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Couples Counseling

Therapy for Couples In and Around Westlake/South Lake Union
Both the Gottman Method and Emotion Focused Therapy, or EFT, are different from other approaches to relationship counseling because they each have a huge amount of science behind them. Distinct but complimentary, these approaches are based on a well-documented understanding and science of love (love is both an art and a science!), resulting from all of the research that has been done over the past 40 years regarding successful relationships. So it is not some sort of advice about how to improve your relationship - it's really about understanding love in a whole new way, and understanding what responses from your partner really matter to truly create safety and connection.

Seattle Men's Counselor - Justin Pere Through relationship counseling, I help straight and same-sex couples learn to short-circuit arguments and address conflict more constructively, quickly get below the surface anger and content of the issue at hand, and instead address directly what is fueling the sense of disconnection from underneath, resulting in bonding, connection, safety, and stability. Couples I work with learn to disarm conflicting verbal communication, increase intimacy, respect, and affection, remove barriers that create a feeling of stagnancy in conflicting situations, and create a heightened sense of empathy and understanding within the context of the relationship.

A sense of secure connection between romantic partners is key in positive loving relationships and a huge source of strength for individuals in those relationships. Among the more significant benefits of a securely-attached relationship:

Secure connection to a loved one is empowering. When we feel safely connected to others, we understand ourselves better and like ourselves more. Openness to new experience and flexibility of belief seems to be easier when we feel safe and connected to others.
When we feel generally secure, that is, we are comfortable with closeness and confident about depending on loved ones, we are better at seeking support, and better at giving it.
Hundreds of studies now show that positive loving connections with our partners protect us from stress and help us cope better with life's challenges and traumas.
When we feel safely linked to our partners, we more easily roll with the hurts they inevitably inflict, and we are less likely to be aggressively hostile when we get mad at them.
The more we reach out to our partners, the more separate and independent we can be. When we feel our needs are accepted by our partners, we're more comfortable about solving problems on our own and are more likely to successfully achieve our own goals.

Goals of Couples Counseling
Through our sessions couples learn how to:

Enjoy your relationship again
Get beyond judgment, blaming, and defensiveness
Overcome negative interactive patterns
Decrease power struggles
Resolve conflict by communicating more openly and effectively
Restore intimacy and sex
Remain responsive and respectful rather than reactive
Focus on building solutions in a collaborative process that strengthens connection
Work as a parental team when children are involved

If you are a couple in crisis, our time together will help you understand what the crisis is all about and how to move out of it to repair your relationship. If you are currently in a healthy relationship but want to enhance that relationship, keep it strong, and make it last, I can help.