Ellen Searle LeBel, LMFT, BC-DMT, CST-T
“The meeting of two personalities is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.”
   - C.G. Jung

Couples therapy is centered on the relationship between partners.
Couples therapy covers a wide range of issues in both long-term and immediate situations. If you relate to any of the following questions, you may benefit from couples therapy.  

Are you looking to:
- Establish or improve your interpersonal communication
- Manage an immediate crisis
- Rebuild trust between you
- Make significant life decisions related to careers, raising a family, relocating, retirement
- Enhance your sexual relationship
- Resolve difficult conflicts or differences
- Adjust to significant changes in yourself or your partner
- Have more fun together
- Decide to remain in this relationship or leave

Starting Couples Therapy
      
 Both partners usually attend together and describe their relationship, identify desired changes in the relationship and define initial goals for therapy. Often it takes a few initial sessions to get a full picture, address any immediate crises and create a plan for therapy.
      I often request couples to complete questionnaires to help understand personalities, different points of view, define conflicts and find common ground. I often draw on research based approaches by Gottman and may recommend readings or interactive exercises between sessions. In addition to solving problems, I offer ways for couples to connect positively in session to reduce stress and enhance mutual respect and trust.
    Not all couples completely resolve their problems in therapy. Whether a couple remains together or not, fostering respect is critical both to improving a relationship or ending it well. As a couples therapist I refrain from advising couples on decisions and strive to keep a balanced perspective. It is my intention to provide a secure place where two people can meet and be open to discussing their deepest concerns in the presence of a caring guide and witness.
              I enjoy meeting with a wide range of couples including those who are newly together or in established relationships.  Whether you are dating, engaged, married, in a domestic partnership, divorced and starting a new relationship, separated or deciding whether to break up, couples therapy may help you clarify the steps toward a better relationship.