- Registered Associate Marriage and Family Therapist
Master of Arts, Counseling Psychology
Looking for a couple's therapist is stressful, because both of you need to like this person enough to be willing to talk to them about the intimate details of your partnership. Add in the fact that this may be a point in your relationship where the two of you are having difficulty coordinating or agreeing about anything.
I get it. No one wants to go to couples therapy. It often means that the couple as a unit is in danger. One or both of you are unhappy, and you're uncertain of how things are going to play out, and that's a scary and frustrating place to be.
I want to help you gain clarity about what is going wrong in your relationship and what you want to do about it.
My personal history, including growing up in a strict Catholic family, struggles with depression and anxiety, and ties to queer, kinky, and sex worker communities, is what inspires me to do this work.
I earned my master’s degree in counseling psychology at the California Institute of Integral Studies, a school which combines an education in a diverse array of Western and Eastern psychological traditions with rigorous self-inquiry. I trained specifically in Gestalt therapy, an existential approach that emphasizes awareness of the present moment and freedom of choice, at Church Street Integral Counseling Center.
To start, we'll feel out the fit between the three of us in the first session, to make sure that I'm someone that you both feel comfortable with. Aspects of my identity, particularly race and gender, may impact whether or not I will be a safe enough person for you to be vulnerable with, and differences between the two of you may mean that what feels safe for one person does not feel safe for the other.
If it’s a good enough fit, we'll move on to identifying what each member of the couple needs from the other. This includes differentiating between needs that you can meet on your own or with a friend or family member, and those that can only be met by your partner.
Next we'll pinpoint the obstacles that prevent these needs from being met. This could be a difference in values, a time or energy deficit, built up resentment, or difficulty understanding the other's perspective. We will also examine the patterns of how you relate to each other, and work to interrupt those that lead to conflict and misunderstandings.
You'll practice actively listening for the emotional undertones in your partner's requests, and demonstrating empathy for your partner's sadness, frustration and longing. As the therapist I will ensure that both partners receive time to speak, guard against finger pointing and mind-reading, and encourage self-reflection.
We'll brainstorm creative ways in which to meet the needs of each partner while accounting for the impact that this has on the other, as well as their limitations.
If it is relevant to your situation, I will hold space for a discussion of whether or not the relationship should continue, or if it would be better to separate.
If reading about this framework makes you feel calmer or more hopeful for the future, I encourage you to take the next step and schedule an initial phone call.
My core values have evolved to support the intimate connections I see as foundational to a healing relationship. They include: honesty—in an attempt to get to the truth of our shared experience; non-violence—respecting the right of all to create and pursue their own meaning; openness-—to hold my beliefs lightly enough to be able to learn from others; compassion—recognizing how difficult it is to be human; and courage—to hold my ground despite the difficulty.
- Young Adult: 18-25
- Adults: 25-65
Persons in Existential Crisis; Sex Workers
- Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
- Gestalt Therapy
- Humanistic Therapy
- Psychodynamic Psychotherapy
- Relational Psychotherapy
- Trauma-Informed Psychotherapy
- Credit Card
$180 for Couples
$140-$180/session for couples
137 Clark St, San Rafael, CA
- Tuesday Afternoon
- Tuesday Evening
- Wednesday Afternoon
- Wednesday Evening
- Thursday Morning
Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a voicemail at (510) 640-8676 with a few days and times you are available for a free 15-minute phone consultation. In this call we will discuss the specifics of your situation and, if you decide we may be a good fit, schedule our first therapy session.
Rawna Romero, LMFT 41466