What therapy is like with me…
Imagine meeting up for coffee or sitting at a campfire with an old friend. A kind of familiar warmth wraps around you, and a sense of safety settles in at your core.
A similar feeling will envelop you when we meet. You can see that the person across the room is genuinely listening to what you’re saying. It’s something in their eyes. They understand what you’re going through, and you instantly feel that you’re not alone anymore.
These sessions become something that you look forward to each week. You notice that your relationships are healthier, and you are beginning to feel confident with family, friends, and coworkers.
Eventually, you and your therapist discover that you have become strong, independent, and capable of navigating the problems you originally came into the office to address. With goals met and a new perspective – the warmth you found here is now the warmth you take with you wherever you go.
Couples therapy helps you develop a meaningful relationship.
You’ll sit down with your husband or wife and get comfortable. Then after a quick check-in, we will get down to the nitty-gritty.
“What’s the nitty-gritty?” you ask. First, it’s observing how critical and demeaning partners can act toward each other. Some people do it through overt yelling and name-calling. Others do it through subtle and sophisticated methods.
Some partners employ the silent treatment for days. Others can’t help judging their partner as some supervillain who’s out to get them. And some individuals will refuse to take a complaint from their partner. They would rather die on that hill rather than discuss the complaint with their partner. They are in it to win it and make their partner the loser.
These are how some long-term relationships start to fall apart. Guiding people through couples’“stuff” is what I love doing. If both partners are motivated, they can learn how to cut out their crappy behaviors and enjoy a fulfilling and meaningful relationship.
Show up, do the work, and rediscover your love for each other.
Some clients rediscover the love they had for each other when they first met. Others find a smoother process of how to navigate raising their children.
Ultimately, what a couple gets out of therapy depends on whether they commit to showing up. I’ve seen people show up late, distracted, half-hearted, and more-or-less checked out of the marriage. These signs don’t always mean that a relationship will fail, but it almost always means that the therapy won’t help much.
If you want the therapy to help your marriage, then you’ve got to commit 100%. I’ve tracked the numbers. Those couples who are on time, meet with me weekly, and complete a three- to six-month course of treatment will see positive changes in their marriage.
Don’t come to therapy if you plan to keep physically abusing your spouse. And don’t come if you’re going to be 15 minutes late or miss every other week. You will get the love of your life back if you show up! And that’s all you need to do. Come as you are.
My passion for helping couples was formed when I was quite young.
From a very young age, I remember watching my parents argue with each other. And it was very difficult to feel helpless and scared when things escalated between them.
By watching and listening to what they said and didn’t say to each other, I learned a lot. I often wished that they would just listen to what they were saying to each other because I could tell they were both in so much pain.
The funny part is that we all grow up and find that life is full of difficulties and pain. I loved and still love both my parents so much.
I got married myself only to find that it was never as simple as I thought it was growing up. Marriage can be tough! It can be extremely fulfilling, too!
Nonetheless, it requires careful daily attention and intention. I still mess up frequently and find that I can always be a better husband. As for my parents – well, I have nothing but admiration for the commitment they’ve had for each other despite their many struggles.
When I encountered the Gottman Institute, it transformed how I approach conflict in my own life. As a therapist, I became passionate about sharing it with others.
My practice philosophy:
When empathy abounds, then solutions tend to emerge on their own.
If you’re not having fun, then you need to do something differently.
Be sincere but beware of being serious; the latter demands control where the former invites vulnerability.
When I’m not working…
I love to travel with my wife. In my free time, I love to road bike, mountain bike, hit the gym, cook, play board games, watch movies, play Nintendo, read Stephen King, and cuddle with my cats.
My favorite season is fall, and I celebrate Halloween from the beginning of September through the end of October. Secret: I am a savory popcorn fiend. None of that kettle corn crap.