Therapy Approach

In my work with individuals, couples and families, I utilize an integrated approach. I am able to draw upon a variety of interventions based upon my client's particular needs.

Throughout my years of training and experience I have found that every individual, couple or family unit is unique and therefore is in need of a uniquely tailored therapeutic approach. For some individuals that may involve revisiting their childhood and working through issues from the past. For others that may involve changing their negative thought patterns and related behaviors. While for many it may involve a combination of the two. These are only some examples of my approach.

In my opinion, therapy is not only about identifying a person's problem but, perhaps more importantly, about locating a person's strengths. Working with my clients to discover those strengths enables us to name and utilize them to tackle the problem. While embarking on this process, it is essential that my clients feel safe, secure, respected and understood. In my work, I attend to the therapist-client relationship first.


It is not uncommon for a couple to be committed to their relationship but at the same time, unhappy in it. This can leave partners struggling with a painful dilemma: “I can’t live with the other” and at the same time “I can’t live without the other”. Experiencing such a dilemma over an extended period of time can feel like an enormous burden and can easily jeopardize one’s well-being. Though couples in such a situation are often looking for relief, the option of couple therapy is not always considered. This is sometimes due to a lack of knowledge about when couple therapy can be helpful.


I will try and outline below some common reasons for a couple to seek out therapy and, in general terms, my therapeutic approach to each. It is not uncommon for a couple to be struggling with a combination of these factors, which warrants an integration of therapeutic approaches. For the sake of clarity, however, I will address each separately.

  1. Feeling Stuck: The couple finds they conflict in the same way, over and over again, with no success. The nature of their interaction takes on the same pattern as it did yesterday, last month, last year, 10 years ago or even 20 years ago. Partner A always does “this” and Partner B always does “that”. The more A does “this”, the more B does “that”. The more B does “that”, the more A does “this”. The specifics may change but the overall negative cycle remains the same.
    In couple therapy, I identify these cycles and assist people in interrupting them, replacing negative cycles with positive ones.
  2. Feeling Misunderstood: The couple finds that they cannot communicate effectively with each other. One partner may invest an enormous amount of energy in explaining his or her perspective to the other, while the second partner may cut off communication completely. At the end, both feel rejected and let down by what they perceive as their partner’s lack of comprehension of who they are. Furthermore, they each feel a lack of compassion and empathy from the other.
    In couple therapy, I identify ineffective communication patterns and teach couples to replace them with active listening and effective dialogue skills that incorporate compassion and true empathy for the other.
  3. Feeling Betrayed: A secret has been revealed. One partner discovers that the other has had an extramarital affair or has been engaging in a significant activity behind his or her back; huge financial expenditures and substance abuse are some examples. The betrayal is devastating. Both the betrayer and the betrayed are suffering enormously; one with guilt and shame, the other with an intense feeling of abandonment. The couple’s relationship is shattered but both partners do not want to let go.
    In couple therapy, I focus on helping the betrayer own his or her behavior, honour the other partner’s emotions, and rebuild the trust. Together we explore the root cause of the deception, while closely examining the couple dynamic prior to the act of disloyalty. I also assist the betrayed in forgiving and letting go.
  4. Feeling Confused: On the surface the relationship appears to work. The household runs smoothly, the couple shares many interests and activities and their commitment and love remain stable. For some unknown reason, however, each person is dissatisfied & finds him or herself frequently upset with the other.
    In couple therapy, I examine the couple’s dynamic beneath the surface. Together we revisit their families of origin and attempt to identify past unresolved events that may be triggered in their current relationship. I then assist individuals in differentiating the past from the present and expanding the areas of strength between them in the ‘here and now’.
  5. Feeling Torn: The couple finds themselves alternating between a desire to save their relationship and a desire to end it. They are looking for a professional opinion on which choice would serve as the healthiest one for each of them.
    Through a thorough assessment, often conducted with each partner individually and then with the couple as a unit, I am able to come forward with a recommendation. If it appears to me that the relationship is worth saving, I would then identify the problematic issues of highest importance and would propose a realistic treatment plan.

As you read my outline, you may find that I have not covered your particular couple problem. There certainly exists a broader spectrum of issues that can also benefit from therapy. Regardless of what they are, couples need to keep in mind that it is not unusual to find your relationship caught in an unhealthy place over an extended period of time. If you are struggling to pull yourself out of this place on your own, it is worthwhile to consider the therapy route.