Couples Therapy Berkeley, Orinda and Oakland CA
Sound like you?
– Can’t Really Talk Without Fighting?
– Live Like Roommates?
– Have Trust Issues?
We can help.
Relationships can be repaired. Our marriage counselors and coaches use the most current and research-validated techniques. We do couples therapy with a structured coaching process designed to create safety and clarity.
How we approach couples therapy.
You know how coaches run along the sidelines at a basketball game? That’s us.
We work in two layers.
The first layer is about teaching relationship skills. Our therapists focus the therapy on doing the things that authentic, happy couples do to succeed in their relationships, and on recognizing and redirecting the behaviors that unhappy couples need to stop doing. Hot conflict can be turned into an opportunity to grow closer. The downward spiral of cold avoidance can be warmed up and reversed.
We often begin with a few basic skills, like how to say what’s true without evoking defenses, how to actually hear what your partner’s saying, and how to build warmth and safety with small considerate acts.
We do what works to mend old hurts.
The second layer is about underlying, sometimes very old hurts—and how they’re triggered in a way that derails real communication. Pockets of pain can create circular conflict and prevent couples from communicating constructively. Facing these obstacles together couples come to know each other in new, deeper ways, and “combatants” or “roommates” can often rather suddenly find themselves in a relationship with a powerful, beloved ally.
We identify the benefits both of you can gain from the process.
Does one of you feel dragged into counseling by the other? One of our first tasks is to identify how you BOTH can be happier. We want you to walk out of the first session knowing what’s in this for YOU.
How will couples therapy help?
Sometimes couples fear therapy: will it open up painful or destructive conflict? Our aim is to show you how to…
– Turn criticisms into requests that can actually be met.
– Interrupt old—often hurtful and repetitive—conversations.
– Identify solutions and set them into into motion.
– Transform withdrawal into an authentic, enthusiastic reaching out for your partner.
– Instead of the conflict or distance, let your love and partnership define your relationship.
Wondering how to get your partner to come to therapy?
We invite you to call and talk with one of us about your partner’s hesitation. Let’s see if we can identify ways you and your partner can both benefit.