Therapy in San Francisco

Licensed Psychotherapist

870 Market Street, Suite 1021
San Francisco, CA 94102
(415) 680-0180

Psychotherapy and Counseling
for Individuals and Couples

Couples Therapy

Couples therapy can help you communicate to each other in a safe place and help you rediscover the positive qualities in each other. These qualities are hidden if you are only communicating on the surface. This discovery may allow you both to move forward in your relationship.

My practice includes therapy with couples of all sexual orientations, ages and cultural backgrounds.

Many couples have patterns of interacting and communicating with one another that can cause distress in the relationship. It can be very hard to talk directly about these issues without a neutral third party.

Entering into couples therapy can help you learn to talk to each other about painful issues, help you to recognize dysfunctional patterns in your relationship and teach you practical communication skills to improve your understanding of each other.

I use current research studied on couples over the last 30 years by Dr. John Gottman to guide my practice interventions. You will learn about the qualities that contribute to successful and unsuccessful relationships and learn techniques to help you work through tough conflicts.

Together we will explore family of origin issues as all people learn ways of relating to others through their primary caregivers. We will explore how each of you then brings this to your relationship unknowingly so we can then create change.

I work with couples on a weekly basis for 50-minute or 80-minute session lengths depending on the specific issues you are experiencing.

Some common issues I have successfully worked on with couples include:

  • Managing Conflicts: Disagreements occur in all relationships. It's how you deal with them that really matters. Learn to manage your conflicts respectfully, develop boundaries around arguing and develop conflict negotiation skills.
  • Improving communication: Learn to recognize and change unhealthy communication patterns, improve listening skills, improve self-expression of needs and decrease misunderstandings that can lead to conflict.
  • Blame: Often couples see clearly how their partner/spouse is causing them pain. Each person may want the other person to change. Learn specific behaviors that affect your partner's behavior and learn to look inward at what you each do unknowingly to contribute to distress.
  • Parenting difficulties: Learn new parenting techniques to deal with your child's special needs, behavioral difficulties including temper tantrums, unruly behaviors, fighting at school/home, not listening, parent/child conflicts, homework stress, etc. Explore values and beliefs behind parenting differences to increase calmness and happiness in your home.
  • Divorce, separation, break-up: Therapy can help you say goodbye and have closure during this very difficult time, develop a plan around leaving, learn how to talk with your children about this change and develop a solid ongoing plan to co-parent.
  • Infidelity: Affairs are often a symptom in a relationship in which one or both partners are unhappy. Learn to talk about and work through the pain of the affair and begin to build trust. Explore what was happening in the relationship prior to the affair and learn new ways of getting unmet emotional needs met.
  • Grief and loss: Issues of death and dying, infertility, chronic illness, divorce, separation, and lost dreams/desires can be devastating. Learn to talk about these issues together and implement strategies to cope with overwhelming feelings.
  • Control issues: Many times these issues are co-created, however this may be difficult to see. In therapy, we can look at each partner's role in creating this dynamic to begin to make changes in the relationship.
  • Premarital counseling: Explore fears, partner expectations, family roles, life goals, communication differences and conflict management.