couples therapy

Most couples come to me asking for help with communication. I’ve yet to meet a couple without COMMUNICATION on their To-Do list for therapy. That's why it is our first exercise, both in premarital counseling and couples therapy.

“Communication” can mean many different things. It is nearly impossible to listen to someone else’s request when we don’t feel respected, or we feel like the person is AGAINST us. This creates a stalemate with people talking or yelling at each other, giving the silent treatment, or trying other useless efforts like name-calling or sarcasm to get across what they so desperately want to be understood. It takes two to fight.


Conflict Resolution

couples therapy

Often, when couples feel they are in opposition, they aren’t even arguing about the same thing. When you are so intent on trying to convince your partner, you can’t hear anything.

When people want two different things (which is inevitable for two different people attempting to go through life together), it can be difficult to drop your agenda long enough to really hear what your partner is going through.

We will realign the relationship so that each of you remembers that you are ON THE SAME TEAM. When disagreements or injuries happen, you can work together to figure out what has happened, and how to prevent it in the future. This is possible, even when couples are separating and want help to do so respectfully and calmly. It is possible for parents who have separated and want to co-parent effectively. The same principles of being respectful to yourself and the other person are crucial to managing a breakup, a divorce, and even your own personal, individual sanity throughout the process.

It used to be that people would go to couples therapy because they couldn’t figure out why their son was not excelling at school. Or because couples disagreed on a major decision and wanted support in finding a solution. Unfortunately nowadays, couples often don’t seek professional help until multiple major disasters have happened and they are considering splitting up. When it has taken multiple traumas to make one or both partners realize they are at rock bottom, finally suggesting, “Maybe we should talk to someone…” it can feel hopeless.

You’d never wait to see a physician until you were on your deathbed! Why wait until you are considering separation to learn the skills needed to improve your relationship’s health?

Your initial Couples Therapy Consultation includes:

•Recommendations to improve respect & morale
•Identification of individual traits that contribute to conflict in your relationship
•Exercises in effective Communication
•Behavioral groundwork laid to support deeper work in subsequent meetings
•Homework assignments for each partner so that changes continue between meetings

If you are ready and willing, your relationship will experience an immediate shift upon putting into practice what we discover in our initial consultation.

*Even if only one partner is willing and able to make changes, the relationship will experience a shift.
Image result for instagram@GatesTherapy

love, travel, tourism, people and friendship concept - smiling couple wearing sunglasses looking at each over blue sky background“....though modern marriage is a tremendous laboratory, its members are often utterly without preparation for the partnership function. How much agony and remorse and failure could have been avoided if there had been at least some rudimentary learning before they entered the partnership....And that statement is equally valid for all relationships.”    
~Leo Buscaglia, Loving Each Other 

THE most important preparation

Not for your wedding

For your marriage


~ build your strengths ~ prepare for inevitable conflict ~ deepen communication and intimacy ~ 

Six Pre-Marital Counseling Sessions*

•using Prepare/Enrich, master your partnership's strengths and identify areas of growth
•learn ways to disagree respectfully, because no two individuals will always want the exact same thing
•discover how to help your partner feel more understood and cared for
•find out how conflict with your partner is meant to help you both GROW
•blend stepfamilies and second marriages in the healthiest ways possible

We’ll go over exactly where your relationship needs growth, based on your online assessment. This is not a cookie-cutter educational class. This is as personal as premarital counseling can be. You and your fiance will get exactly what YOUR relationship needs to be resilient, fulfilling, and solid.

One Post-Wedding Couples Therapy Session

We'll reconvene in couples therapy after “the big day.” Usually 3-6 months later, we will meet in a follow-up couples therapy session where we refine the groundwork laid and address inevitable changes in the relationship as it has entered a new stage. This may include topics such as finances, extended family relationships, sexuality, spiritual beliefs and checking in on your unique strengths and growth areas, as identified in your initial assessment. *Package includes $60 certificate from Twogether in Texas to use towards your Marriage therapy couples counseling downtown Austin Covington Louisiana New Orleans counselor