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High Conflict Couples Therapy

What would it be like if you finally felt heard and understood?

“The goal in marriage is not to think alike but to think together.”
– Robert C Dodds

I specialize in helping couples who experience intense, out-of-control, and hurtful fights. Many partners in these relationships immediately identify with the term "high conflict." Here are some common signs:

Intense and Frequent Fights

  • Fights are complicated, frequent, and emotionally draining.

  • You feel like you're always resolving one fight only to start another.

  • Conflicts provoke extreme emotions like betrayal, fury, and despair, or leave you feeling numb and disconnected.

Quick Escalation and Difficult Resolution

  • Arguments escalate rapidly from calm to hostile.

  • Attempts to resolve conflicts often backfire.

  • Apologies are ineffective or misinterpreted, making fighting feel inevitable.

Hurtful Behavior During Conflicts

  • You and your partner say and do hurtful things during arguments.

  • Post-fight, you feel ashamed, confused, and hurt by each other's actions.

  • Forgiveness is challenging due to the severity of the words and actions during fights.

Why Previous Therapy May Not Have Helped

High conflict couples often find traditional therapy unhelpful, sometimes even worsening the situation. Here’s why:

Poor Session Control

  • Therapists need to manage sessions effectively to prevent unproductive arguments.

  • A good therapist contains interactions, allowing you to experience different, more productive ways of communicating.

Premature Skill Teaching

  • Techniques like active listening and “I statements” are useful, but only when the couple is ready.

  • High conflict couples often need to address underlying patterns before communication techniques can be effective.

Focusing on Comments Instead of Patterns

  • Addressing specific hurtful comments can worsen conflicts.

  • The focus should be on breaking the cycle of hurtful interactions, not the details of specific arguments.

High Conflict vs. Abuse

High conflict relationships are not the same as abusive relationships. Abuse involves control, coercion, and intimidation. If you feel afraid of your partner, couples therapy may not be safe. For support and resources, contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-SAFE.

What Now?

My practice is dedicated to helping high conflict couples break their harmful cycles and build closer connections. If you're ready to change the way you fight, reach out today.

You never expected to feel lonely in your relationship. You've tried to improve things but it hasn't worked.
Now therapy seems like the last chance.  

You want to feel wanted, but instead you feel: 

  • Afraid the relationship can't be repaired.

  • Frustrated that you are the only one trying in your relationship. 

  • Misunderstood for your attempts to improve things.

  • Afraid your needs won't ever be met in this relationship.

  • Anxious and worried you aren't a priority to your partner. 

  • And ultimately, you aren't ready to give up, but you don't know what else to do. ​

I provide marriage counseling using Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) to help couples understand each other better, communicate more clearly, and feel more emotionally close. My clients walk away from therapy with me feeling more secure in their relationships, more comfortable being themselves, and having greater confidence in their marriages. 

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