My Approach to Helping
I have a particular passion for couples relationships and couples therapy. I'm curious about challenging relationship issues and the counseling-therapy process that a couple and I collaboratively invest in. I understand that healing occurs in the context of healthy relationships. My goal is to effectively help couples co-create their relationship in alignment with their specific vision for their marriage. I enjoy working with couples who have never before been in couples therapy. I ensure that they trust that I'm an advocate for both of them rather than only taking one side.
More Info About My Practice
The relationship that a couple forms with the therapist is integral for the positive outcome of the couple's therapy. One of my empathetic strengths is developing an understanding of a couple's relationship issues, their ineffective ways of interacting that contribute to their emotional-psychological suffering in their relationship, and assisting them in taking small steps toward continuous positive change.
My private practice specialty is effectively counseling couples with a wide range of relationship challenges: Communication. Intimacy. Infidelity. Cheating. Secrecy. Trust. Abuse. Emotional Connection. Emotional Distancing. Emotional Separation. Isolation. Withdrawal. Defensiveness. Anger. Depression. Anxiety. Distrust. Lack of Trust. Resentment. Dysfunctional Couple. Fighting. Arguing. Arguments. Disagreements. Handling Stress. Romance. Sex. Passion. Criticism. Jealousy. Affairs. Commitment. Control. Conflict. Defensiveness. Loneliness. Friendship. Divorce.
My expertise has developed during 30 plus years as a helping professional: a minister with churches, a substance abuse therapist, a hospital chaplain, and a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist since 1985.
It's been my understanding that the persons who reach out to me, who find that we are a good fit for their therapy, are the persons whom I'm intended to help. I trust that the counseling and therapy I provide has more going for it than always meets the eye. I like that
How My Own Struggles Made Me a Better Therapist
How my own struggles have made me a better therapist
My professional expertise is informed by my 40 plus years of marriage and family experiences. My first marriage of 18 years ended in divorce. My loss of my partner's love, our marriage, and our family with two children was an emotionally devastating experience. This crisis prompted me to seek the help of a professional therapist. During therapy, I was able to psychologically and emotionally process this most difficult chapter of my life. For the first time, I deeply trusted someone with my emotions as I discovered that my vulnerability was a strength. I began recognizing how my depression fostered my negative behavior that contributed to the divorce. Losing my marriage and family life with my two children opened me up to realize that I needed to take responsibility for my behavior with my partner. These experiences prepared me to marry again. With a clearer understanding of myself and how to create and develop a healthy marriage, my second wife and I continue co-creating our marriage of 27 years as a happily married couple.
In retrospect, I recognize that during the course of my first marriage of 18 years, the 'marriage counseling' that we participated in was not marriage counseling but rather individual therapy while the two of us were present with the therapist. Our relationship issues were not addressed. As a couple we were not helped to break our sabotaging behaviors with each other nor were we helped in creating relationship-building behaviors. I've learned from these experiences how ineffective this approach is in helping couples. Instead, I understand that healing occurs in the context of healthy relationships. Couples counseling is about helping couples address their particular relationship issues, identify areas for positive change while assisting them in decreasing their negative behavior and increasing their positive behavior with each other.