Couples Counseling

The Couples I Work Best With

I work best with couples who are honest and practical about the state of their relationship, and willing to look at their individual contributions to the current issues. If you are bringing out the worst in each other, I will name it and ask you both to commit to being vulnerable and committed to healing the relationship. If either partner is unwilling or unable to make the necessary changes to create a healthy relationship, I believe it is more beneficial to acknowledge it and have both partners respectfully and honestly decide what’s best for both of them than to continue torturing each other. (See discernment counseling below).

I will not work with couples where domestic violence or patterns of abuse are present.

Difficulties with Communication, Patterns of Conflict

Learn how to communicate effectively so that your attempts to discuss issues don’t end in frustration, anger, and stalemates. Together, we will uncover your patterns of communication that lead to difficulties so that we can change and improve them, and you can truly hear and understand each other. Without knowing how to communicate effectively, couples often get into a pattern of conflict and disconnection that is difficult to get out of. This difficulty is common, and it does not mean that you and your partner are incompatible.

Intimacy and Sex

  • Resolve discrepancies in sexual desire between partners;
  • Improve communication and understanding about each other’s sexual needs;
  • Overcome past traumatic sexual experiences to find trust and deepen intimacy in your relationship;
  • Learn ways to put the “spark” back into your relationship.

Affair Recovery

Extra-Marital Affairs/EMAs (Emotional and/or Physical) can be devastating to a relationship, but with professional guidance through the stages of affair recovery, couples who are dedicated to staying together and healing often find increased relational satisfaction after an affair is fully healed. Due to the often high emotional intensity after an affair, the injured partner may make rash decisions or follow the advice of well-meaning family and friends who are unaware of all of the intricacies of your marriage, as well as the true statistics of affairs in general. An affair does not have to mean the end of your marriage: An estimated 70% of married couples survive affairs. (McCarthy, B.) Having a couples counselor experienced with affair recovery can help significantly. Together, I will help you find meaning behind the affair, make wise decisions as a couple regarding your future, and accomplish sexual and emotional recovery.

Discernment Counseling

Discernment counseling is a type of brief therapy designed for couples who are uncertain whether they want to continue their relationship. The goal of this type of therapy is to help the couple consider all options before they make the decision to: 1) remain as is (the status quo); 2) commit to six months of couples therapy to work on their relationship with divorce/a breakup off the table; or 3) to terminate the relationship as healthily and peacefully as possible. This type of therapy is helpful when one partner is “leaning out” (a.k.a. unsure whether they want to continue in the relationship).

Nearly everyone enters marriage with the dream of a lifelong union. But sometimes, couples reach a crisis point where divorce is on the table. Usually there is one “leaning-out” spouse who thinks that divorce might be the best way to move forward, and one “leaning-in” spouse who wants to preserve the marriage and make things better. If this is your situation—one of you leaning out and the other leaning in–it’s a tough place to be. Traditional marriage counseling may not be helpful if one of you is not sure you want to work on the marriage at this point; it can actually further alienate the “leaning-out” spouse if he/she isn’t committed to making the relationship work.

The goals of discernment counseling are as follows:

  • To help couples gain greater clarity and confidence in their decision-making about the future of their marriage
  • To help couples gain a deeper understanding of what happened to their marriage
  • To help both partners gain a deeper understanding of their personal contributions to the problems and set goals to address their part of the negative pattern.

How to Get Started

To get started with couples counseling, contact Jennifer.

New client?

If you’re interested in working with Jennifer and believe your goals for counseling are a good fit for her expertise, you may use this link to schedule a free 15-minute phone consultation to discuss your goals for therapy and determine appropriateness of fit. Please ensure your phone number is typed correctly, and she will call you right at the time requested (if approved) for your consultation. Jennifer only has daytime availability Monday through Thursday of each week. Due to a limited amount of availability, clients needing more than weekly sessions, or those struggling with chronic suicidal ideation will be referred to another provider. Thank you for understanding.

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