I am a creative, dedicated, and passionate registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist.
I have a wide range of experience working with people in all stages of life, helping them to become happier and healthier as individuals, in couples, and in families. I integrate art therapy to enable couples and families to explore their emotions and create meaningful and authentic connections.
Strength, resiliency, and connection are essential elements of a lasting, satisfying, and harmonious relationship. I believe that these are the building blocks for healing, forgiveness, and positive progress. I provide a safe, nurturing, and judgement-free space where couples can explore resolutions to a current problem, prevent an exacerbation of problems, or simply provide support for a couple experiencing a period of transition or increased stress.
Couples in Conflict
Every relationship has conflict. I work with couples to reduce emotional distress and promote healing. I facilitate the discovery of fresh energy to recreate a healthy connection. My nurturing approach fosters self-agency. My goal is to help couples work through problems together, in a healthy, authentic way. This can be challenging, especially because stressors can come from many different sources. I focus on the wonderful benefits that relationships can offer and I work with you both on overcoming your challenges.
My aim is to enable you to strengthen your bond. I seek to change the way you view your relationship. You will learn the practical skills necessary to view your relationship more objectively. I invite you to shift from blaming each other for the problems in your partnership to looking at the process of your disagreements. From there we will reframe the conversation to create the relationship you desire.
Openness to learning and forgiveness is found through listening to your partner with patience and respect. I teach effective communication which enables mutual understanding between people with different sensitivities. With greater empathy comes the ability to heal. Your therapy session is a safe space, here together we break obstacles down into more manageable pieces. Feeling heard and understood creates the trust necessary for solving problems together.
Stephen understands the manifold challenges that neurodiverse couples face. He can assist you in finding ways to grow into a more connected relationship. This is done by gaining an insight into the relational dynamics behind the problem and by supporting both partners in understanding their roles in the relationship. More importantly, you will be taught to apply the skills you have learned in therapy to your day-to-day interactions. You can read more at this link.
Grief in Couples Work
When one partner is struggling with grief, depression, or anxiety, it necessarily impacts the other person and the relationship. In the midst of strong emotions, it can be challenging to empathize with your partner. When couples are sharing a mutual loss, it may threaten their bond.
Overwhelming grief and the pain of loss can bring out our defenses as we try to make sense of complex emotions. This reaction, though entirely understandable, can lead to emotional withdrawal and feelings of disaffection. My work offers an authentic, honest approach. Here, you bravely face your defensiveness and negative coping strategies to learn crucial coping skills of emotional regulation and awareness. These skills enable the growth of more conducive behaviors, leading to increased well-being and enhanced connection.
My approach to grief work comes from a fundamental understanding of grief and mourning. The treatment I offer is based on compassion. I work alongside you to understand your grief, discover your strengths, and unearth the motivation to recover. My goal is to help you process your grief and find catharsis so that you can move forward as a couple.
Depression in Couples Work
I understand the pain depression causes and how it deeply affects a couple. Feelings of sadness, loss of interest in pleasure and physical intimacy, feelings of worthlessness or guilt, and thoughts of death take a heavy toll on a relationship.
My approach focuses on improving couples’ wellbeing and resilience. This enables improved closeness and enhanced partner support. I use behavioral interventions that focus on exchanges between partners, communication, and problem-solving. In addition, I focus on increasing caring behaviors and reducing conflict between partners. Couple therapy is designed to decrease depression by using acceptance-based strategies that promote emotional acceptance between partners and decrease their emotional reactivity to each other to improve relationship functioning.
Anxiety in Couples Work
As human beings, we are wired to connect with others. We need relationships and when we are connected to people who make us feel safe, liked, and loved we feel better. Anxiety blocks us from accessing the deeply connected relationships we need to thrive.
Anxiety impacts our health—mentally, emotionally, and physically. It also has a negative effect on the health of your relationship. Anxiety can cause periods of panic, feelings of fear or overwhelm, and a general sense of unease and tension. If you are feeling a strain on your relationship, anxiety may be playing a role. Could anxiety be putting your relationship at risk?
My approach encourages you to be more purposeful, to live in the moment. I help you make determined steps to build trust in your partner. I support you to be open when you’re feeling worried, you will learn to consciously reach out to your partner. I help you acknowledge your authentic feelings and focus on addressing your needs. As your self-esteem grows you will approach your partner with kindness and compassion. Clearly ask for the support you need to feel loved and understood. We will work together to move past the discomfort of anxiety to be present with your partner.
Past trauma is another potential source of discord in a couple. In addition to strength-based work, my therapeutic approach is trauma-informed in order to support you in the process of trauma integration and healing. I provide treatment that activates the body, mind, and brain with expressive methods that are engaging and empowering.
Areas of Focus:
Separation and Divorce
Parent and child conflicts
Depression and Anxiety
Trauma and Stress
Grief and loss and shame
Forgiveness and Self-forgiveness
Jungian Therapy, Humanistic Therapy, Trauma-Informed Therapy
Couples and Families, Adults, Adolescents, Children
MA, Registered Associate, MFTA #126705
Supervised by Dr Harry Motro, LMFT #53452
Contact and Website: