Couples Counseling


“Nothing is more important in our lives than our relationships. A great relationship boosts your immune system, opens your heart, and keeps you vital and creative.”

-Terry Real, Founder of Relational Life Institute

Do You Miss the Feeling of Connection You Once Shared With Your Partner?

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  • Does your relationship lack healthy communication, possibly due to deep hurts and resentments?

  • Has your physical relationship diminished over time, especially as you've both faced stress, family and work responsibilities, resentment, fatigue, and/or past sexual trauma?

  • Has an infidelity pushed your relationship to the verge of implosion? Are you questioning what infidelity really is, aside from physical intimacy outside the relationship?

  • Or, are you and your partner in a healthy place and need guidance as you consider an open or polyamorous relationship?

  • More than anything, do you wish you and your partner could enjoy a relationship with strong communication, abiding trust, quality intimacy and true connection?

Struggling with relationship issues can make anyone feel lonely and unheard. It’s possible that you try to reach for your partner’s love, but they pull away and put up walls. Or, maybe you sometimes need a little bit of space to breathe, but it feels that your partner is always pursuing you too strongly.

It’s also possible you feel your partner is highly reactive. You may be walking on eggshells to avoid a meltdown or fight, which makes it difficult to express your true self. Or, perhaps your partner has accused you of being emotional and reactive, even when you are simply trying to express how you feel.

It's possible you just had a new baby, discovered your partner's affair, have simply felt criticized and treated with contempt over time, or are struggling with past sexual trauma that is creating increasing physical distance with your partner. Regardless of the specifics, it may seem that your partner doesn’t understand or respect your needs.

Almost All Couples Come From Different Backgrounds, and It's Common To Have Incompatibility

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You are certainly not alone in seeking the help of a couples therapist who can help you sift through the difficulties so many partners face. As in countless other relationships, it may be that these issues have developed over time, Or, it might seem they have dropped into your lives like an unexpected, unwanted air delivery.

For example, it's completely normal to struggle to find compatibility within your relationship. So many partners come from diverse backgrounds, whether cultural, socioeconomic, religious, etc. It’s also possible for people from similar backgrounds to grow up in very different family structures. You and your partner might not have learned the same way to relate to others, address conflict, or navigate stress. As a result, you might butt heads. However, when you love someone, you likely want to work on staying together despite incompatibilities—to find common ground. Perhaps to even find new closeness and compassion within these differences.

It's also completely expected that you'd feel distance in your relationship as a result of expanding your family, infidelity, developmental trauma, and other factors. You're not alone in your struggle to connect under these circumstances, but that does not mean that connection is impossible. My somatic, holistic approach can help you work through relationship discord and remember what brought you together.

Couples Counseling Can Help You Rediscover One Another

Most couples who seek therapy are hoping to communicate better and bring freshness and trust back into their relationship.  As an experienced, empathetic couples therapist, I coach partners to communicate with compassion and, ultimately, to reconnect.

Conflict often arises when emotions are running high. It can be very difficult to say what you mean when you’re feeling angry or hurt. To help you and your partner express yourselves more clearly, even in times of distress, I will help you identify and regulate individual emotional triggers. And, to help you understand one another, I will also teach you skills to recognize and calm your partner when they are feeling triggered. Couples counseling often brings up what's uncomfortable and difficult, but I provide a safe space for you to process and heal, all while learning to truly hear one another.

I draw from a variety of therapy approaches to holistically work through the blocks and repair the fissures in your relationship. For example, I might use somatic therapy techniques, which means working with the body, as appropriate. I work with couples to encourage connection they have lost, all within this safe space in our sessions.

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I also use Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT), a therapy approach that is incredibly effective in resolving unresolved pain within the relationship. This approach can help you and your partner truly understand and empathize with one another, leading to deeper, richer intimacy.

With the holistic and mindful presence I bring to your treatment experience, I can help you, as individuals (and within the alchemy of your relationship), work through obstacles blocking your intimacy. For example, we might discuss the effects of expanding your family, acute and chronic illness, addiction, dysfunction, infidelity, trauma, and the myriad other challenges even the most loving partnerships face.

No matter what you and your partner are facing, there is hope for you to rediscover the love you once shared. I am committed to facilitating your shared exploration. Together, you can learn skills to love one with greater openness, honesty, and trust.

You May Have Questions Or Concerns About Couples Therapy…

I'm afraid to take that first step and sit across from my partner in a treatment setting.

I want you to feel assured that with my compassionate, holistically balanced, and skilled approach to couples counseling. That means I offer a safe and protected environment to focus on your relationship. This is the ideal place to begin your journey toward closeness and care.

I'm afraid that talking will cause things to become heated, and even lead to the destruction of our relationship.

I want to assure you that, while the therapy process can sometimes feel volatile, it can lead to positive growth and change for you as individuals and as a couple. And the truth is, not talking about these issues is unlikely to preserve your relationship. Talking about them means working through them.

I'm uncomfortable with talking about my feelings, and fear being attacked by my partner. So much has happened.

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If you feel your deep earlier connection has been lost, it may seem that you and your partner will never stop fighting. However, once you start engaging in the work, with my guidance and coaching, there is great potential for learning and change. In couples therapy sessions, I strive to ensure no one participant feels "ganged up on," and my tender, nonjudgmental approach cultivates a sense of safety and assurance of fairness.

You Both Deserve an Opportunity To Heal and Grow, Together

If you and your partner are ready to dig in, to do what it takes to build something together that is stronger and more balanced and vital than you've experienced before, I am here.  To schedule a consultation, I can be reached at 510-575-0780 or at kellykennardmft@gmail.com.

I work with all types of couples, including LGBTQ, straight, married, polyamorous, engaged, and/or committed but unmarried.