San Francisco Family Therapy
San Francisco Couples Therapist

San Francisco CA Couples Therapy

Couples therapy and counseling is designed to understand the patterns of behavior between people in a relationship to resolve problems more effectively. Couples therapy is brief, solution-focused, defines specific and attainable treatment goals, and designed with the outcome in mind. Couples therapy and counseling will help you develop strategies for improving your relationship. Contact San Francisco couples therapist Patricia Hecht for help.

Couples therapy teaches how to take helpful risks to develop a loving relationship. Through life we have opportunities to continue personal growth. Individual growth leads to stable committed relationships. Couples therapy encourages emotional maturation, which allows people to experience feeling more connected with one another. Trust develops when you feel safe in disclosing your deepest, most private self to your partner. Working with an experienced professional, such as a licensed marriage and family counselor, is the most effective way to obtain a good outcome in your relationships.


What types of problems are treated in couples therapy? 
Couples therapy treats specific problems in a relationship such as poor communication, problems getting along, disagreements about children or parenting, boundary issues with other family members such as parents or grandparents, or difficulties with stress over finances. In couples therapy, people will learn how to live in a more loving and respectful way.

Modern society places many stresses on a relationship, whether through work or career issues, financial issues, and issues with children and the extended family. Couples learn how to deal with the pressures of daily living without sabotaging their relationship. In marriage therapy, couples learn that we are all human and have human flaws. Couples in therapy learn that we all have the ability to hurt the other and develop skills to prevent that hurt as much as possible. Partners in the counseling process have a safe place to acknowledge hurtful behaviors. Couples learn the skills of effective ways to apologize and express remorse.

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How long will couples therapy last?
Couples therapy is designed to address specific issues. On average, problems will be identified and better behavioral strategies will begin to take effect within 10 to 12 sessions. Depending on the couple involved and their specific issues, fewer or more sessions may be needed.

Many couples want to continue sessions to reinforce new skills and effective strategies. They gain insight that tools can be learned to have a more successful relationship. As a couple applies what is learned in the initial sessions they are motivated to "learn more" as they enjoy a more satisfying life with their partner. A couple may begin marriage therapy in some "crisis" situation. When highly charged emotions settle down a bit the real work to learning and refining many skills and techniques has a chance to take hold.

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Why use a marriage and family therapist for couples counseling?
Marriage and Family Therapists are licensed professionals who have special training in relationships, family dynamics and psychotherapy. They diagnose and treat a wide range of emotional and psychological disorders within the context of a couple or relationship.

A marriage therapist is specifically trained to listen and analyze issues a couple presents in an unbiased fashion. Friends and families of the partners in a relationship may be very loving and really want to help but their understandable emotional investment with one or both partners makes it truly difficult to understand what is happening objectively. It's quite common that from the very first session with a marriage therapist couples will report a feeling of "hope" that they are doing something proactive to help work things out in the relationship.

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Will couples counseling help me be a better listener?  
When people undergo couples counseling, they learn specific methods on how to listen to their partner. Listening will help people develop empathy with their partner to better help them understand their partner’s needs and improve their relationship. When people learn to listen to each other, their relationship will become stronger and more caring and loving.

Couples counseling involves training in resolving conflicts, correcting miscommunication, and healing hurt feelings. Problems are inevitable in any relationship at times. You can learn to stop speaking and listen fully to your partner. An experienced couples therapist can show the partners in a relationship specific methods to improve their listening skills.

Therapy for couples can help you stay on track when working on resolving an issue. You learn to resist "making a case" for yourself by bringing in irrelevancies that may only cause pain to the other. Couples therapy can help you pace your communication regarding a difference of opinion leading to a comfortable solution for both parties.

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How will couples counseling help me resolve conflicts? 
First, the therapist will help create a safe, warm and trusting relationship for both partners. The therapist will help you understand the nature of the conflict. Often, conflicts result when one partner has a different goal or expectation, and the other partner is not meeting it. In couples counseling, the therapist will help you understand these expectations, and help you and your partner learn new behaviors to resolve the conflict.

An experienced couples therapist can provide the partners in a relationship teachable skills that they can use to develop adaptable strategies to improve conflict resolution. The result is an increased ability to listen with understanding to the other person’s views, even though, perhaps, not agreeing on the matter at hand. The marriage therapist can model effective and safe ways to express hurt and anger in a non-confrontational and non-critical style. Successful conflict resolution results in two people actually feeling closer and more trusting of the other.

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How effective is couples counseling?
There are many studies demonstrating the effectiveness of couples counseling. The vast majority of people in couples counseling report an improvement in how they feel about themselves and their relationship.

Couples counseling is extremely effective in not only helping couples stay together but as each individual in the relationship continues growing and maturing, this growth generalizes to more functional and positive communication and efficient conflict resolution outcomes. Counseling, of course, is not something "done" to a couple but it is "work" done together with the relationship therapist. The counselor and the couple are in positive communion to effect positive results.

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Couples counseling is an effective way to understand the behavior of the people in a relationship and allows effective resolution of problems. A couples therapist treats a variety of specific relationship problems and helps people learn to live more lovingly together. The length of time of couples therapy varies and is designed to provide enough space to address specific relationship issues. Professional marriage and family therapists are highly trained experts that can facilitate counseling for a couple in an unbiased and objective manner. People undergoing couples counseling learn specific skills to become better listeners and resolve conflicts. Overall, people find that couples therapy is effective and report an overall improvement in their well-being and in their relationships.

Contact San Francisco therapist Patricia Hecht for help.

Patricia Hecht, MFT: California Marriage and Family Therapist License Number
San Francisco Marriage and Family Therapist
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