Couples typically combine their lives because—at some level—they feel better in each other's presence than they feel around anyone else. But that good feeling often changes over time, or perhaps in one catastrophic moment, such that the relationship no longer feels safe, loving, accepting, or nurturing. I believe that what led to this change can be discovered, understood, and overcome. A couple's "pattern" or "dance" is a combination of what each person brought to the relationship, as well as how they combined their lives. Within the pattern formed by a couple are practices that are effective for forming a close relational bond, and patterns that are ineffective. Dr. Gottman's research, and that of Dr. Sue Johnson and others, has provided great insights by which to identify patterns that destroy relationships, and those patterns that nourish and restore them. I love to help couples discover their particular pattern, and learn how to improve it to create a loving, respectful, emotionally safe and close bond.
In the process, I help couples understand the "attachment style" each of them carried into the relationship, and what it means for each to "feel loved." Couples are further helped to understand the attachment needs that exist in any relationship, and how they can be met to form a secure attachment bond within their own marriage.
I incorporate thirty years' combined experience in the professions of social work, ministry, and counseling. I am Level 2 trained in Gottman Method Couples Therapy, utilizing Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy, Attachment theory, and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) (to treat trauma and formational wounds). I am an Educator for the Gottman Institute's Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work program, and approach therapy with an educational and coaching bent.
My own marrage of thirty years, and the raising with my wife of our three children, has given me empathy for couples, and a practical understanding of the struggles that every marriage faces.