Make an Appointment: [email protected] | 707-653-5482

  • Couples & Relationships

    *For clients seeking support with relationships, I highly suggest signing up for the Gottman Institute’s Marriage Minute newsletter to read and discuss together.

    Click each heading below to learn more.

    Couples & Partner Therapy

    There’s a misconception that a need or desire for couples’ therapy is a bad omen for a relationship. But like anything in our lives, even our closest and most intimate relationships require maintenance. Couples’ therapy can be a useful tool, and may actually help make your relationships stronger and healthier.

    Utilizing Terry Real’s Relational Life Therapy (RLT) method, Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), the Gottman Method, and PACT–as well as other modalities–I aim to help you and your partner do the necessary work to maintain–or change–your relationship in a way that honors everyone’s needs, desires, and agency.

    Through my Couples & Partner Therapy, I will support you and your partner in addressing a number of relationship issues, including, but not limited to:

    Communication: Whether you and your partner(s) have different communication styles, are experiencing a miscommunication, or a breakdown in communication, I can help you and your partner(s) express yourselves and reach mutual understanding, and also help you develop a more functional and fulfilling dynamic.

    Recurring conflicts: Sometimes, the same issue keeps coming up in our relationships. These issues can be especially hard to address. You may struggle to find ways to resolve a certain recurring conflict after avoiding it for too long; perhaps you’re uncertain about how to discuss an issue in a constructive way; or maybe you’ve made attempts at resolution without seeing results. I can help you and your partner(s) explore these issues and find ways to address them in a way that respects everyone’s needs.

    Sexual issues: Sexuality is a part of most intimate relationships, but it doesn’t always come easily. If you need help addressing you or your partner(s)’s sexual needs or dynamic, I can help you explore these matters from a non-judgemental, sex-positive perspective.

    Infidelity and affairs: Emotional infidelity and sexual affairs can wreak havoc in a relationship if not properly addressed–but it doesn’t have to mean the end of the relationship. Without judgment, I can help you and your partner(s) address an affair that has occurred. As with all my services, I take a sex-positive approach that seeks to ensure everyone’s needs and desires are fulfilled. For more information, see the Infidelity Therapy for Individuals and Couples section below.

    • Problematic porn usage: Sex is a natural human impulse, and pornography use can be a regular part of a healthy sex life. And sometimes, pornography can become a compulsion that interferes with your relationship. I can provide non-judgmental, sex-positive support to help you and your partner develop  perspectives, priorities, and practices around porn usage that are more beneficial to your relationship.

    Separation: Whether you need help ending a relationship that has run its course, or support maintaining a healthy relationship with a former romantic partner, I can support you and your partner(s) in building separate lives that honor your individual needs, while ensuring any remaining ties are functional and fulfilling. For more information, see the Uncoupling section below. For divorcing couples with children, see the Divorce Support for Families with Children section.

     Polyamory: Most of us are raised to believe that romantic and sexual relationships involve two people, but there are countless ways to build romantic and sexual connections. If you or your partner would like to explore a relationship dynamic that allows for other people to join your romantic or sexual relationship, I can help you explore a variety of dynamics and find the one that bests addresses both of your needs. Or, if you’re currently in a polyamorous relationship and are struggling to maintain it in a healthy, trusting way, I can support you and your partner in ensuring everyone’s needs are met, without judgement.

    Recommended Reading

    Most Couples Financially Incompatible. Having a Money Talk Could Help
    Sharon Epperson, CNBC

    These Simple Questions are Relationship Super Glue
    Eleni N. Gage, Oprah Daily

    33 Premarital Counseling Questions (From a Couples Therapist)
    Laura Richer, Anchor Light Therapy Collective

    The Tree Who Set Healthy Boundaries
    Topher Payne

    How a Single Sentence — and a Tennis Metaphor — Can Save Relationships from Imploding
    Jessica Benda, Los Angeles Times

    Individual Versus Couple Therapy: What Format Is Best for Marital Problems
    Susan Heitler, PhD, GoodTherapy

    Never Use These 2 Words When Giving an Apology—They Make You Sound ‘Fake and Insincere,’ Say Experts
    Kenji Yoshino and David Glasgow, CNBC

    Harvard-trained Psychologist: If You Use Any of These 9 Phrases Every Day, ‘Your Relationship is More Successful’ Than Most
    Dr. Cortney Warren, CNBC

    ‘Gender Inequities are Important’: Why Couples Fall out of Love
    Andrew Anthony, The Guardian

    I’m a Sex Educator. Here’s the Biggest Myth about Desire in Long-Term Relationships
    Emily Nagoski, The Guardian


    Breathing Room: Creating Space to Be a Couple
    Elayne Savage

    Set Boundaries, Find Peace: A Guide to Reclaiming Yourself
     Nedra Glover Tawwab


    If you know you’re ready to end a relationship, I can help you do so in a fair and healthy way. Using concepts from what some refer to as conscious uncoupling, I can help mediate a mindful end to relationships for the benefit of all involved. This can be particularly useful for married couples seeking divorce. For divorcing couples with children, see the Divorce Support for Families with Children section.

    Transracial Relationships

    If you’re in a transracial (also known as interracial) relationship and are interested in navigating the social and cultural issues that impact your relationship–including but not limited to whiteness and white privilege–in a justice-oriented way, I can help guide this process. For support navigating a transracial family, click here.

    Infidelity Therapy for Individuals and Couples

    Infidelity can take many forms–from sexual affairs, to emotional infidelity, to problematic porn usage–and it’s often a betrayal and boundary violation that can not only disrupt your relationship, but also your own physical and mental health. If infidelity has become an issue in your relationship, you may be feeling anxious, confused, paranoid, uncertain and exhausted by the emotional toll.

    It may feel apocalyptic, but it doesn’t have to be–you can heal and, if both partners so desire, repair the relationship. Whether you’d like to discuss your own behavior, or a partner’s, I can provide non-judgmental support to help you process and address infidelity–individually or with your partner, in a couples therapy setting–in a way that honors both partners’ feelings, needs and desires.

    You may want to attempt to repair the relationship together; you may explore other relationship dynamics; or you may decide to end the relationship. I’m here to help you explore your feelings and your options, and to find a way forward that is beneficial and healing for all involved.

    Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse

    Does your partner constantly put you down with negative comments or inconsiderate jokes? Do they try to maintain control in your relationship by pushing you away from other friends and loved ones, pitting others against you, or controlling your finances? Do they give you the silent treatment, guilt-trip you, blackmail you, demean you, or otherwise manipulate you? If so, you may be experiencing narcissistic abuse.

    Narcissistic abuse can be difficult to identify and heal from, because it challenges a lot of our society’s ideas about abuse. Abuse isn’t always physical or overt, and narcissists aren’t always grandiose extroverts with high self-esteem. In fact, whether they’re an introverted, covert narcissist, or an extroverted, classic narcissist, most narcissists almost always have extremely low self-esteem. They cope with this by using people and relationships as a means to their own ends.

    If you are currently in or have been in a relationship with an abusive narcissist, you may find yourself struggling with shame, anxiety, depression, or other difficult emotional—or even physical—symptoms. But you don’t have to live this way. You deserve so much more than that.

    Through my Therapy for Narcissistic Abuse, I can give you the support you need to heal and move on—from recognizing and processing the abuse, to managing symptoms and healing wounds, and ultimately learning to trust again.

    Additional Resources



    Recommended Reading

    How to Tell If Someone Is Gaslighting You
    Newport Institute

    How Micromanipulations Help Narcissists Stay in Control
    Kristy Lee Hochenberger Ph.D., Psychology Today

    Narcissism & Codependency: You Can’t have One without the Other.
    Stacy Hoch, Elephant Journal

    Overcoming Narcissistic Abuse
    Avaya University


    The Wizard of Oz and Other Narcissists: Coping with the One-Way Relationship in Work, Love, and Family
    Eleanor D. Payson

    The Verbally Abusive Relationship: How to Recognize It and How to Respond
    Patricia Evans

    Verbal Abuse: Survivors Speak Out on Relationship and Recovery
    Patricia Evans

    Victory Over Verbal Abuse: A Healing Guide to Renewing Your Spirit and Reclaiming Your Life
    Patricia Evans

    The Verbally Abusive Man—Can He Change? A Woman’s Guide to Deciding Whether to Stay or Go
    Patricia Evans

    Borderline, Narcissistic and Schizoid Adaptations: The Pursuit of Love, Admiration and Safety
    Elinor Greenberg

    The Covert Passive Aggressive Narcissist
    Debbie Mirza

    Psychopath Free
    Jackson Mackenzie

    Should I Stay or Should I Go? Surviving a Relationship with a Narcissist
    Ramani Durvasula

    Healing from a Narcissistic Relationship: A Caretaker’s Guide to Recovery, Empowerment, and Transformation
    Margalos Fjelstd