870 Market St #357, San Francisco, CA 94102 | 200 Tamal Plaza #235, Corte Madera, CA 94925

Relationship Counseling

Have You Reached A Crossroads In Your Relationship?

Do you find it difficult to effectively communicate with your partner? Does it feel as though you’re stepping into a conversational minefield every time difficult or emotional topics come up with your significant other? Are you struggling with anger, depression, or substance abuse as a result of unmet relationship needs? 

Maybe you’re in an established relationship—perhaps you’re married and have children—but you feel disconnected from your partner. Something about your marriage may have caused you to feel as though you’re falling short in being the supportive spouse you’d like to be. Or perhaps you’re already in couples counseling with your partner but looking for individual therapy sessions to help you express your needs and perspective more effectively.

Alternatively, you may be unmarried but curious about if you’re ready to make a long-term commitment. Perhaps commitment is a concept that you find altogether challenging. As a result, you may be struggling to balance your needs as an individual with the needs of the partnership.   

When aspects of your intimate relationship cause you to be unsatisfied with your life, stepping out on your partner can seem like a quick fix or a chance to explore another side of yourself. It could be that you started an affair or cheated on your partner. Or perhaps you’re the one in the relationship struggling with feelings of betrayal after infidelity and wondering if you’re capable of trusting again.

No matter what relationship challenges you face, it’s important to identify how you feel and to be able to communicate effectively with your partner. You’re likely thinking that if you could just feel acknowledged and respected by your significant other, then your relationship problems would solve themselves. And though you may not know where to begin in developing a vocabulary to convey your needs, relationship counseling offers you an opportunity to reconnect with your emotions and learn how to communicate them. 

Constructs Of Masculinity Create Hurdles In Understanding And Processing Emotions

Society has invented many qualities of what makes an ideal man, and being a good communicator is not one of them. Instead, we, as men, are conditioned to believe that our only valid means of self-expression is through anger, aggression, or playing the dominant alpha male role. We’re taught to be strong, decisive, and powerful: characteristics that often seem at odds with being open and vulnerable. And not being able to resolve these issues on our own—let alone, seeking the help of a therapist—contributes to the pervasive stigma around mental health. 

The socialization of boys does not include many avenues for self-exploration, identifying feelings, and understanding the root of our emotional experiences. Expressing “soft” emotions like sadness, fear, and anxiety are seen as signs of weakness or as a lack of self-control. Because of this, we can grow up to find it extremely difficult to navigate the terrain of direct emotional communication, resulting in ongoing relationship issues that create obstacles in our lives. 

Regardless of gender, we’re all heavily influenced by the relationship patterns we observed in our families. And if our working model for partnerships is ultimately dysfunctional, we will inevitably carry over the same foibles and maladaptive techniques that we internalized at a young age. 

Yet the truth is that all relationships have their own unique problems, and counseling is precisely the vehicle for finding their solutions. 

Counseling Casts Our Relationship In A New Light So That We Can See Our Partner And Ourselves More Clearly

Between daily stressors and the buildup of relationship issues, it’s likely that you don’t have many opportunities to step back, evaluate your circumstances with clarity, and understand the underlying factors impacting your experience. Therapy offers you a platform for this kind of emotional exploration while providing you with the unbiased, outside perspective of a professional. I cultivate a safe counseling atmosphere where you’ll be free to generate ideas, practice communication, and tackle relationship challenges without judgment. 

Because each person comes to counseling with their own unique history and experiences with relationships, I tailor therapy to meet your needs based on what self-limiting beliefs you arrive with. These beliefs were likely developed in childhood or adolescence and often drive certain behaviors and tendencies, including relationship conflict, substance abuse, anger, infidelity, and porn use among others. When we can get to the core of where those patterns originated, you’ll be clearer on your needs and stress responses. 

Throughout counseling, you’ll gain clarity about what is getting in your way and what you can do about it. As we examine your core beliefs, we’ll develop a better understanding of your automatic responses to distress or conflict, so that you can have a better emotional awareness of your triggers. In addition, you’ll be challenged to consider your partner’s viewpoint as I break down your relationship issues and offer a different perspective—especially in cases of infidelity. 

Using both control-mastery theory and cognitive-behavioral techniques, you will develop a thorough understanding of how your early experiences impacted you and how the thoughts, feelings, and behaviors generated from negative self-beliefs have hindered your relational development. In addition, mindfulness strategies will keep you present in your experience so that you can more accurately identify and respond to your feelings. Ultimately, counseling will empower you to change your relationship with your emotions so that you can more effectively advocate for yourself. 

For over a decade, I have seen men and women alike struggle in their relationships. I’ve helped a lot of guys work out concerns about their partnership as they develop a stronger understanding of their experiences. 

I am confident that the skills and insights you gain in counseling will not only inform the relationship with your significant other but also improve the relationship you have with yourself and those around you. 

Perhaps you’re considering enlisting the help of a relationship therapist, but you have some concerns…

I’m worried about spending time and money on relationship counseling. 

It’s expensive to be miserable! So, if you’re concerned about the financial aspect of therapy, I encourage you to consider the cost of not getting help. Continued suffering in strained relationships can lead to costly substance abuse or legal ramifications while mental distress is likely to reduce your productivity at work, jeopardizing your income potential. 

For many, the work in therapy is about breaking a cycle of dysfunctional relationships. If you can re-establish healthy patterns and communication techniques, you’ll reap the benefits long-term and likely feel more fulfilled in life, and you can’t put a price on that. 

If time is an issue, I offer online sessions during both daytime and evening hours to make it very flexible for clients to schedule. As with a financial investment, investing time now will likely improve your quality of time moving forward. 

How does therapy actually help and how can it improve my relationship?

I tend to run my practice with the mantra that “a problem shared is a problem halved.” Fully disclosing what burdens us in a supportive and nonjudgmental space helps us to free up mental and emotional energy so that we can move forward in our lives. I’m confident that by embarking on the therapy process, you’ll gain a new perspective on both individual challenges and relationship problems. 

When I first started therapy as a client, I was really hesitant to share my experience with someone else. However, practicing vulnerability with my emotions allowed me to make true progress in my life. Looking back, I’m really glad I made the decision to invest in myself by going to therapy.  

Can I bring my partner to relationship counseling sessions?

While I primarily see individual clients, I am open to seeing couples. If you think the best progress will be made with your partner present, I’m invested in helping you to move forward. I can also refer you to excellent couples counselors in the area if you decide you’d like to see me on an individual basis but still set aside time for relationship counseling with your partner. 

Additionally, if you’re currently in couples counseling, I offer individual counseling to supplement your therapeutic experience. You may be feeling that you could get additional work done in individual sessions, and I am happy to work with you or your current therapist to coordinate around your needs. 

Find Relief From Your Relationship’s Burdens 

If you’re struggling to commit or get the most out of your relationship, counseling can provide you with the clarity and perspective you need to move forward. To schedule a free, 15-minute consultation or find out more about how I can help, visit my contact page.

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