Couples Counseling

Relationship Challenges

Being in a romantic relationship at any stage is challenging. Problems can arise across the course of any relationship, but might rise the surface moth when one or both people is under stress. Very common issues couples face do not have to be faced alone. Couples often come to couples counseling to work on the following challenges: 

  • Communication breakdowns 

  • Parenting difficulties or different parenting approaches

  • Family discord or fighting 

  • Issues with emotional or physical intimacy 

  • Job changes and/or stress at work

Couples may also experience more unique and challenging situations including: 

  • Dealing with illness ​

  • Infidelity 

  • Financial issues 

  • Substance abuse 


Most often, couples therapy is recommended if one or more of the following is your goal: 

  • Repairing broken trust 

  • Learning to resolve substantial and/or frequent arguments 

  • Improving communication 

  • Understanding you, your partner, and your relationship better

  • Improving emotional and physical intimacy 

  • Learning how to make significant life decisions as partners

If you and your partner are going through any of the following challenges, you can benefit from couples counseling.

Benefits of Couples Therapy

  • Improve communication with partner 

  • Regain physical and emotional intimacy 

  • Better understand your needs and the needs of your partner

  • Learn unified problem-solving and decision-making skills 

  • Improve parenting 

  • Improve trust and respect 

  • Resolve conflict

  • Confirm commitment

Couples Counseling, Marriage and Premarital Therapy

As the names suggest, couples therapy, marriage counseling, or premarital counseling are when two people in a romantic partnership come to therapy to work on their relationship together. For couples therapy to be effective, both people must be willing and able to attend therapy and have the overall goal of working on the relationship. Although the ultimate objective is to help the relationship function better as a whole, couples therapy is sometimes the last effort a pair makes when deciding to stay together or to separate. Because of the stakes that are involved, couples therapy can be a very intense process, one that can be challenging for you as an individual and for the relationship. That is why it is important that each partner independently chooses to participate fully and whole-headedly in the process. 

It is important to remember that you cannot force your partner to attend couples counseling isn’t right for every couple. But when two people decide to dedicate their efforts to bettering themselves and their relationship, the result can be quite powerful. 


My Approach

Meeting together in my Orange County or San Diego offices, I take a compassion-focused and integrative approach to couples counseling. This means that above all, I take into consideration the wellbeing of both partners and provide a safe space, regardless of the presenting issue(s) or who at face value may be the one “in the wrong.” I strive to take this objective stance and maintain neutrality, as it is important for each person to feel seen and heard by me, as well as by their partner. 

An integrative approach means I tend to and use what is called for in the moment. Two of the most common types of couples therapy include The Gottman Method and Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) by Sue Johnson. Both of these methods help couples cultivate more empathy and respect in the relationship. The Gottman Method tackles ineffective communication and cyclical argument patterns, while EFT tends to work to increase intimacy and closeness. I have found great success in using these techniques in conjunction, along with other tools to help you and your partner increase your awareness of yourself and the other person.