Couples Therapy

Do you feel like you and your partner have the same arguments over and over? Do you feel stuck, hopeless, and alone in your relationship? Is it difficult for you to get your needs met? Does it feel like you give more than you get in return? Do you struggle to communicate your needs and feelings to your partner?

By the time partners seek out couples counseling, they often feel so overwhelmed that they believe their problems are impossible to manage or repair. Couples get stuck in lose/lose communication when they focus on the immediate conflict rather than their underlying needs. Often their conflicts grow out of core beliefs or main themes in relationships, which we call “schemas.” You may be totally unaware of your schemas, but they shape not only your thoughts, actions, and life choices but also your relationships. Once we identify these themes or schemas in your relationship, your problems don’t seem so large. We can help you recognize and break these painful patterns in your relationship and learn new skills to resolve conflict and build intimacy.

These challenges stymie all types of couples—same-sex and heterosexual as well as couples where one partner (or both) is transgendered. We have ample experience working with a wide variety of couples, and are dedicated to helping you rebuild and maintain a healthy relationship.

At the Bay Area CBT Center, we help you overcome the obstacles that prevent you from living the kind of life you desire. To assist you in this process, we offer therapy for individuals and couples as well as twelve-week group therapy sessions that focus on particular issues and concerns. For your convenience, we have offices in San Francisco and Oakland.

Because we believe that the client-therapist relationship is crucial for progress to be made, we offer initial free consultation sessions to prospective clients. We want to be certain that you find the therapist who is right for you.

How to Begin Couples Therapy

The first step to initiating treatment is to either call us at 415-810-0372 or email us at to schedule a free one hour consultation session. In this consultation session, we will discuss each partner’s concerns, evaluate your needs, and give you a good sense of what we believe maintains your current problems. Together we will then explore therapeutic approaches that may help with the challenges you face. We will also consider our “fit” for working together.

We believe it is important to find a therapist who is a good fit for both partners and who possesses qualities such as personality style, therapeutic stance, and values that resonate with you both. Having an authentic and genuine connection with your therapist is essential.

If we believe that we can work well together, and if we agree on the target goals for therapy as well as the approach we will take, we will begin the therapy process. The first session will involve your therapist talking with each of you individually and together. Both partners will attend subsequent sessions. In the first few sessions, we will continually refine our assessment of your needs and your specific goals for therapy. We will continue to check in with each of you regarding your goals and monitor your progress. You may also choose to engage in additional activities or exercises in between sessions. Couples therapy sessions are conducted in person. All sessions are one hour long.

What We Offer Couples

As part of couples therapy, we offer a variety of self-awareness and skill-building opportunities. Although the list below is not exhaustive, it will give you an idea of the many ways we can help you. Depending on your needs and desires, any one or combination of these can be incorporated into your therapy:

  • Anger management
  • Assertiveness training
  • Assistance with divorce or separation
  • Codependency issues
  • Dating coaching
  • Emotional intimacy building
  • Negotiation skills training
  • New baby preparation
  • Nonviolent communication
  • Parenting skills
  • Premarital counseling
  • Setting limits and making boundaries
  • Sex Therapy
  • Sexual identity exploration
  • Trust development after betrayal