OC Couple and Family Therapy
Understanding Relationships


"The beauty of psychotherapy is the humanity that we all share"


People tend to have ideas about how to solve their problems. People often think that they know how others are feeling. People often look for the good in others. However, with this thinking people still find themselves in a pattern that isn’t working. Through therapy you will learn a different way to think and process information that promotes growth and clarity.


LOVE in the Family and the Couple Relationship


Love involves the lending and borrowing of self. If one cannot maintain a basic level of self in a relationship than the "love" relationship can be destructive in that one loses their self. If one maintains a view that they are not responsible for their part in the relationship than they may feel oppressed, powerless and victimized. Taking personal responsibility and accountability is essential to strengthening the self in the relationship and the over all strength of the relationship.


The need for approval is sought from both women and men. Human beings share the same basic needs and strive to balance two opposing forces: the desire for togetherness and the desire for separateness. Love is the epitome of the strive to balance the opposing forces.


Relationships in their very nature are reciprocal and growth and maturity develop when one can get past blame and move to what is happening now. How does one take responsibility in getting ones needs meant? By establishing, defining and maintaining their boundaries in their relationships.


How Couples Relate:


It also helps to learn about our emotions. Emotions often are automatic especially when anxiety and stress is high. Emotions are also trainable to reflect our actually core beliefs. My work looks at affective neuroscience which integrates the scientific research of brain function and emotions that drive behavior, focus and our relationships with others.


In the couple relationship each individual has the ability to affect the others functioning. A supporting connected relationship promotes growth and higher functioning. In contrast a stressed and conflictual relationship promotes lower functioning. Learning how to achieve emotional wellbeing by sustaining closeness while being an individual in the relationship will increase tolerance and flexibility in the couplehood and decrease stress and anxiety.

Being sensitized and reactive to one another produces an intense relationship that is often based on immature and unrealistic expectations. According to theory/research it is not the events or crisis situations that disrupts the couple or family system but, the way the couple or family reacts (automatic responses and/or programming effects).


Getting to Know Your Spouse or Partner


The better you know your spouse the more you care about him/her, the greater your chance for a successful marriage/relationship. It is important to think of your mate in positive ways; to look for and nourish the factors that made you interested in the first place. Take the time to list out your history in the relationship always accentuating the positive and reminding yourself of the qualities in your mate that attract you.


Staying emotionally engaged with the other person and doing things together. This does not mean just going out together, but rather it refers to the little things; being attentive and involved with daily activities, showing genuine interest in what your spouse is doing. By being open to your partner’s suggestions and ideas leads to growth and closeness. This is more than nodding at a suggestion, but actually sharing influence in the marriage. The key to solving solvable problems lies in the approach.


Approach the problem head on. Discussions end the way they start, so if the couple begins the discussion by fighting it is most probable that they end the same way, with nothing resolved. Deadlock is a sign that dreams for your lives have not or are not being met. Rather than argue about issues that cannot be resolved look behind the issue for the root cause. The root causes are not always easy to detect, dig in, respect the dreams of your spouse, and help her achieve them.


Couples that keep open lines of communication, respect the other’s position and talk about how they are feeling are likely to grow closer and have more satisfying relationships.



Affairs healed through therapy

            Though the admission of having or finding out that a partner is having or had an affair indicated serious trouble in the couplehood. The interest and effort of the couple to resolve issues demonstrates the mutual desire to remain married and to foster a better relationship for themselves and a better environment for their children.


            Affairs are often symptomatic of the relationship and involve both individuals in the couplehood. However, the perpetrated needs to accept responsibility for the affair for healing to begin. The healing process may include both individuals taking responsibility for the dynamics of their relationship and developing a joint understanding of the meaning of the affair.


            In therapy I providing emotional support for both partners and facilitating their communication about the affair. Should they stay together my role, relative to the affair, I am the mediator helping the couple recreate their relationship through forgiveness, trust, communication. The ultimate goal is to have two strong individuals that make the couplehood solid.


FEEL STUCK in your Relationships?


Can you move past BLAME? No matter what the issues is, and how hurt you may feel, it is possible and painless to move past the blame. To get unstuck will lower anxiety/stress and physical and emotional symptoms.


What does it look like when you are stressed, tired and dealing with yet another issues of the day? Probably not your personal best. Today’s economic and societal pressures are on the rise. Most of us cannot afford to lose our jobs or important relationships due to our inability to manage ourselves. Through therapy I can teach you allostasis (maintaining stability through change). You can take control of your life and lower your stress and anxiety. Therapy can lay the foundation for positive life changes.


Chain reactions! We can all feel them but, how do we stop them?


For example your adolescent comes home late with no explanation or your husband is silent and watches TV when he gets home. You find yourself feeling irritable and maybe even invisible to your family. You then go to work and don’t speak up about a great idea at your meeting and when you get home you find yourself yelling at everyone. Your adolescent and/or husband then interacts with you less than the day before. This is a chain reaction.


We often believe that we are more independent than we truly are on others, less connected and affective by the people in our lives. However, research shows the opposite. We are infinity connected to others around us for approval and acceptance    


To form better relationships it helps to understand that connectivity.


It also helps to learn about our emotions. Emotions often are automatic, especially when anxiety and stress is high. Emotions are also trainable to reflect our actually core beliefs. My work looks at affective neuroscience which integrates the scientific research of brain function and emotions that drive behavior, focus and our relationships with others.


Psychotherapy can help build better relationships!