My Approach

We’ve had swimming lessons before jumping into deep water; we’ve had driving lessons before getting behind the wheel of a car, and we’ve had schooling for years to prepare for adulthood. However, how many lessons did you have in how to relate successfully in an intimate relationship before making a commitment?

“Zero,” if you’re like almost every other client in my 35+ years of practice. In fact, if you’ve learned anything about intimate relationships, it’s probably come from observing your parents, or you’ve tried to learn from your mistakes, or you may have read some books. However, if any of these tactics worked, you wouldn’t be where you are now.

By the time most couples in a committed relationship make an appointment to see me, partners have a negative perspective of each other and of their relationship. Usually there is gridlocked conflict that, no matter what’s been tried, comes up over and over again. Fondness, admiration, romance, lovemaking, and even feeling attracted to one another may have faded or be missing all together. Many partners have begun to question whether they love their partner, ever loved their partner, or perhaps made a mistake to begin with. It’s sad to note that couples wait on average 6 years from the time a problem becomes gridlocked before seeking outside professional help.

There is hope! Here’s how I can help you:

First, I’ll make an in-depth assessment of your relationship that will include: an initial appointment focused on your present situation, your relationship history, and any goals you might have. At the close of this initial appointment I’ll email you a detailed questionnaire to complete individually without sharing it with your partner. This questionnaire will give me a very detailed picture of what’s not working in your relationship. The next two appointments I’ll see you separately to review your questionnaire and discuss your personal background. After I have all this information, I’ll develop a treatment plan based upon the Gottman Method which we’ll review together.

Read about Common Challenges and Solutions

Three disciplines that I have expertise in (Gottman Method, Enneagram, Narrative Therapy) have proven to be exceptionally instructive and valuable in helping people understand themselves and others and provided insight into their personal and professional relationships.

Gottman Method Couples Therapy™   The Gottman Institute
Gottman Method Couples Therapy is a structured, goal-oriented, scientifically-based therapy.  Intervention strategies are based upon empirical data from Dr. Gottman’s three decades of research with more than 3,000 couples.  This research shows us what actually works to help couples achieve a long-term healthy relationship. Gottman Method Couples Therapy was developed out of this research to help you and your spouse or partner:

  • Increase respect, affection, and closeness
  • Break through and resolve conflict when you feel stuck
  • Generate greater understanding between you and your partner
  • Keep conflict discussions calm
  • Maintain improvements in your relationship

The Enneagram  Enneagram Seattle
The Enneagram is a dynamic system that describes nine personality types and their interrelationships. Understanding your own type gives you insight into “what makes you tick” and provides a customized roadmap for on-going personal growth.  Understanding other types helps you create more satisfying love, work and family relationships. The nine types are: The Idealist, The Giver, The Achiever, The Romantic, The Observer, The Loyal Skeptic, The Optimist, The Protector, and the Mediator.

Narrative Therapy
The overall goal of narrative therapy is to help people view their problems as external to themselves – to see that the way they view their life is related to specific experiences they have had which continue to influence their personal perspective on the world.  In this scenario, a negative experience can continue to color a person’s life by impacting it with hurt feelings, pain, guilt, anger and so forth.  If you immerse yourself in your problem, the problem continues.  By beginning to see the problem as separate from yourself, you can redefine your life to give it new meaning, a fresh start.