Marriage & Family Therapists * Active Couples Counseling & Coaching *
Communication Guidelines & Skills * Relationship Education

The Couples Center provides a safe and hopeful place

Our first task is to help each of you feel emotionally safe

Very little can be accomplished when one or both partner’s feel judged, blamed or criticized. This will inevitably lead to anger, defensiveness, despair and distance. The reactive behaviors that follow are unproductive and usually only serve to make things worse. No one feels safe. Many times these impulsive behaviors come from attempts to protect oneself from perceived attacks, threats or danger, or from the pain of feeling distant, uncared for and disrespected. When partners can slow down and really hear and understand one another, feelings start to make sense. We help couples establish emotional safety that allows and enhances understanding from the very start.

We offer a positive, hopeful approach to relationship problems...

Problems and disillusionment eventually happen in almost every relationship. How you see and think about your difficulties, how you manage your feelings, where you focus your attention, and how you act and communicate under stress will determine the quality of your relationship.  If you can go beyond a conviction that your partner is the source of your unhappiness—if you can step-back and see how you both contribute to the way you “dance your tango”—if you can understand that struggles are not necessarily a sign of a failing relationship—if you can see your relationship as a journey along a path of development, then you will be well on your way to a more positive outlook. This will greatly enhance your ability to shift from repetitive negative cycles to finding new ways to deal with differences and to find closeness and connection.

We take an active approach...

We offer specific feedback and useful tools. We help couples to feel safe and to slow down so they can see a bigger picture. It’s an approach that helps each person understand the hidden validity of their partner’s feelings; that elicits compassion and empathy; that helps to soften the blaming—which allows a shift from feeling stuck in negative patterns to restoring closeness. When couples can make this shift they are well on their way to solving, as a team, whatever future problems may arise without a counselor.