couples counseling
couples counseling
couples counseling

Being deeply loved by someone gives you strength, while loving someone deeply gives you courage.

Lao Tzu

Couples Counseling

Real love has little to do with falling. It’s a climb up the rocky face of a mountain, hard work, and most people are too scared to bother. Very few reach the critical point in their relationship that summons the attention of the light and the dark, that place where they will make a commitment to love no matter what obstacles-or temptations- appear in their path.

Stacey Jay

Probably the most important (thing of all), is to believe that we’re enough. Because when we work from a place that says, ‘I’m enough,’ then we stop screaming and start listening. We’re kinder and gentler to the people around us and we’re kinder and gentler to ourselves.

Brene Brown

Uncoupling from the Dysfunctional Couple’s Dance

When things are going well, it’s great. But when the arguing or distancing starts, it can feel as if nothing will work. Coined in dozens of terms by top relationship therapists, this breakdown can be summarized as the shame-fear dynamic. When feeling rejected as a provider, protector, and/or lover  — whether real or perceived — men can get triggered and withdraw or become aggressive. Often this is a defense against shame or inadequacy. For women, abandonment, fear of harm, or deprivation can lead to feelings of insecurity. Her equivalent to aggression is criticism and defensiveness. Locked in this dynamic, even the best intentions to work it out can deepen the spiral of dysfunction. Only after the couple learns to recognize the dynamic and acknowledge mutual participation can they disarm it and move away from hurt back to harmony.

Christina helps couples learn to interrupt the shame-fear dynamic and cultivate the safety needed to speak from the heart. This allows the couple to reclaim their love for each other and begin to address issues in a positive, collaborative manner. The journey is one from negative engagement to empathy for the individual, and from contraction and criticism to connection and cooperation for the couple. With practice couples can learn to stay connected, even through challenging conversations about finances, sex, children, or control issues and ultimately find that their empathy and vulnerability deepens their relationship on all levels.

Christina will help you and your partner:

  • Recognize and work through difficult triggers
  • Develop a deeper respect, appreciation, and trust in each other
  • Heal underlying wounds from childhood
  • Feel closer to one another on a more consistent basis
  • Communicate so that you can hear and respond in a loving and constructive way
  • Be transparent with each other
  • Heal and forgive each other after an emotional injury or betrayal such as an affair
  • Develop the bond between you, revitalizing sexual desire and satisfaction

As with many areas of life, what you put into a relationship is proportional to what you get out. The willingness to learn how to engage your partner openly and sincerely will have a great influence on how fulfilling and rewarding your relationship is, and becomes. Christina helps couples in distress through Sue Johnson’s Emotionally Focused Therapy (E.F.T.). and Stan Tatkin’s Psychobiological Approach to Couples Therapy (PACT).

To schedule an appointment, email Christina at or call her at 310-614-9922.