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Couples are naturally sensitive to one another; they are tuned-in to the smallest gestures, tone of voice, shift in body language, etc. This sensitivity has two sides to it. The beautiful side is the comfort of feeling completely together. The challenging side is the tendency to allow the shifts we perceive in the other to alter our mood, thoughts, and behavior.  


In couples counseling we will work to: 

  1. define what those sensitivities are and the emotional reactions they stimulate,

  2. understand the patterns that have been created in the relationship,

  3. clarify the part each person plays in those patterns and how that has served to maintain them,

  4. and create a plan for each person to increase their ability to manage and define themselves in the context of that togetherness, by lowering reactivity, decreasing anxiety, loosening emotional dependence, and clarifying individual thinking.

The paradox of couples is that when each person can manage themselves effectively, and be clear about who they are to the other, it increases intimacy and the capacity to collaborate, negotiate, and create something together. 

Family Counseling


All families create emotional patterns that affect each family member. Often these patterns operate outside of our awareness and we do not begin to pay attention to them until something goes awry and anxiety and stress increase. It could be brought to the surface when marital conflict increases, or a child becomes more challenging, or people cut-off from one another. The point is that when anxiety increases family members begin to get more reactive, and in attempting to 'fix' the problem often end up maintaining it. 

In family counseling we will work to:

  1. understand the current challenge or dilemma,

  2. define the emotional patterns and the variables that contribute to them, 

  3. clarify the part each family members play in the emotional patterns, and 

  4. work with the family leaders to create a plan for change.

It only takes one determined and motivated family member to affect change in the family system. 

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