Because of my extensive training in resolving trauma, I specialize in helping “high conflict couples.” This is because in most relationships where there is intense conflict, one or both individuals in the relationship often have traumatic events in their background.

Successful couples therapy is tricky. If your therapist doesn’t know what they’re doing (particularly when there is a history of trauma) they can actually hurt your relationship through the counseling process. This typically happens when they ask you to focus mostly on the problems in your relationship during a session. If they do this, you can be certain that they’re not in touch with the research around what it takes to develop and sustain a strong relationship.

This is because there is strong evidence to suggest couples who are able to build and sustain healthy relationships, must consistently maintain a 5 to 1 ratio of positive to negative interactions to keep the “good feelings” or what researchers call “positive sentiment” in a relationship. With this in mind, any negative things that take place in front of the therapist–like back and forth “he said she said” bashing during a session–can do harm to your relationship. In other words, during our sessions I won’t simply set back and watch you fight with your partner. You can do this on your own time.

I have carefully tailored my approach in a way that gets you, the couple, working toward common goals instead of rehashing old problems. What I’ve observed by doing this is that couples start fighting “for their marriage” instead of “for their point of view.”

For example, one of the exercises I engage couples in is to develop a “Relationship Vision.” The negotiation and compromise that goes into this process improves communication and conflict resolution skills and, in turn, will begin to heal your relationship.

The vision and goals that come out of this process will provide you with a common set of relationship standards against which you can begin to measure how you are doing. As your new plan for working together begins to materialize, your hope for a promising future begins to return and, your focus on all the problems that brought you to therapy begins to fade in importance. The point is, focussing on a new, common direction will help you get past old habits that are eroding your good feelings towards one another, and on a path toward healing and strengthening your relationship.

This is all to say that I can help you develop and implement a plan that will revitalize your marriage. This plan will be based on the research about what works in couples therapy. It’s also based on what I have learned in my own marriage which has lasted over 3 decades in the face of the enormous pressures that come from parenting and financing a large family.

Although I have three masters degrees and a PhD, the fact that my wife and I love each other “after all this time” is my most prized credential as a couples therapist. Trust me, it’s a credential that can only be earned by understanding and doing what it takes to build and sustain a lifetime relationship.

Please note, insurance does not pay for couples therapy. I make this point here because it’s not uncommon for therapists with good intentions to try and fit  “couples therapy” under the billable label of “family therapy (CPT 90847)” which, in the insurance world, assumes that a session is 45 minutes in length. As you can imagine, with difficult relationship issues this simply isn’t enough time to get to the root cause of your problem and make progress towards a solution. My experience has taught me that at a minimum, couples therapy must last for 90 minutes. The cost of these sessions is $300 for the first 90 minutes.

To begin couples therapy, click here and complete our “New Client Application Form.” After I review this information I will either take you on as a new client or refer you to a professional who is a better fit for your problems and circumstances. If you are accepted as a new client, you will attend the first session together. Based on what I learn about your relationship in our first session, I will work with you to tailor an effective approach to help you meet your goals and resolve your relationship issues. To assist with this process of tailoring our sessions in accordance with your needs, I will make arrangements for you and your spouse to take the Prepare-Enrich Assessment. The results of this comprehensive assessment often saves considerable time and provides information needed to help you develop a plan for building a stronger and more satisfying relationship.