Marin Couples / Marriage Counseling (Larkspur)
Relationship health is important and there are many reasons people struggle to have satisfying, secure and loving relationships. Poor communication, lack of emotional safety, resentment, betrayals and life stressors can put a strain on any couple. If you are here, you are likely having some type of struggle in an important relationship. Many things can lead to emotional disconnection, loneliness, betrayal or general relationship dissatisfaction.
Couples therapy / counseling can help you and your partner improve your communication, learn to take responsibility for what you each bring to the relationship and stop negative cycles.
The following are areas of focus in my Marin couples therapy practice:
- Couples Communication
- Emotional Safety
- Relationship Repair
- Relationship Tune-Up
- Premarital Education
People are complicated and multi-layered, a compilation of personal historical experiences and influences of important relationships. Some couples come to therapy with clarity around the work they need to do and others have different ideas of what their issues are. I meet couples where they are, even if they are not in agreement about the goals of therapy.
We will seek to:
1) Identify the issues at hand.
This includes not only the problems stated by the couple (the content) but the underlying factors driving the pain.
2) Understand their roots.
This is where we might need to peek into the past to understand where each of your vulnerabilities are. I usually spend a little time assessing the family of origin and other important historical data points to get a better picture of of the why they exist and how they show up in your current relationship.
3) Work together to resolve the issues for a more satisfying relationship.
My therapy / counseling work has a strong emphasis on emotional safety. (See my article, Healthy Relationships: Assessing the Emotional Safety on my other site, LoveAndLifeToolbox.com). I want to understand what the unmet needs are between you, how you communicate about them and how you respond. People mistakingly believe that high conflict couples are the most likely to split but it’s actually the conflict avoidant couples who sweep their problems under the rug who can end up in bigger trouble. I can help you disrupt negative cycles in your relationship and shore up your relationship foundation. Your relationship strengths are also identified as this will help to propel you forward.
“Devote yourself to your partner’s sense of safety and security and not simply to your idea about what that should be. What may make you feel safe and secure may not be what your partner requires from you. Your job is to know what matters to your partner and how to make him or her feel safe and secure.”
– Stan Tatkin, PsyD, MFT
A Bit More About Family of Origin Work
Habits and patterns in relationships can have their roots in childhood experiences in your family of origin. When relevant, my couples counseling approach involves looking at both of your past experiences to understand what you each bring to your relationship:
- Did each of you have loving, supportive role models?
- Were you modeled reliability and trust?
- What was the quality of your attachment to parents/primary caregivers?
- Do either of you have unresolved trauma that impacts the relationship?
- What have your prior relationships looked like?
I will challenge you to hold a mirror up to yourself and honestly assess what you bring into your relationship dynamic that doesn’t serve well. This may not be evident to you at first but it’s an important piece of the work.
My couples therapy work a blend of Attachment research, Emotionally Focused Therapy and the research of John Gottman. My goal is reveal a deeper understanding of your relationship dynamic and offer tools for your relationship toolbox to better attune with me and in your lives.
***I also work with dyads like mothers or fathers with adult children or friends, who need help healing their relationship.
**I offer online therapy to those in San Diego, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Los Angeles, San Mateo and anywhere in California.
Ready to schedule a Marin couples therapy appointment?