Underneath the conflict, ambivalence, or even hopelessness, we’re all looking for safety and connection.

Most people are at their absolute worst with the people they love the most. The skill of being intimate is still a mystery for many of us. Few of us had it adequately modeled in our families growing up. After all, this is a relatively recent development in human history.

For many of us, couples counseling is where we learn or refine this skill. While most of us enter couples therapy at some level with the secret hope of changing our partner, autonomous change is really where we get the most mileage.

In our moments of defensiveness we find the greatest opportunities to grow as a human being. Shame is very big in our culture, and it plays a significant role in relational problems and cycles. An important part of the work involves releasing shame, blame, and guilt.

Healthy relationships are a place for us to grow, and to heal shame and childhood trauma. Conflict is often our attempt to eradicate differences, but difference is healthy, necessary, and to be accepted. The work is really about finding ways to deal with the differences. In fact, differences in dealing with conflict are almost always more important than the conflict itself. Successful relationships still have problems, but the partners have learned how to work with them.

I work with partners to become revealing, curious and non-blaming. I support you in the discovery of the underlying vulnerable feelings. This is your preciousness. This is the foundation of intimacy.


“When you’re working with couples, you’re dealing with people’s preciousness.”
Michael Klein, Ph.D.