My Approach to Helping
First and foremost I listen. Collaborative Couple Therapy is a process of continuous deep listening by the therapist. I want to understand as deeply as I can what you and your partner experience individually in your relationship.
Listening in this way is a skill that goes beyond simple spoken word and only stops when therapy ends. I become aware of your unique style of communicating and relating with your partner and I routinely request your feedback on what I experience to confirm and refine my understanding. I want you to feel understood and accepted by me as I simultaneously help guide you to express your authentic experience in ways that build connection and intimacy with your partner. As I collaborate with both of you in the present moment, I am also demonstrating how you may collaborate with each other.
Collaborative Couple Therapy is a structure for turning disagreement and arguments into intimate conversations that strengthen your loving connection. Within that process I want you both to experience my respect, supportive curiosity, and acceptance for your unique experiences. Our collaboration becomes a learned experience for you and your partner to collaborate on your own, even when the conversation feels risky or painful.
More Info About My Practice
Please call me with any questions you have. I prefer to speak by phone with potential clients so that we can both decide if I will be a good fit for working with you. I do not email clients. My website is also a good place to find more in-depth information for how I work with couples.
My Therapy Focus
The focus of my work is on your relationship; that's the third entity that you and your partner bring into the consulting room. (More on that in a moment.) I help individuals in that relationship to grow in two specific ways: 1. By learning how to identify, take responsibility for, and self-attend to emotions that may interfere with enjoying the relationship (which I describe as healthy 'differentiation') and 2. Learning how to structure intimate conversations that allow for disagreement, even painful topics, and still nurture emotional safety and connection ("Collaborative Couple Therapy"). These are not skills most of us grew up witnessing from our parents but they can be learned.
When two individuals learn how to differentiate from each other in healthy ways and intimately ('transparently') reveal themselves to one another from a collaborative (non-defensive) perspective, the relationship feels connecting, trusting, and confident. Intimacy thrives when two hearts experience such confidence. I like to say that there is a wisdom in your relationship, and an understanding of yourself, that you might never learn without your partner.