Couples & Marriage Counseling

“Great relationships don’t just fall into our laps.
They require people to move through their fears and insecurities,
and do the hard work to move wounds into healing.”
~Vienna Pharaon

Whether you are dating or are in a long term relationship, there may be things you want to work on or change in your relationship. Maybe you are struggling with specific problems, or generally feeling disconnected or misunderstood? Couples counseling can help you and your partner work through challenges, improve your communication, better understand each other, and become more connected.

As a couple’s therapist, I take a collaborative, unbiased approach to help you effectively work through your issues. I want to help you improve the quality of your relationship so you both feel more satisfied.  Together, we will figure out what has led to the problems you are currently facing.  Then, we will identify what each of you would like to be different in your relationship or marriage. In counseling sessions, we will work on improving your communication around issues that have led to arguments and conflict in the past. For example, we might work on how to effectively communicate your feelings, need and wants to each other.  Other times, we may focus on specific skills to manage intense feelings or ways to work together to solve problems. The hope is that you will be able to understand each other on a deeper level and be able to handle challenges in your relationship more effectively, both currently and in the future.

Reproductive/Postpartum Couples Counseling

I specialize in working with couples who are dealing with infertility or loss, infant health issues/NICU experiences, and postpartum concerns.  When looking for a couples therapist, you have many choices in the San Francisco Bay Area.  However, not all couples therapists are familiar with the unique challenges couples face when struggling with infertility, stress during pregnancy or postpartum depression. These difficult moments in a relationship can take a toll on even the strongest couples. You may argue more, feel less satisfied with your relationship, have communication problems and struggle to make important decisions about these emotional situations together.  Fortunately, couple’s counseling can be helpful during these reproductive and postpartum challenges.  As a mental health professional who understands both relationships and reproductive/postpartum issues, I am uniquely positioned to help couples thrive during this time. Through counseling, you can begin to work through your problems as a couple. You’ll start to reconnect and strengthen your bond.

Couple’s & Marriage Counseling for Infertility and Pregnancy Loss

Photo of puzzle pieces | Couples & Marriage Counseling for New Parents in Lafayette, Berkeley, Oakland & Walnut Grove, CAOne of the dreams that many couples have is to become parents together. For one in eight couples, however, getting or staying pregnant will be filled with challenges. When you dreamed of having children together, you probably didn’t expect to experience infertility or pregnancy loss.  These are emotional situations.  These stressors can place great strain on a couple’s relationship.

It is common for members of a couple to cope with infertility or loss differently. For example, one partner might prefer emotional coping and open communication. On the other hand, one may use distraction and internal reflection. Differences in coping styles can lead to partners feeling alone, misunderstood, and unsupported. Partners may also be overwhelmed with grief and feelings of guilt, anger, or hopelessness. In moments like this, it’s not unusual communication to break down, and sex can become a duty disassociated from pleasure, leading to a significant decline in intimacy.

In the midst of these stressful moments, there are often important decisions to be made. Disagreements can come up about how or when to move forward, whether to seek medical help, how much time and money to spend on attempting treatment, how to deal with family and friends, whether to pursue alternative family-building options like adoption or third party reproduction, whether and how to memorialize a loss, and much more.

How Couples Counseling Can Help

Through Couple’s Counseling, I can help you work through the many challenges and decisions you will face together on your family building journey. I’ll help you navigate your options together and give both parties space to express and process concerns.  Through this process, you’ll be able to make these major decisions in your life together.  In addition, counseling can help you:

  • work through your emotions together
  • increase your understanding of yourself and your partner
  • communicate more effectively
  • rekindle your connection
  • discover hope despite your challenges

With tools gained in couples counseling, you will be able to make changes that will help you feel supported, united, strong, and ready to address future challenges and celebrate future successes.

Couple’s & Marriage Counseling for New Parents

Having a baby can be a joyous occasion. However, for many couples, the postpartum period can also be extremely difficult. One in seven women, and one in tenCouples Therapy & Marriage Counseling | Berkeley, Oakland & Lafayette, CA men suffer from a Postpartum Mood or Anxiety Disorder. In fact, many more feel overwhelmed, stressed, or blue after the arrival of a baby. When one or both members of a couple are not well, the relationship suffers and this, in turn, can have an impact on the infant.  Other couples have babies with health problems, and they may experience long and frightening NICU stays. The strain associated with these events not only affects the individuals involved, but also the partnership itself.

Struggling with personal distress after a baby arrives, some partners turn away from each other. Others try to support each other but find this difficult, especially if they cope in different ways. Communication can deteriorate, causing decision-making to be extremely hard. Relationship problems that were present before the pregnancy can also re-emerge, often with increased strength. Partners can blame one another, and the words that are said to each other in anger and grief can have a harmful, long-term impact on the partnership.

Couples Counseling Can Help New Parents Re-Connect

Together, through couple’s counseling, we can address issues such as emotional distance and disconnection, conflict and communication, value differences, sex and intimacy, role transitions and parenting challenges, and more. You will have the opportunity to express and work through complicated feelings in a safe and supportive environment. You will also learn crucial skills that will increase your understanding and strengthen your relationship during this difficult time and for years to come.

Begin Couples Counseling in Lafayette, CA

Two Heart Ropes - Couples Therapy - Marriage Counseling - Lafayette, CA 94549You and your partner might be struggling right now, and it’s only making situations that are already stressful even worse.  You want to feel connected again so you can get through this rough patch together. Counseling can help you and your partner reconnect. If you and your partner are ready to begin couples or marriage counseling, I can help. I have the experience and training to help couples navigate stressful times at all phases of the family building process at my Lafayette, CA counseling clinic. Please contact me today.

Interested in Couples Counseling? Get in touch today »

Other Women’s Mental Health Services

In addition to couples and marriage counseling, I offer a variety of individual counseling services primarily focused around women’s mental health.  If you are looking for a supportive therapist to help you (and your spouse) be the best version of yourself, I can help. Please contact me for wellness coaching, individual therapy,  support groups for new moms & pregnant women. I offer individual counseling for women with  Trauma using EMDRcounseling for childbirth concerns, infertility, perinatal loss, and Moms with NICU babies.  Whatever you are facing right now, whether it’s difficulties in your relationship or just within yourself, you deserve support.