Couples Therapy

What is your basic approach?

My work with couples is based on validated treatment methods, and my approach is geared toward helping couples get beyond fighting and defensive positions, while developing new ways of relating and communicating. I work with both partners to build a supportive relationship by fostering the underlying feelings that first brought you into the relationship. Therapy sessions will provide a safe, responsive place to discuss issues including sexuality and infidelity.

How are you different from other couples therapists?

I am one of the only therapists in Washington registered in Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for couples. Scientific research studies show that over 70 percent of couples in EFT went from distressed to happy, and 90 percent significantly improved, in 15 to 20 sessions. Perhaps more important, the results were stable two years later. Other couples therapies provided improvement in about 35 percent of couples by the end of treatment; of those, between 30 and 50 percent relapsed within two years.

While many therapists work with couples, I have a master's degreee in couple and family therapy—I have been specifically trained to work with couples. I have also completed trainings with John and Julie Gottman and with Susan Johnson.

How long will it take?

The length of your therapy will depend on how deep your conflicts are and how receptive both of you are to therapy. You may need only a few sessions to clear the air, or you may invest in more sessions to get to deeper problems that keep affecting your relationship. Couples therapy generally takes more then six sessions and fewer then twenty. However, your assessment and treatment plan will be unique to you as a couple, and it will help you decide how much time is appropriate for you.

I think it might be too late.

It's hard after you've invested yourself in a relationship and get to this point. Even if you are ending your relationship, therapy can give you a healthier, less destructive way to close it. And therapy may help you find new solutions to the problems that made the relationship become so troubled.

I don't think my partner will come in.

Sometimes getting your partner to commit to just four or five sessions is less difficult, and if therapy is helpful you can continue.

My partner had an affair. Will you make me forgive them?

You won't be pressured to forgive your partner if you're not ready.

Will you tell my partner it's their fault or blame me?

My role is not to be a referee. Instead I work to find both partners' part in the "dance" of your relationship, so you can discover together where you may want to change.

Do you deal with gay and straight couples?

Yes, all types of couples are welcome, including couples with all types of cultural backgrounds and nontraditional relationships.

Do you do premarital counseling?

Yes.

I have more questions before I come for an assessment.

You're welcome to ask them during our phone consult: 206.284.2276.

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