Couples Therapy in Minnesota
I specialize in helping couples whose relationships are falling apart. I work with couples at their breaking point, when daily life feels high stakes. My strength is treating partners with long-standing, intense, or destructive conflict. I particularly enjoy working with complex couples who tried counseling before but didn't get what they needed from the experience. For some couples, previous therapy involved fighting in front of the therapist without anything changing.
For others, they may have learned skills that seem good in theory yet fail to translate in the heat of the moment. Still others might have felt that their marriage counselor sided unfairly with one partner. I provide a therapeutic environment that is fundamentally different from your everyday dynamic. I offer structure and safety that prevents you coming to therapy and having a fight you could have off-screen for free.
I use an evidence-based approach to marriage counseling to support partners who are hurting in their relationship. My couples are often interpersonally skilled, compassionate, and successful as individuals, and despite all these strengths, they are seriously struggling in their relationship. Many of my couples clients have both received prior individual therapy, which has helped them heal trauma, improve mental health, or address old patterns. My clients are self-aware and psychologically savvy, often coming to therapy with thoughtful theories about why the relationship is so rocky. And yet despite all of this individual work and insight, despite showing up to the world as competent and empathic, they find that their relationship is a mess.
I work with couples who:
Fight intensely (such as name-calling, shouting, slamming doors)
Barely speak for days
Feel there is no relationship at all
Fear they are incompatible
Have difficulty setting boundaries or struggle with codependency
Find communication impossible
Constantly trigger each other due to individual trauma histories
Live with a mental health diagnosis like depression, anxiety, or ADHD
Fight about one partner's substance use
No longer trust each other after a betrayal
Seriously consider separating or divorcing
Feel there is an uneven distribution of emotional labor in the relationship
See their problems in drastically different ways
Participated in infidelity (had a physical or emotional affair)
My approach to working with couples:
Your relationship is precious and fragile. I believe couples in distress deserve therapies proven to be effective. I am thoroughly trained in Integrative Behavioral Couple Therapy (IBCT), an empirically supported treatment. IBCT has been subject to clinical trials that demonstrate couples who receive IBCT improve their relationship, and that their progress holds up for years after counseling ends. IBCT is evidence-based help for couples who are hurting.
I work with partners to develop a new relationship to their conflict and to see their differences through fresh eyes. In IBCT, couples learn to observe their patterns, their partners, and themselves with curiosity and mindfulness. As an IBCT therapist, I thoroughly analyze the dynamics of your particular relationship. I consider each partner's unique history, communication style, and pain points. I develop a detailed framework that explains what is going on for the two of you, providing you with a validating and beneficial new lens through which to look. I don't offer generic advice or tips you could find online or in a self-help book. Instead, paying attention to the details of your unique relationship, I work with you as a couple to disrupt your gridlock, find a new shared view of your conflict process, and gain connection through your pain.