Couples Therapy

JENNIFER CUSTOMIZES COUPLES THERAPY SESSIONS TO MEET YOUR NEEDS.

Dr. Jen is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Your relationship needs a spark of intimacy! Emotional barriers, stress or affairs have left you lost and living more like roommates or co-parents. You’re empty nesters who have drifted apart . Or you argue endlessly, stewing in resentment. You don’t know where to begin or how to heal. It won’t get better by ignoring or hoping the problem resolves itself or with endless criticism and requests for behavior change. I invite you to stop kicking the can down the road and instead make the decision to start living your life again.
TOPICS COVERED:
Relationship Conflict
Communication Skills
Sex & Intimacy
Dating/Engagement
Divorce
Affairs
Resentment
Addiction Rupture
Attachment-Family of Origin Work
Work-Life Balance

What I Offer

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Initial 75-minute Couples Session with Goals Setting

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Individual Sessions with Each Partner with Self-Report Assessments

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Weekly or Bi-Weekly 75-minute Couple’s Session, includes take-home tools for implementation between sessions

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Evaluation and Re-assessment of Goals

Roadmap to Success

My marriage counseling approach is to unpack and hold space with each partner of a couple to explore how their beliefs and behaviors are impacting their relational dynamic and holding them back from the unconditional love, emotional support and sensual touch they yearn to receive from their partner.
HERE’S HOW:
  • A complete self-report couple’s satisfaction assessment
  • Mental Health assessment (ie. depression, substance use, anxiety)
  • Goal-setting and roadmap for a more playful, satisfying relationship
  • Communication Skills-building using Inviting Communication (NVC) for healthy conflict
  • Attachment Rewiring (Attachment Theory/EFT)
  • Gottman Institute Techniques
  • Re-alignment of expectations
  • Setting Boundaries
  • Cognitive-Behavioral take-home assignments for between sessions
  • Psychodynamic therapy for family of origin mapping
  • Family-Systems structural change for reunifying ill-functioning family systems and patterns
  • Humanistic-Existential and Interpersonal Therapy (IPT) integration for here-and-now attunement development

We dive head-first into our limits of intimacy: affection, emotional and sexual intimacy.

Play and fun is at the epicenter of reconnection and we rediscover what brought you together and how to revitalize play into your everyday lives despite all the responsibilities life has overwhelmed you with. We get gritty and breakdown inequities of household responsibilities that require renegotiating to break us free from resentments and power dynamics. And we uncover extenuating family dynamics, from parents to your children, that creep into your marriage and cause further disconnection.

Is Couples Therapy for you?

Many of you are desperate to make your relationship work. Some were built on a former version of yourself, or a shaky ground. Others are stuck in deep-rooted resentments from years of not feeling healed, heard or understood. Others just got a little off course and need redirection back to health, happiness and a balance of interdependence and intradependence.

I observe and rewire patterns and communication styles – in words, tone, emotionality, embodied expression and in the chase-avoid dynamic – that entangle couples further into despair and disconnection. What unfolds and how quickly we see progress in our work together will be determined by what is uncovered and with your commitment to candor, vulnerability and insight. You don’t have to come committed to make your relationship work, just a willingness to see if it can. Or to discover a new way of relating to your partner and self for a more fulfilling life. What are you waiting for? Nothing changes if nothing changes.

If you live in California and have PPO (out of network insurance) you can be partially reimbursed for our work together. Check with your insurance provider for mental health benefits reimbursements.

HOW ARE YOU AND YOUR PARTNER CONNECTING?

FAQs

Do you work in person or online?
Yes, I offer:
Hybrid model: (in-person and online)
In-Person in SF or Montecito, California
Online-only
Couple’s Customized Intensive Retreats

*My license permits me to work with anyone physically present in California. Contact me if you reside outside of California to see if you’re a good fit for couples’ relationship coaching.

How do I choose a therapist?
The trust and rapport between a client and their therapist is vital for the success of therapy. So above all when looking for a therapist, you need to find a person who you feel at ease with, a person who you can talk to, and who you feel respects your values, beliefs, feelings, and you as a person.
Expertise in your particular challenges or lifestyle is an added benefit to choosing a good fitting therapist.
I offer an initial 20-min phone consultation free of charge. This provides you with an opportunity to discuss your concerns and get a sense of whether I am the right therapist for you.
Is therapy confidential?
Your privacy is one of my highest priorities. As a rule, the information you discuss with me in session is confidential and can only be disclosed to a third party with your expressed written permission. One of the benefits of working independently and not as part of a health insurance is that your information will not be shared with anyone.

California State law does however provide exceptions for certain extreme situations for marriage counseling in which a psychotherapist may breach confidentiality, and others where they are mandated by law to do so. Examples of these include:
Direct court orders
A client is threatening serious bodily harm to another person.
A client has engaged in or is engaging in the abuse of a child, an elder, or a dependent adult.
A client is at risk of seriously harming her/himself.
What can I expect in a session?

Every therapy session caters to the individuals and their unique goals and needs. A typical therapy session lasts 50 minutes for individuals and 75 minutes for couples. The very first session with couples lasts between 75-90 min in order to have sufficient time not only to assess the situation, but also to do something about it! Appointments are usually scheduled on a weekly or bi-weekly basis. During therapy sessions we will talk about the primary concerns in your life, and work together to find solutions. Therapy can be short-term, focusing on a specific issue or goal, or longer-term, addressing more complex issues.

Some of the most important work in therapy actually happens in between the sessions. We will work together to give you tools to process what has been discussed and integrate it into your life.

What are your fees?

I offer an initial 20-minute complimentary phone consultation free of charge. After that I schedule 50-minute sessions for individuals and 75-minute sessions for couples (75-90 min for the very first couples session). Please call me to discuss my current fee or to research if a customized couples retreat is right for you.

Under the law, health care providers need to give clients who don’t have insurance or who are not using insurance an estimate of the expected charges for medical services, including psychotherapy services. You have the right to receive a Good Faith Estimate for the total expected cost of any non-emergency healthcare services, including psychotherapy services. You can ask your health care provider, and any other provider you choose, for a Good Faith Estimate before you schedule a service, or at any time during treatment. For questions or more information about your right to a Good Faith Estimate, or how to dispute a bill, see your Estimate, or visit www.cms.gov/nosurprises.

Do you accept insurance?
I am not in network with any health insurance and am considered an out-of-network provider. I cannot bill an insurance company in your name, nor will I be able to interact with insurance companies directly, or advocate on your behalf. However, I would be happy to provide you with a statement (“Superbill”) that you can submit to your insurance to receive reimbursement for seeing an out-of-network provider. It is your obligation to pay upfront for my services regardless of third-party reimbursement. Additionally, you may be able to apply your employer’s “flex spending plan”, applying pre-tax dollars to therapy costs, or claim the therapy costs as a tax deduction.
What if I'm not sure I want to stay a couple?
It’s very common that one or even both partners are leaning out of the relationship, and while you might be open to some “miracle,” you worry that beginning couples therapy might send a signal to your partner (and maybe even the therapist) that you want to stay together for certain, and you worry about giving false hope in a pretty hopeless situation. We will discuss where you are at in the beginning of our work together. I am there for the health of the relationship. Even if you two make the difficult decision to separate, it can still be useful to improve your communication with each other and take out some of the heat that is fueling your arguments, especially if you are co-parenting.

Thanks for the un-Funking

I have been feeling like crap for a little while now. Tired, run down. So lousy that I almost canceled my appointment with you. But I didn't because 'they' say laughter is the best medicine, and for a few hours it really was. Today was no exception. Thanks for the Un-funking Jen.

VICTOR, 48 | ADVERTISING EXECUTIVE

You're a True Blessing

You always make me think. I will miss working with you when my time is up here. You have made a significant difference in my recovery. Honestly, more than anyone else. I hear you and process what you say. You're a true blessing.

BLAINE, 44 | HEALTH & FITNESS EXECUTIVE

Major Personal Breakthrough

A major personal breakthrough I experienced with Jennifer was realizing how INflexible I was being with MYSELF. Focus on what I 'should' do & comparison to others was limiting my career. This self awareness has been enormously helpful personally & professionally.

SARAH, 32 | CORPORATE EXECUTIVE

She has the rare quality of absolute sincerity

.. And is filled with a compassion complimented perfectly by education and clear, rational thought. She often has insights or suggestions that will shift your own thinking and perception into something manageable... something that can be improved. I don't think I would ever make such a recommendation if I weren't absolutely convinced that Dr. Jen could help anyone who crossed her path."

 SARAH O, 42 

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