60 MINUTES $TBD
(Sliding Scale available)
I offer couples counseling in Santa Monica and the Mid-Whilsire area. During each session, I am committed to being actively present and work hard to stay responsive and engaged with the issues and concerns that bring you and your partner to treatment. Because of this commitment, we will be engaged in ongoing collaboration about your therapeutic process.
I work from an attachment perspective and am an ICEEFT Certified Emotionally Focused Therapist and Supervisor. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) has been developed by Sue Johnson, Ph.D., out of her years of working with couples from an attachment-based perspective. It has grown from a theory about understanding the basis of love to an internationally practiced approach for working with couples, individuals and families seeking to improve their relationships and life. There is now a growing body of research that validates the effectiveness of this approach with outcome rates that are statistically significant. To learn more about EFT, scroll down or click here.
Emotionally Focused Therapy
Of couples who use Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), research studies find that 70-75% of couples move from distress to recovery and approximately 90% show significant improvements.
The founder of EFT, Sue Johnson, also went on to found the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy (ICEEFT) and is a Distinguished Research Professor at Alliant University in San Diego, California, as well as Professor Emeritus, Clinical Psychology, at the University of Ottawa, Canada.
Dr. Johnson has received a variety of awards acknowledging her development of EFT and her significant contribution to the field of couple and family therapy and adult attachment. Sue was appointed in 2017 as a Member of the Order of Canada, the country’s highest civilian honor recognizing outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to Canada. In 2016, she was named Psychologist of the Year by APA, and has been honored by AAMFT for her Outstanding Contribution to the Field of Couple and Family Therapy.
Discernment Counseling is not couples therapy. The protocol for this form of treatment was developed because many partners, even when they are contemplating divorce, are very ambivalent about what they actually want to do. Sometimes one partner wants to continue in the marriage while the other partner no longer feels this commitment. These couples are called mixed agenda couples. Discernment counseling is a structured form of therapy that works with each partner so that they can become clearer, discern, what they actually want to do. This process takes place over the course of 5 structured meetings in which the therapist works with each partner primarily individually to help them become clearer about what they are actually feeling. There are three possible outcomes: do nothing and continue in the unclear state, move towards a full separation, or commit to do couple therapy for agreed upon time usually at least 6 months.
I am a certified discernment counselor and understand the complexity faced by couples when one partner is in an ambivalent stance. From my perspective, discernment counseling, is an excellent way to help create greater understanding in this highly charged situation.
What to Expect
We’ll begin with an intake session to evaluate your needs and determine if I am a good fit. We will go over your goals and history, logistics, and scheduling. After the initial session, we will meet for a series of sessions and re-evaluate your progress as we move forward. Based in Los Angeles, I have treated a wide range of clients, of varying ages and backgrounds, and offer convenient appointment times at my offices in Santa Monica and the Mid-Wilshire area.
Please contact me if you have questions or want to get started with couples therapy. Click the button below to get started.
There is always hope…
Over the years, I have seen great resiliency in the couples I’ve worked with and in the human heart. From infidelity and broken trust to difficult circumstances and past trauma, there are many reasons a couple will arrive at my office. To each of them, I explain that couples therapy is a process—a process of each individual understanding their wants and needs, how to communicate those desires, and how early attachment has created patterns to them and their relationship. Such insight is invaluable for moving forward, both as a couple and as individuals.
Statement of Inclusivity
With decades of experience and an open heart, I am sensitive to the unique needs of couples in the Greater Los Angeles area. I’ve successfully worked with straight couples, same-sex couples, trans couples, couples with diverse backgrounds, couples raising a child with medical needs, married and unmarried couples, couples with complex histories, and couples who simply want to deepen their relationship.
If you have other concerns, then contact me and we can discuss. I am also happy to offer referrals to other amazing therapists in the area.
About the Hold Me Tight® Workshop for Couples
In cases where one partner is unsure about therapy or both partners are short on time, the Hold Me Tight Workshop® is a great option.
This attachment-based workshop roots in the concepts of reducing relational distress and helping couples create trust and intimacy. The principles of this work are based on the growing research on the emerging science of love and loving. Partners can learn to identify their feelings both when they are in a secure place as well as when there are conflictual moments. In any relationship, there are times when conflicts happen but when partners begin to feel that this becomes the primary pattern of the relationship, instead of feeling connected to each other, the partner’s pull away and withdraw, either in states of anger or resentment and despair.
This workshop has been created so that partners can take the time to be with each other and to consider how they are doing. Are they able to turn to each other? Are they able to feel they can have those difficult conversations? Do they have a way when they are feeling uncomfortable and or upset to repair what has happened? Do they feel known to each other and that the other really cares? Do they each feel that they can let the other know when they are experiencing hurt or pain?
Helping partners turn to each other creates a way of feeling protected from the battering and uncertainties of the unending problems associated with the illness. Turning to each other is more likely to happen when partners feel safe to express their deepest concerns. When couples can begin to turn to each other, they can interrupt this negative interaction, their dance, and bolster their sense of being, both individually and in their partnership.