Is your relationship in crisis? Do you and your partner tend to argue and disagree? Are you feeling overwhelmed, stuck, or unsure about where to turn?
I believe I can help you.
My name is Michelle Webber, Licensed Clinical Social Worker (LCSW), and I provide couples therapy for partners throughout Los Angeles. If you are concerned about your relationship or just want to check-in before your next chapter, couples therapy can help. Over the past three decades of clinical work, I have helped many partners overcome issues with communication and conflict.
If you are interested in learning more about couples therapy and how it can help, below are some answers that may address some of your concerns. You may also contact me for a free phone consultation at (323) 301-0083.
Does our relationship need therapy?
Most relationships start off strong with passion, love, and excitement.
And yet, over time, issues tend to emerge. We lose feelings of closeness. We criticize, argue, and get angry. At times, we experience infidelity and other breaches in trust. We begin to question the relationship and wonder if we can continue.
Some of the most common signs of an unhealthy relationship include:
- Frequent arguing or fighting
- Difficulty solving problems together
- Issues with (or lack of) intimacy
- Cheating, lying, or hiding things from one another
- Abuse (physical, emotional, sexual)
- Frequent criticism and negativity
- Mistrust or anxiety about privacy
- Difficulty with family issues (e.g., childrearing)
- Loss of enjoyment and satisfaction
Many of these issues are rooted in problematic, even destructive relational patterns. One person gets angry, and the other pulls away. One person tries to change or “fix” their partner, not realizing that they themselves need to adapt and grow. Needs go unmet, and the relationship becomes a source of stress rather than support.
Many relationships can heal. If yours has become unhealthy or dysfunctional, couples therapy is the first line of treatment in a safe and welcoming environment.
How will couples therapy help?
Couples therapy is designed to address the three essential ingredients for having a healthy relationship: intimacy, trust, and commitment.
Intimacy is all about closeness and connection. Most of the time, we think of intimacy purely as physical – touch, sex, cuddling, you name it. Many couples struggle with physical intimacy and seek couples therapy for concerns around sexual activity – but even more couples struggle with emotional intimacy. One or both partners have difficulty opening up and being authentic about their thoughts and feelings, thus creating an emotional divide. Couples therapy can help both of you begin to open up to one another, feel connected, and help meet each other’s needs for all forms of intimacy.
Trust is about safety and security. The most common reason couples seek treatment is for breaches in trust, such as an affair or cheating. Research indicates more than 1 in 7 couples will have at least one experience of infidelity. However, trust goes further than that, including finances, making choices together, and building a future. Couples therapy offers a chance for you to rebuild broken trust and enhance feelings of safety.
Commitment is all about reliability and stability. Some couples struggle with formal commitment (e.g., marriage, moving in together, etc.), while others struggle with committing to meeting each other’s needs. Some will say, “he/she is never there when I need them,” “I can’t depend on this person,” or “I want to take this relationship to the next level, but he/she does not.” Couples therapists can guide you through difficult conversations as the two of you make decisions about the relationship and how you want it to be.
Couples therapy does all of this by providing an opportunity to enhance your communication as a couple in a safe, confidential, judgment-free space.
As you make progress in couples therapy, you and your partner can:
- Break unhealthy patterns
- Address unmet needs
- Learn to work as a team
- Work through difficult experiences
- Rebuild feelings of safety and trust
- Make hard choices about the relationship
- Share openly with one another
- Reignite that “spark”
Your relationship deserves a chance to thrive, and therapy can make that happen. No matter how hopeless things might seem, no matter how long you’ve struggled, and if you are committed to making this work, I can help.
What does therapy look like with Michelle?
All sessions are completely confidential and held online or in the privacy of my office. I take the time to get to know both you and your partner – your experiences, your story, and your goals for the future. I believe that many of the challenges faced in your relationship are rooted in how you grew up and how you see the world, so I gather as much of that data as possible as we move forward in therapy together.
Are you here because you want to work on the relationship? Are you here because you can grow together? Or are you feeling like it’s time to make a decision about going separate ways? These are just a few questions I ask at the start of our session together.
Many couples tend to place blame or to point fingers, which is why I challenge each partner to take a good, honest look at themselves first. What improvements can you make? The only behavior you can change is your own, not your partner’s. However, if you begin to make the smallest changes in your behavior, it affects the dynamic of the relationship in a positive way.
We also work together to identify problematic dynamics and breaks in communication. What’s missing? Why do the same arguments keep happening over and over again? How do you ask for your needs to be met? You can learn to better attune to one another, pick up on subtle signals, and understand what the other is experiencing.
If you feel like your relationship is falling apart, we can work together to pick up the pieces. If the “spark” has gone cold, we can reignite it. If you feel as though you’re living in heartache and pain, we can help you heal. As a final note, not all relationships are meant to stay together. If both partners believe that it is time to go separate ways after looking at the relationship, we can work on an amicable parting of ways. I am here to facilitate, listen, and guide you to be the very best for yourselves and each other now and in the future.
Want to learn more about me?
I would love to hear from you.
Phone: (323) 301-0083
1600 Vine Street, #902, Los Angeles, CA 90028