Couples Counseling Portland Oregon
My father once said something to me that I have never forgotten. He said, "How you get along when you're not getting along is more important than how you get along when you are getting along!" There can be as much to unlearn as to learn about how to have the relationships we truly long for. Almost always, we go into our relationships with the best of intentions, but what we know and don't know can set many of us up for eventual failure- and if not failure, loneliness and profound disconnection from the person we wish to feel closest to.
Has it felt hard to create or maintain a consistently close, loving, passionate relationship with your significant other?
Do you keep having the same arguments again and again?
Are you thinking of having or attempting to recover from an affair?
Do you find yourself wondering if you can really be respected and cherished in your relationship?
These are the types of challenges I have worked with in my thousands of hours now working with couples. You may be struggling with increasingly entrenched patterns of unkindness, anger, resentment, or withdrawal. Perhaps betrayal, distance, endless gridlock, stress, depression, or another challenge is visiting your relationship and feels like a permanent visitor you don’t know how to get rid of.
Believe me when I say that many couples are able to overcome what once seemed like insurmountable obstacles and patterns when, and if, they have the right supports in place. I help my couples to get out of their own way so that a lasting, loving, and passionate relationship based on genuine friendship and trust can emerge. I help couples to quickly identify the dysfunctional stances, dances, choices, narratives, and habits they are engaging in that aren’t working. Then, we work side by side to replace these with new skills and insights that actually work. I help you to see and develop new stories of who you and your partner are as individuals and as a couple. My aim is to root out the vicious cycles that don’t serve and honor you. You’ll learn to empower the healthiest parts of yourselves, and to disempower the adaptive or reactive ways that are keeping you stuck.
I offer a direct, no-nonsense, free of psychobabble yet very warm, compassionate, and intelligent approach to couples therapy. My years of hands-on training with the nation’s two leading couples counseling training institutes- The Gottman Institute and Terry Real’s Relational Life Institute- combined with a decade and thousands of hours experience working with couples have allowed me to develop a way of working with clients that frequently delivers far more rapid movement than traditional couples therapy often offers. Sessions are not the typical 50 minutes, but rather 90 minutes or two hours. After a comprehensive intake where I take the extended time to really get to know each of you and your histories together and separately as well as drilling down on your goals and vision for a brighter life together, we will have a feedback session where I lay out what I see as your unique strengths (and I believe all couples have them!), areas to improve, and suggested recommendations to meet the goals you each came in with. I also send you home after your first session with questionaires to complete separately, and the information I gather from these often provide what would otherwise take many clinicians months to discover, if ever.
Please remember that a lot of how couples communicate (and a lot of what we never learned about the basics of respectful and loving communication) set many of us up for eventual failure in our relationships. If not outright failure, it still may bring us far less than we hoped to feel and experience with our partners. Couples counseling can give you the tools, insights, and real skills you need to have the relationship you long for.
You can move past barriers between each other that you may assume right now are impenetrable, and you can replace these barriers with true bridges to love, respect, and even delight, in one another.