Options   Since my wife and I both work with couples, you can choose one of us for regular counseling, or we can collaborate.  Sometimes  couples have a preference for a male or a female counselor.  Here you have a choice.  Sometimes one or the other of us has expertise that applies specifically to what you are dealing with. Susan is an expert with trauma, which will affect a couple if either person has experienced it, as well as early childhood attachment  patterns which impact the marriage.  David is good helping men learn skills for good relationship and is also skilled in sex therapy. 

Sometimes you can see David for several sessions, and then Susan for several.  Or you can work with us together to gain the advantage of two separate therapists and their points of view, a male and female perspective and all the life experience that goes with it.  We can also demonstrate the tools we are teaching you, since sometimes it's easier to see the way it works when you're not personally involved.

You can also do assessments that reveal an understanding of your marriage you never had.  It's similar to getting blood tests or x-rays at your doctors office.  It gives you a look at the hidden causes of your conflict, to understand exactly what's going on.  It gives you a structure for interpreting even the behavior that drives you nuts in your partner in a way that allows a compassionate new kind of understanding of each other, and unified understanding to begin to build from.

Intensives  Have you tried couples counseling with little or no improvement?  Do the demands of your schedule make it difficult to attend weekly therapy sessions?  Are you in crisis and need work immediately to save the relationship?

Our Couples Breakthrough Intensives may be right for you! You can choose a 3 hour assessment-based checkup, or anywhere from 1-4 days of intensive work, 6 hours each day. You can thus get the equivalent of up to 6 months of therapy in a long weekend. In this approach, you can get to the core issues quickly, begin learning what to change in your handling of the relationship, and practice the new skills as you learn them. You get experience with the new approaches instead of waiting in between sessions only to return to the old ways. We bring our own experience as a couple and describe it to you as we work, and even show you in real conversations between us about us.

I am a Clinical Psychologist, and my wife Susan is a Marriage and Family Counselor. You can join us for a comprehensive, solution-focused weekend designed to break through the patterns that are keeping you stuck. With a full array of psychological tests & assessments given before the weekend, we come in knowing exactly what needs to be targeted to get you on the right track quickly. We work with one couple at a time or with several couples together depending on which format would be most beneficial to you.

We offer intensives at our offices in downtown Pleasanton, if you live in the Bay Area. We also offer weekday or weekend intensives in our Truckee location. Also perfect for couples in the Bay Area with second homes, or who want to combine a getaway weekend with in depth couples work.  

Common Issues  Many times there is a loss of desire or loss of romantic interest, especially for women.  For many men it's the ongoing frustration with sexual satisfaction.  Almost always it's a repeating pattern in your conflict, where you just keep having the same argument over and over... the circumstances change, but not the script.

There are common patterns what couples seek in counseling. I have come to see these issues as part of every relationship.  The key is to begin seeing the issues as having two "realities"... Your view AND your partner's view.  Instead of thinking that one of you is right, you think about what is right for each of you.  There is a saying, "You can be right, or you can be married.  You can't have both."  You have to start thinking what will be a win for both of you.

Thank goodness we have the keys to be able to start progress right now.  No more repeating the same argument over and over, endlessly playing out the pattern as love slowly erodes away.  Start working not only for what's good for you, but also what is good for the relationship.

Sex is always a crucible where the differences in the relationship translate to differences in needs in the bedroom. Power struggles don't work anyway, but especially in intimacy.  It can't be, "I try to give sex to him because if I don't, he's unbearable.  But he doesn't seem to get that I have given him a gift.  He just seems like that's the way its supposed to be.  Or, "It seems like she always makes excuses when I come on to her.  And why do I always have to be the one who starts things, anyway?  I feel ripped off."  Just like in everything else, there has to be direct and honest negotiation of what each of you needs.  Not compromise, but rather creative solutions that represent both of you.