While there is no “right,” “wrong,” or “normal” in therapy, here are some of the most common issues that we explore:

Improving Communication: Many couples have irresolvable conflicts that, as time passes, become more frequent, causing them to feel more and more distant. Other couples don’t know how to talk about some of the issues that are bothering them and, by not sharing, they end up feeling distant and unsatisfied. Couples counseling can help couples identify and change the communication patterns that don’t work and can give specific tools for understanding each other.

Loss of Intimacy and Passion: Over time, couples often begin feeling more like roommates and less like partners. They don’t feel the same passion or intimacy, their sex life diminishes, and although they still love each other, they don’t know how to rekindle that excitement. A couples therapist can assist them in finding the way back to emotional and physical intimacy.

Trust Issues: Sometimes one person does something that feels to the other like a betrayal—a lie, an affair, or hiding something crucial from the other person. Trust is the foundation of every relationship, so when that trust is broken, it challenges every aspect of being together. Many people come to counseling to rebuild trust, and for many of them, learning how to do that actually results in a much stronger relationship than before.

Staying Together or Separating: Some couples want to figure out whether they should continue being together. Others have already decided to divorce, but want someone to help them to do it in a way that is amicable and respectful. Couples counseling can assist couples in going through transitions by clarifying the needs of both individuals and assisting them with difficult communication.

Finding a Life Partner: Some individuals come into counseling because they are longing for someone to create a long-term commitment with but don’t know how—either because they haven’t found the right partner, or because they have only found the “not-right” partner. A relationship therapist can help identify the root causes of these patterns and help create new kinds of relationship.

Premarital Counseling: Couples on the brink of beginning a life together come to premarital counseling as a way to acquire the tools and the skills necessary to make that new life successful.

Emotional Intimacy Problems: Sometimes partners know that they love their partner and want to be with them, but find that they are having difficulty being close to them or sharing certain feelings or issues. They come to counseling to learn how to be more open to their partner in a way that feels safe and easy.

Other Issues: These might include conflict around parenting, differences around lifestyle choices and values, and dealing with undesired behavioral problems.