Relationship Counseling

With the added stress of work, the ubiquitous interruptions of social media, and the breakneck pace of our lives, cultivating a good relationship with your spouse or partner may seem like a herculean task. The nature of relationships inevitably results in disagreements, issues, or problems between people. This tendency can be amplified in long-term romantic relationships. The more time you spend with someone, the more likely you will face a challenge that puts the relationship at risk. But it’s not impossible to enjoy a functional, positive, and mutually beneficial relationship. Whether you and your significant other are struggling to make time for one another, finding it difficult to communicate effectively, or dealing with something a little heavier, relationship counseling can be an important key to relationship success.


Problems communicating (too little, inconsistent, or negative).

Premarital counseling, including preparing a good foundation before marriage.

Sexual issues causing problems between partners.

Infidelity, whether physical or emotional.

Managing other relationships which can impact the romantic relationship (boundaries).

Nontraditional relationships, such as polyamory or asexual relationships.

Blended families, who often face a unique set of challenges.

End of a relationship, including divorce or the death of a partner.

Lack of emotional vulnerability, including feeling ignored, insecure and other pitfalls.


While not an exhaustive list, most couples cite one of these as the primary reason for contacting me. Relationship counseling can help with all of these concerns. It can teach couples about healthy disagreements or help them tackle bigger issues endangering the relationship. The goals of therapy, and each individual session, may differ depending on the problems at that time. However, there are five general principles that guide relationship therapy.


One of the most meaningful outcomes of relationship counseling involves helping both partners to modify their behavior towards one another, specifically the behaviors that are harmful. Even those with the best intentions may inadvertently cause their partner unnecessary pain. Relationship counseling can target these behaviors and guide couples through the process of recognizing, acknowledging, and altering them.


We often get stuck in patterns of behavior or thought, which can make us lose sight of the bigger picture. We have a blind spot when it comes to the ways in which we contribute to the relationship’s troubles, focusing instead on what our partner is doing wrong. Relationship counseling can help each individual step back and take a more objective view of the relationship, as well as the specific problems they are experiencing.


Communication is the foundation of every relationship. For a relationship to flourish, both participants must share their feelings with one another. Though you may have different levels of comfort in sharing personal thoughts and feelings, there is a minimum level of communication that must occur to enable a healthy relationship. Relationship counseling can help the couple to identify and express their feelings with each other, rather than avoiding difficult topics and uncomfortable emotions.


As noted, communication is essential in repairing and maintaining a good relationship. Aside from encouraging couples to share emotions with one another, couples must also learn how to constructively communicate with one another in general. In addition to teaching couples about healthy communication and the pitfalls to avoid when sharing with one another, counseling can help couples improve their communication skills. The emphasis is not just on communicating, but communicating effectively, which requires active listening and empathy.


Every relationship has its strengths and weaknesses, and while some of therapy will be problem-oriented, effective therapy also celebrates and enhances the relationship’s strengths. Relationship counseling helps couples identify their strengths, but also allows them to decide for themselves what is best about their relationship.


Depending on the specific issues you are seeking to address, relationship counseling involves the use of different techniques, exercises, and tools; however, there is a set of questions and activities that you will likely find in any relationship counseling experience:

Questions: about you, your partner, your histories and your current relationship status.

Difficult discussions: it’s not easy to discuss your problems, especially with the other person.

Discussion of therapy progression: talking about how therapy is helping, hurting, or neither.

These three components are virtually universal in relationship counseling. It will always require a period of filling the therapist in on what is going on in the relationship, discussions of the problems facing the couple, and discussion of how counseling is progressing.

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1638 Eagle View Drive
Homer, AK 99603
(907) 602-2578

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