My approach to working with couples draws from contemporary psychoanalytic, systems, and cognitive perspectives to address the problems related to communication, intimacy, sexuality, and partnership with which couples frequently present. With couples, the work is problem- and solution-focused. In the evaluation period I work to clarify the nature of the difficulty and the contributing behaviors of each partner that maintain the presenting problems and mutual sense of impasse. Over the course of treatment couples develop an understanding of why they are drawn in, repeatedly, to conflicts with similar content (money, child-rearing, sharing responsibilities, sex) or form (one approaches, the other withdraws; one asserts, the other submits, but resents). By the conclusion of treatment, each member of the couple develops an improved understanding of their respective fears and anxieties about change and the skills to break the maladaptive cycle of communication or impasse on their own.
In addition to helping couples resolve areas of conflict, I also help couples identify and cultivate areas of interest, passion, and strength. Research has shown that these positive factors provide resilience against the inevitable stresses associated with couplehood, and that couples that understand, appreciate, and actively support and enjoy one another stay together longer and with greater satisfaction.