My work is informed by attachment theory and the Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy Model. This model was created by Dr. Sue Johnson, author of the book “Hold me Tight- Seven Conversations for a Lifetime of Love.” Attachment Theory has its roots in research of attachment styles in relationship. My training has helped me see its value in working with couples and families who want to make fundamental, lasting change.
Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy helps couples access the root causes of attachment damage that keep them from having a successful relationship. It also helps them face life’s real challenges as a unified couple. By understanding our attachment styles and deeper relationship dynamics, we can begin to see how we may create a cycle that does not serve us in an emotionally healthy way. Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy helps us to see our patterns and negative cycle and to begin to create lasting change in relationship. While learning about safe communication and resolving conflicts, Emotionally Focused Couples Therapy helps couples to become emotionally safe with each other and strengthen their bond and connection.
In our first session, my goal is to understand the difficulties that both people are having in the relationship. From there we develop specific goals for counseling. I listen to each person carefully, and together we clarify the big picture. Then we look at the smaller issues that are often important within it. We learn how these issues have developed over time. I work to help the couple come to new understandings about the causes and parts of the problems. I then teach couples skills that will help them start to solve their problems. We also learn the tools needed to talk about hard issues in a safe and helpful way. As sessions continue, we look at what’s going well and areas that need more focus. As a marriage and couples counselor in Missoula, my work focuses on helping each couple learn solutions that best fit their communication styles, goals, and personalities. Through this, couples can honor both the past and the future of the relationship.
The number of sessions is based entirely on a couple’s needs. Counseling is sometimes able to resolve tough problems in 6-12 sessions, while more challenging issues may take longer to work through.
At first most couples find weekly, 60 minute sessions to be best for creating momentum and change. As progress continues, I work with couples to decide on a timing of sessions that best fits their needs.
I make every effort to have an open schedule that works for people seeking marriage and couples counseling in Missoula. I book sessions from 10am through 6pm Monday through Friday. My office is in the Bike & Type Missoula Coworking Space across from Taco del Sol in downtown Missoula. To make an appointment for marriage and couples counseling in Missoula, you can reach me at 531-6250. If you are in an emergency and need immediate help, please call 911 or contact St. Patrick’s Hospital.