Marriage & Relationship Counseling

3 Steps to Get Out of the Blame/ Shame Game

Working with Troubled Relationships

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 couples/ partners to get out of the stuck places, negative ruts and reactive arguments faster and more effectively.

How I Work

Using the latest discoveries in neuroscience, combined with powerful and effective developments in relationship 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), Dr Dan Siegel (leading neuroscientist/researcher) and Dr Stan Tatkin PsyD (clinician, researcher, teacher, and developer of a Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy® PACT) It is possible to move through the roadblocks and obstacles to better communication and greater understanding. Rediscover and deepen your connection to your partner by learning how to navigate difficult conversations and feelings effectively.


What is EFT and Why Use it?

I have trained in several of the most effective modalities for helping relationships. The main lens I use however is EFT because the research shows that it works.

EFT stands for Emotionally Focused Therapy. It was developed by Dr Sue Johnson. Research shows that 90% of couples report significant improvement within 12-20 sessions of EFT. Two years after couples therapy, studies show that 80% have maintained their gains, and 60% are doing even better!  Compare this to other couples therapies, for which these figures are 35% and 20%.

EFT is the only couples therapy to receive the top rating by the American Psychological Association as empirically validated: more than twice as effective, and longer lasting. If this is your relationship then its important to go with the best, try EFT and see for yourself.


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 no obligation phone consultation so I can answer your questions and concerns. Ondina Nandine Hatvany, MFT at (415) 381-1065 (confidential office line) or email

Communication 101

Learn communication skills that move beyond “right” or “wrong” to a place of understanding. 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! 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.

“Out beyond ideas of wrong doing and right doing, there is a field. I’ll meet you there.” – Rumi



Wired for Love: How Understanding Your Partner’s Brain and Attachment Style Can Help You Defuse Conflict and Build a Secure Relationship

By: Stan Tatkin PsyD. This is my most recent “must have” book that I highly recommend for anyone in a relationship! As Stan summarizes: ”What the heck is my partner thinking?” is a common refrain in romantic relationships, and with good reason. Every person is wired for love differently, with different habits,  needs, and reactions to conflict. The good news is that most people’s minds work in predictable ways and respond well to security, attachment, and rituals, making it possible to actually neurologically prime the brain for greater love and fewer conflicts. Wired for Love is a complete insider’s guide to understanding your partner’s brain and enjoying a romantic relationship built on love and trust.

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 relationships. 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. Read about other partners 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(s) with these fail proof guidelines.

Getting the Love You Want

By: Harville Hendrix, PhD. Learn how to create a conscious and mature relationship(s) by learning from what your parents/caregivers modeled instead of unconsciously repeating it.

Polyamory in the 21st Century – Love and Intimacy with Multiple Partners

by Deborah Anapol, 2012

The Jealousy Workbook- Exercises and Insights for Managing Open Relationships

by Labriola, Kathy

For Couples Dealing with Sexual Trauma

The Sexual Healing Journey; A Guide For Survivors of Sexual Abuse (Revised Edition)

By: Wendy Maltz. 2001. 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!

Allies in Healing – When the Person You Love was Sexually Abused as a Child

By: Laura Davis. 1991. Healing is a multi-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.

Ghosts in the Bedroom: A Guide for the Partners of Incest Survivors

By: Ken Graber. 1991. 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 partners in a way that helps foster more understanding.

Want to survive the affair? This book is a must read:

Not “Just Friends”: Rebuilding Trust and Recovering Your Sanity After Infidelity

By: Shirley Glass. 2004.


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.

For a fascinating look at what makes relationships work from a neurobiological perspective check out this smart and funny relationship expert!

For how to open your mind and relationship check out Tristan Taormino’s book and website-This book will “change the way you think about intimacy – and will help you decide if an open relationship is right for you.”

For those interested in Poly/ Open relationships or new to it, Franklin Veaux’s site is full of useful information.