ, and work on “enduring vulnerabilities” (see Susan Johnson’s book, Hold Me Tight) together, as allies, with warmth, humor, affection and gentleness.

For years, I have devoted my professional life to helping couples learn to:

  • maintain relationship
  • make effective emotional repairs
  • have productive conversations about differences
  • restore romance and closeness
  • work through resolvable problems
  • heal after betrayals
  • create rituals so that they can count of feeling a sense of belonging

Many of us grew up in households in which conflict seemed distressing, and which may have involved hostility and escalation.  I have worked with many who have grown up in households like this who vowed never to repeat that pattern. However, those who refuse to engage in conflict, and seem to tune their partner out, or do what Dr. Gottman calls stonewalling are surprised to learn that this method of engaging is one of the leading predictors of divorce! I find that most people approach me because they want a blueprint for managing conflict.  I will help you learn how to approach your partner in ways that are much more likely to end up positively.  Many people find themselves smiling at one another, feeling grateful toward one another and even open to ideas they never thought they would consider when their communication is rid of contempt, criticism, defensiveness and stonewalling.

In addition to helping you manage conflict, I will assess and provide interventions to make improvements in your Sound Relationship House.

When searching for a couples counselor, you want to be sure of getting effective guidance from the outset.  I have seen many couples begin a course of treatment with someone before it became evident that the professional had no particular couples training nor had much hope for their ability to heal or make their relationship last. You want to be assured not only of the person’s credentials but also of their ability to tailor the approach to your relationship’s specific needs. I have never told a couple that I recommend a divorce.  I don’t take sides. I put all of my training and experience before you so that you may deepen your connection, express true appreciation, and drop defensiveness. You can see more about my background and training along with testimonials of how others have felt about their work with me.


For The Record

People often have questions before they are ready to schedule. Please call me and I’ll be glad to answer them.  In the meantime, you may find some answers here. I am one of only a few Gottman Certified Relationship Therapists in Utah