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Couples Therapy San Diego, CA

Are you and your partner struggling to connect or communicate?

Couples therapy teaches techniques that promote increased awareness, understanding, self-esteem and empowerment within your relationship

Do you feel like something has changed in your relationship, and you don’t know how to fix it? Do you and your partner struggle to communicate or resolve conflict in a way that feels good to you both? Do you find yourselves having a similar – if not the exact same – argument over and over again? Have you and/or your partner experienced a significant event that has impacted an important aspect of your relationship? Or maybe gradual change over time – for the better and/or the worse – has resulted in a shift that you want to get back? Is conflict in your relationship leading you to experience physical, mental or emotional sensations that result in you and/or your partner becoming highly defensive and unable to effectively problem-solve and reach resolution? What you’re experiencing are red flags that I imagine are causing distress in both of your lives on an individual level that ripples out into the rest of your respective worlds. Although it may not come as a surprise that conflict in one’s relationship could have negative impact/influence in other areas of their life, what is lesser known is the impact that chronic and consistent discord can have on one’s overall perception of themself – or even personal/physical health…  Relational struggles can result in decreased self-esteem, substance abuse, anxiety, depression and so forth, as you find it more and more difficult to break the patterns that are detrimental to the connection with your partner.

You are not alone...

Man and Women Upset Before Couples Therapy in San Diego, CA First and foremost, if you answered yes to one or more of the above questions, I want to make this perfectly clear – you are NOT alone. 50% of married couples in the United States (60% in California) end in divorce; and the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher! Furthermore, previous research has shown that unmarried couples are 4x more likely to break up than married couples. When you take into account that neither statistic includes relationships (married or otherwise) that can’t or don’t believe in divorce, my previous statement that “you are not alone” could not be stressed enough. For the remaining relationships that don’t fall under those categories, one fact remains the same – struggle is part of any relationship. And yes, that couple that seems “so perfect” and is “#relationshipgoals”…? They have struggles too! It’s so easy to feel alone and/or powerless when it comes to our relationship struggles, because we are the only ones that see behind our curtain. Truth is, if you had the same opportunity with other “amazing” couples, you would see what is true for all relationships – it’s not always sunshine and rainbows. In fact, you may find that they have their fair share of thunderstorms… Simply put, what you are not seeing is one of two truths: what they do to work through it and reconnect, or what they do to disguise their struggles from others; or even themselves…

Why Do Most Couples Seek Therapy?

More often than not, conflict arises because communication breaks down. As a result, we get frustrated or emotional because we are unable to get our message across; and, therefore, our needs met. Even if you’re highly skilled in communication, attempting to do so when emotions are running high isn’t too unlike walking through a minefield. All it takes is one misstep…

Seeing a Couples Therapist Can Help!

Holding Hands After Couples Counseling Session in San Diego, CA Couples counseling and therapy teaches tools and techniques that promote open-communication, emotional awareness, self-soothing, healthy problem-solving, and others that are conducive to healthy relationships. Most importantly, seeing a couples therapist creates a time and space where it is safe to learn these techniques and each partner gets the opportunity to be heard. I will listen to your story and the struggles you both have experienced, so that I may support you and remind you that this is your story; and you can re-write it however you choose. It just starts with getting on the same page…
Together, you will learn how to:

Why Book a Couples Therapy Session with Me?

Spencer Chernick, LMFT - ADHD, Couples, Teens, Children - San Diego, CA 92109 In addition to my specific training in couples and relationships, I also have lots of experience in the field regarding this topic. Whether romantic, familial, platonic, or business, I have worked with relationships throughout my career in a variety of circumstances and treatment settings including school, community-based mental health care, and private practice. I have successfully helped many couples support their relationship through improving individual self-worth, emotional awareness and resolution-focused communication; thus strengthening the overall bond between them. If you are an individual and are struggling with an issue in your relationship, I have lots of experience working with that as well, and I would love to help!

I have wanted to work with couples since before I even knew I wanted to be a therapist in the first place! From a very young age, whether a friend’s parents were getting divorced, or they were having relationship struggles of their own, I wanted to provide the support and strategies needed to improve their circumstances. Then when my parents divorced and I began to struggle in my relationships, I learned it’s entirely different when you’re the one going through it. Once I began my professional journey, I committed to utilizing the very practices I would be teaching; to ensure that I understood what it took to create real positive change in my own relationships before trying to help others. In fact, it was this motivation that led to my graduate thesis; which focused on the correlation between an individual’s personality type and how they approach conflict (conflict management style). With my combined knowledge, passion and experience, I will provide you with the skills and guidance to not only better navigate your relational hardships, but feel empowered and confident to use them on your own outside of session.

Are you ready to improve your relationship?

Contact Me to Schedule a 15 Minute Phone Consultation and See If Couples Therapy in San Diego Is Right for You!

MY STANDARD RATE IS $150 PER SESSION (50 MINUTES)
Prefer a longer session time? Just ask for details!

I do not accept insurance but I do offer Superbills that can be presented to insurance companies for reimbursement. Learn more about my rates and insurance.

Here are some typical questions regarding couples counseling and therapy...

Like anything else, with couples therapy, you get out what you put in. Does therapy provide effective and evidence-based techniques that improve connection and communication? Absolutely! But, your therapist won’t be there between sessions to make sure you use what you’ve learned when needed most. Couples often find immediate improvement because they’ve learned techniques that they didn’t know before. That excitement can be very motivating and euphoric, and result in the most important element of couples counseling and therapy; consistency. However, a difficult conflict can easily send you both back to old patterns if you let it, and that’s when the difference is made. So, the real question is, can couples counseling and therapy work when both partners are consistent? The answer is yes. And it can work for you too…

In my opinion, couples counseling and therapy does not make things worse. However, what therapy does do is provide the necessary techniques and opportunities for improved communication and emotional awareness. This distinction is important because as communication and emotional awareness improve, couples can find themselves finally talking about the real reason for their struggles. So a couple who rarely argues – but has been needing to – may notice an increased frequency in relational discord, or have a new truth be unearthed, and lead them to believe that treatment ‘made things worse’. The truth is, however, that the couple is finally facing what they came to therapy for in the first place. A couples therapist can help navigate treading new waters and provide the necessary support to hold space and promote growth for the couple, as well as the individuals themselves. It’s always darkest before dawn. If we never forget that dawn is coming, we’ll always remember that the darkness is just a phase.

No. Going to therapy is brave, and takes strength. Remember, bravery is not the absence of fear, but the action taken in spite of it. Seeing a couples therapist also sends each partner the message that the relationship is important, and worth every effort. In truth, couples counseling is good for anything from “it’s really bad and we don’t know what to do” to “it’s really good, but we want to make sure to keep them that way”. In fact, couples that seek therapy often do so because they still have hope that the relationship can work with enough effort and assistance. On the other hand, the “really bad relationships” typically perceive therapy as a waste of time and money because they have little or no hope of repairing the relationship. So, ironically, therapy is often not utilized by the couples that may need it most. When you get down to it, no one knows everything, and everyone needs help sometimes. So, if you want to improve your relationship, or just make sure it stays as good as it is, seeing a couples therapist can help. Simple as that.

In all honesty, no one can answer that better than you. Just ask yourself:

  • How successful are you in resolving conflicts without assistance?
  • Are things good, but not as good as they could be or once were?
  • Do you want to learn the necessary skills for having an honest and fulfilling relationship?
  • Are there things in your relationship that could cause your relationship to end if not properly attended to?

More often than not, couples wait until things are at a breaking point and nothing they’ve tried has worked. A couple that feels that way long enough can develop a sense of hopelessness that feels inescapable, and decide that the best course of action is to break up. Truth is, not all relationships can last. However, so many relationships that really could have worked end because they lack the tools to succeed. Couples counselor and therapist can help prevent and repair conflicts that harm relationships and provide the communication, friendship and intimacy necessary for a satisfying relationship.

Yes! Couples counseling and therapy is not only helpful to couples, but individuals; regardless of whether they are in a relationship at the time or not. In actuality, couples counseling and therapy is a type of relationship counseling and therapy; which focuses on patterns of individuals in their respective relationships with others. So, whether you’re an individual seeking help for your current relationship, getting out of your own way in relationships, grieving a lost relationship, or your platonic or familial relationship(s), therapy can help. Therapy helps each partner improve communication and understanding in their relationship, as well as within themselves. So, no, you don’t need to be in a relationship to have couples therapy. You just have to want to improve the relationships in your life.

What to Expect in a Couples Counseling Session?

Happy Couple During Session with Couples Therapist in San Diego, CA Counseling for couples can help you uncover the deeper reasoning for your conflict, and identify where you lose one another along the way. Additionally, a couples counselor can teach effective techniques to better self-soothe so that each partner can be in the necessary state of mind to reach resolution. In my couples counseling sessions, I am right there with you; on your side the whole way. My intention is to be a real person in the room with you that cares about you, and creates a safe space for you and your partner to share all of your current thoughts, concerns, and struggles. Together, we will identify and set goals by determining what you both want for your relationship; as well as yourselves, as individuals. Once we have a clear idea of where you are, and want to be, I will tailor treatment to what is most needed for you and your relationship; based on your respective Love Languages and Enneagram Tritype. I will help you learn skills and techniques that not only improve coping and communication, but feel authentic to who you are both individually and as a couple. By establishing patterns that are both productive and authentic, we can further ensure the lasting change that you deserve and hope for; even well after you have stopped seeing me. Whatever is learned during the session will be practiced between sessions as well, so that we can continue to refine the approach, and better avoid whatever obstacles that continue to prevent you both from reaching your relationship goals. I utilize various techniques that promote increased awareness, understanding, self-esteem and empowerment within the relationship. One technique that I am specifically trained in that is geared toward the treatment of couples is the Gottman Method, which includes specific assessments and techniques to be used both inside and outside of session. I am also currently working towards certification for Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) for the treatment of couples and relationships; so that I may be of even better assistance to you on your journey.

Methods I Use in Couples Therapy

Gottman Method

The Gottman Method is an approach to couples therapy that assesses various areas of your relationship and integrates research-based interventions to help couples overcome obstacles and achieve greater understanding, connection, and intimacy in their relationships. In our sessions together, I will use various techniques from the Gottman Method to assess which areas could use the most support and provide techniques that best fit the obstacle(s) at hand. For more information about the Gottman Method for the treatment of couples, visit the website for the Gottman Method Institute.

Emotionally Focused Therapy

Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) is a structured approach to couples’ therapy developed by Drs. Sue Johnson and Les Greenberg in the 1980s. It is grounded in research while focusing on negative communication patterns and love as an attachment bond. In our sessions together, I will use evidence-based techniques of EFT to improve how you communicate in your relationship, and the love that bonded you in the first place. For more information about EFT for the treatment of couples, visit the ICEEFT website.

Enneagram

The Enneagram is a personality assessment tool that is extremely useful in improving personal self-knowledge and personality development, offering a powerful tool for self-mastery, conflict resolution, team dynamics, leadership and emotional intelligence. I have been certified in the Enneagram, Enneagram Tritype, and Instinctual Types and Subtypes by Katherine Chernick Fauvre, the creator of Enneagram Tritype; who also just so happens to be my mother. Having grown up around this unique form of personality diagnostics I have applied and studied the Enneagram throughout my personal and professional life, and I am very passionate about using its power to help couples. I am not only able to help you and your partner better understand each other’s motivations and communication styles, but also provide a better understanding of the very important characteristics that make you YOU. For more information about Katherine Chernick Fauvre, the Enneagram, Enneagram Tritype, and/or Instinctual Types and Subtypes, click the corresponding link(s).

Couples Therapy in San Diego, CA

If you’re ready to overcome the obstacles in your relationship and learn more about my couples therapy services, please use the button above or call (858) 634-0502 for a free 15 minute phone consultation.

Spencer Chernick, LMFT
ADHD, Couples, Teens, Children
4444 Mission Blvd Suite H,
San Diego, CA 92109
(858) 634-0502