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Boyfriend and girlfriend holding each other and smiling outside on a balcony.

High Conflict Couples Therapy

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

High-conflict couples often find traditional therapy unhelpful, sometimes even worsening their situation. 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

  • What are couples therapy sessions like?
    At this time, weekly counseling sessions are online. Our first session will be spent getting to know one another, discussing what’s led you to therapy, and giving you an opportunity to ask me questions. Then I will meet with each partner individually to learn about each persons family history, relationship history, and your individual concerns about the relationship. After that, all sessions will be with both partners present. Weekly counseling sessions are a combination of conversation, skill building, and communication practice as we talk about about your relationship concerns. We'll talk lot about feelings to help you communicate your feelings with each other in a way that is understood. Through this process you'll be learning tools to use in your day-to-day life. If needed, I'll offer referrals to other disciplines, such as psychiatry, primary care, individual therapy, etc. Most of all, I will hold space for you both to practice open, honest, and kind communication.
  • How do I know if Couples Therapy will work for me?
    There are times when individual therapy may be more appropriate than marriage counseling. These times include: Couples in which one or both partners have an active addiction. If there is an ongoing affair that hasn't ended yet. If being in the same room for a long time is too triggering (potential trauma reaction) or you haven't been able to be in the same space without being civil in a period of time - this format will not be productive. If there is active intimate partner violence, this is not an option.
  • Are you a licensed therapist?
    Yes! I am a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in Minnesota and Oregon. I am also a Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselor in Minnesota. MN LICSW 21464 OR LICSW L12818 MN LADC 303706
  • How long are counseling sessions?
    Typical sessions are 50 minutes in length. Some clients prefer 90 or 110 minute sessions and those are also available depending on availability.
  • Do you offer in person therapy?
    I currently only offer services online.
  • How long will I need to be in therapy?
    I meet with clients weekly and each session lasts for 50 minutes. It is hard to know how long therapy will take as many things impact how quickly progress can be made. Couples therapy is always best conceived of as short-term therapy. In good couples therapy, the relationship gets the help it needs to grow–learning how to communicate well, how to disagree productively, how to get needs met, and address difficult issues. Through that process, vulnerabilities that each member of the relationship brings to the table are identified or exposed in new ways. You can expect me to regularly engage the question of how the couples therapy is going and be sure it’s continuing to add value to the relationship. While I may have recommendations, the decision for how long to continue with the couples therapy is up to you. I usually recommend that couples start with 6-months of weekly sessions as a trial period to make sure you are finding this therapy helpful.
  • Why EFT over another couple's therapy?
    In short, because it works!Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) is the #1 research-validated relationship therapy and the ONLY couple therapy recommended by the American Psychological Association to help improve relationships. In clinical trials it has a 70-73% success rate and 90% of couple report improvements. Other marriage and family therapies only have a 40-50% success rate.
  • Do you offer a free consultation?
    Yes, I offer a free 15 minute consultation call. When reaching out before a first couples therapy session, share enough to gauge whether you want to make an initial appointment, but be aware that, unless both of you are on the phone, it may be best to share little beyond the essentials in this conversation so your first encounter with the therapist gives both of you the chance to present the relationship.
  • What type of couples counseling do you do?
    I do a type of marriage counseling called Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (EFT) which is the #1 research-validated relationship therapy and the ONLY couple therapy recommended by the American Psychological Association to help improve relationships. In Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy with me, we will do a thorough assessment of your relationship, discover your relationships specific strengths and area's for growth, and discuss what makes for emotionally secure relationships. We'll deep dive into: Discovering the interactional pattern you have been caught in that keeps you feeling distant in your marriage Exploring the underlying emotions and longings that are at the heart of the cycle you are stuck in Changing your communication to be effective and clear communication Rebuilding trust in the relationship, especially if there has been a betrayal of some kind Enhancing your sexual satisfaction so you can reconnect in an intimate way Building a secure relationship bond in your marriage ... and so much more!
  • Is it weird to seek Couple's therapy if we aren't married?
    No. In fact, many of the couples I see are not married. There are all kinds of relationships, and all sorts of reasons for seeking help.

Couples Communication Resources

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