Marriage & Couples Counseling
3 Steps for Couples to Get Out of the Blame/ Shame Game
Working with Troubled Couples
Tired of going around in the same old circular arguments?
Worse, have you completely stopped communicating with your partner?
Do you wonder where the love, trust and intimacy have gone?
I work with traditional, queer and alternative couples to get out of the stuck places, negative ruts and reactive arguments.
Using the latest discoveries in neuroscience , combined with powerful and effective developments in couple’s research, I use an eclectic approach that combines the work of Dr Sue Johnson (founder of Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy), the Couples Therapy Institute (one of the top couples therapy institutes in the country), and Dr Dan Siegel (leading neuroscientist/researcher).
It is possible to move through the roadblocks to better communication and greater understanding.
Rediscover and deepen your connection to your partner by learning how to navigate difficult conversations and feelings effectively.
Learn communication skills that move beyond “right” or “wrong” to a place of understanding.
“There is a field beyond ideas of wrong doing or right doing- I’ll meet you there”
Learn how to negotiate any situation regardless of how polarized you and your partner have become on the issue. Successful negotiation doesn’t mean agreeing with your partner either!
“It’s better to be curious rather than furious”
Peter Bader (Director of the Couples Therapy Institute)
Pain and trauma can interfere with creating the relationship you want. Learn how to recognize when you’re triggered so that you can ask for what you need. Move beyond simply reacting to your partner to a place of empowerment where you choose how you want to respond.
Thinking of Starting a Family?
Create the right home and family environment for your newborn by healing rifts in your relationship before baby arrives. All too often couples make the mistake of thinking that having a baby will bring them closer and repair their relationship. Don’t fall in this trap!
Making your relationship solid is the biggest gift you can give your newborn and by the way yourselves!
So often we aren’t prepared for the enormous changes a baby brings into a marriage. Despite being forewarned about sleepless nights and other stressors, it is hard to prepare for the added pressures on your relationship. Mom’s attention is absorbed by baby, as it should be, but this can leave your partner feeling out on a limb and wondering how to embrace their new role as the co-parent.
The joy of a new baby can feel eclipsed by stressors with your partner.
Pre-existing problems in your relationship can be magnified by things like:
- postpartum depression (possible for both Mom and Dad!)
- sleepless nights
- being suddenly thrust into all the new demands that parenting entails
All this can make you and your partner more reactive with each other and more prone to unproductive fighting.
Build a solid foundation for your family by focusing on a creating a strong partnership.
Learn how to develop:
- the three key factors for a healthy and happy relationship
- effective conflict resolution and negotiation skills so that you can address any problem, big or small
- a united co-parenting team for your baby, which will become even more important as your baby grows older
Remember: What you model in terms of healthy relationship and good communication skills is what your baby will learn from and repeat.
A Major Cost Saver
Take care of your relationship impasses and conflicts now rather than later. If you wait until they have reached crisis or boiling point, the motivation to do the repair work might be higher, but it will usually take longer and cost more.
Dealing with issues now is a big cost saver both emotionally and financially.
Call for an initial free telephone consultation so I can answer your questions and concerns….
Let your relationship be the vehicle for your growth.
Have the relationship you’ve always wanted.
Call Ondina Nandine Hatvany, MFT at (415) 381-1065 (office/ confidential voicemail) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to Survive the Affair? This book is a must read:
Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity (2004) by Shirley Glass
This is an excellent and highly informative site from a national expert on affairs. Self described as ‘Extramarital Affairs Resource Center – On the web since 1996′. It includes many articles from her books. Check out her latest Book: ‘The Monogamy Myth- A personal Handbook for Recovering from Affairs’. www.dearpeggy.com
‘Hold Me Tight- 7 Conversations for a Lifetime of Love’ by Dr Sue Johnson
This is a book for both couples and professionals who work with couples. Learn how to recognize “Demon Dialogues” and forgive injuries, by the founder of Emotionally Focused Therapy. An approach endorsed by the American Psychological Association as one of the most successful approaches to creating loving relationships.
‘Mating in Captivity- Unlocking Erotic Intelligence’ by Esther Perel
This book poses the interesting questions: Can we desire what we already have? Does good intimacy make for hot sex? This book addresses the challenge of maintaining sexual excitement/ desire in long term relationships.
‘Tell Me No Lies’ by Dr Ellyn Bader and Peter Pearson
(Founders of the Couples Therapy Institute)
Read about other couples who struggle with the same things you do in relationship. Learn how they break through the lies to build stronger partnerships and marriages
‘Being Me, Loving You: A Practical Guide to Extraordinary Relationships’ by Dr. Marshall Rosenberg
Dr. Marshall Rosenberg- Founder of non-violent communication. Learn how to communicate about the most difficult and charged issues in your relationship with these fail proof guidelines.
‘Getting the Love You Want’ by Harville Hendrix, PhD
Learn how to create a conscious and mature relationship by learning from what your parents/caregivers modeled instead of unconsciously repeating it.
For Couples Dealing with Sexual Trauma
The Sexual Healing Journey; A Guide For Survivors of Sexual Abuse (Revised Edition) (2001) by Wendy Maltz
This book speaks directly to people of all genders, sexual orientations, and the entire spectrum of sexual abuse experiences. It offers step by step instructions to find a healing path. Also it is heartening to hear the stories of other survivors and their partners who are able to make amazing progress. Another must read!
Ghosts in the Bedroom: A Guide for the Partners of Incest Survivors (1991) by Ken Graber
For a quick read and lots of information this book is a good introduction. The author gives a quick overview of what lies ahead for the couple in a way that helps foster more understanding.
Allies in Healing - When the Person You Love was Sexually Abused as a Child (1991) by Laura Davis
Healing is a two person job. This is required reading for anyone in a relationship with a survivor! It’s full of practical advice and written in a question-and-answer format, making it easy to find what you need.
Essential Books for Parents
Why Love Matters- How Affection Shapes the Baby’s Brain by Sue Gerhardt (2004)
This book will open your eyes to the fundamentals of brain development in infancy and the importance of responsive parenting. Ideas are well backed by scientific research but still very readable for the lay person.
‘Raising Happiness: 10 Simple Steps for More Joyful Kids and Happier Parents’ by Christine Carter (2010)
Christine Carter, PhD, is a sociologist and happiness expert who directs the Greater Good Science Center’s parenting program in Berkeley, California. Drawing on what psychology, sociology, and neuroscience reveal about the factors that create joy and strong relationships, Carter teaches simple skills to improve relationships with children, spouses, and ex-spouses. Also be sure to check out the online course for parents by Christine Carter: www.raisinghappiness.com
‘And Baby Makes 3′ by John Gottman
Gottman has written a whole host of books based on his research of some 20+ years with couples. His approach could be named “the science of love.” He asks the question: what makes one relationship work and not the other? Read Gottman and find out!
‘How to Talk so Kids will Listen and Listen so Kids will Talk’ by Adele Faber and Elaine Mazlish
This is a parent’s essential and easy read.
‘Parenting from the Inside Out’ by Daniel Siegel, MD and Mary Hartell, MEd
This book looks at what is needed in a child’s environment to foster optimal development. While written by a neuroscientist, it is very personable and readable. This one is a must have for new parents.
‘For Lesbian Parents: Your Guide to Helping Your Family Grow Up Happy, Healthy, and Proud’ by Suzanne M Johnson Phd and Elizabeth O’Connor Phd (2001)
“A ‘must read’ for lesbian mothers and moms-to-be as well as those lucky enough to have such a family in their lives” – Leslea Newman, author of ‘Heather Has Two Mommies’
‘Lesbian and Gay Parents and Their Children: Research on the Family Life Cycle (Contemporary Perspectives on Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Psychology)’ by Abbie E. Goldberg (2009)
A well researched and very readable resource for both families and the clinician, this book can be read by a wide audience. Also a wonderful resource for prospective and active lesbian and gay parents and their children.
‘Gay Dads: A Celebration of Fatherhood’ by David Strah And Susanna Margolis (2004)
Beautifully written, David Strah the author, is a master story teller. In this book David looks at twenty five different situations, including his own, that offer a wide range of options, revealing the relationship that gay men have with their children, their community and families. It also has a reference section where the reader can gain more information and assistance in their goals to adopt a child.
Hand in Hand Parenting
This is an invaluable site for the new parent. It provides resources, training, and lots of support for parents of young children. For over 20 years, the Parenting by Connection approach has brought parents practical tools that can resolve universal family challenges.
The Relationship Institute
Both Couples Therapy and Marriage Friendly Therapy Counseling using Intimacy Therapy to overcome marriage infidelity and affairs, as well as to improve relationships.
The Couples Therapy Institute
Founders Dr Ellyn Bader and Dr Peter Pearson are recognized worldwide for their pioneering work in marriage counseling and couples therapy.
Check out this site for free articles and a newsletter that will show you how other couples have dealt with such subjects as how to handle a passive aggressive partner, forgiveness and honesty. Learn about their popular “Coming From Your Heart” workshop for couples.
The Center for Non Violent Communication
The world renowned approach created by Dr Marshall Rosenberg for communicating needs in an empowered way. He works with individuals, couples and even countries to build instead of burn bridges.
Esther Perel is a world renowned speaker on the subject of erotic intelligence. She has appeared on multiple TV shows including the Oprah Winfrey Show, the Today Show and CBS This Morning to address the subject of how to keep desire and excitement alive in long term relationships.
Project Happily Ever After
Check out this blog for helpful advice from a woman who brought her marriage back from the brink of divorce and wrote a book about it.
Bay Area Open Minds
A group of San Francisco Bay Area psychotherapists who affirm that sexual and gender diversity are natural expressions of the human experience. They also welcome and serve clients who engage in consensual sexual behaviors, including but not limited to kink and polyamory, and clients who are gender variant.
Poly-Friendly Professionals is a list of professionals who have identified themselves as being open-minded about polyamory and polyamorous issues.
A must have site for queer families in the Bay Area. Go here for support groups, social events and social justice advocacy.
Mombian.com – Sustenance for Lesbian Moms
To quote the creator of the site: “Mombian provides parenting tips, children’s activities, book reviews for parents and children, and political news and commentary, all from the perspective of a lesbian mom. It also includes a helping of lesbian culture and entertainment, in the belief that mothers don’t lose their other interests the moment they become parents.”
Last but not least: Romance – Ideas to bring the romance back!
Get ideas here…www.romancetips.com/tips