Couples Counseling

Problems are Normal For All Relationships

Frayed RopeProblems are an inevitable part of being in an intimate relationship with another person. Sooner or later the demands of life—career, parenthood, finances, health problems, and more—will pose a challenge to every long-term relationship. However, it is not the presence of issues, but rather how couples handle those issues that is the key to a lasting relationship. If a couple succeeds in working together to address whatever problems they face, the end result is often not only individual growth, but a relationship that is even stronger than before.

How Do We Know if We Need Counseling?

Couple at oddsCouples come to a marital counselor (couples therapist) for a variety of reasons. At times they come in for occasional “tune ups” when the support of a therapist is useful in resolving a specific issue the couple cannot solve on their own. More often, however, couples seek relationship counseling when a crisis has occurred, and they are feeling stuck or hopeless. Some of the warning signs that a couple should consider seeking the additional support of a therapist are:

  • Poor communication / frequent misunderstandings
  • More frequent and intense arguments
  • Avoiding spending time with each other
  • Feeling distant from your partner
  • Stressors such as money problems or the death of a family member
  • Lack of affection, no physical intimacy
  • Infidelity – physical or emotional

Couples that separate or divorce commonly report that they noticed these and other warning signs during their relationship, but did not realize how deteriorated things had become until a full-blown crisis was underway. Sadly, some couples hesitate to seek help from a marriage counselor because they are afraid that just being in marriage therapy is somehow a confirmation their relationship is fatally flawed.

What to Expect

Holding handsWhen a relationship is in crisis, emotions run high and the ability to reason and communicate dwindles. As a neutral third party in the room, I help facilitate calm discussion and enable you to step out of defensiveness and begin to work on problems together in a productive manner. During our work together, you and your partner will learn new communication skills that will help to heal and solidify your relationship. I will partner with you to identify solutions to problems, establish a vision of hope for the future, and build a path to getting there. At times that path may be a straightforward one involving brief therapy, and other times it may take more time to reach your goals.

I believe a good fit between therapist and client is essential to successful therapy. During our initial consultation, I will meet with you to discuss the issues you would like to address in therapy. You will come away from this meeting with a clear sense of how we can work together. The actual course of therapy varies according to your issues and your goals. I will patiently listen to you without judgment, and will work with you to solve your problems, deepen understanding of yourself, and explore ways to begin living the life you choose.

Resources for Couples

Links to suggested relationship books on can be found here.

Gerry Presar, MS, LMFT
Individual, Couple, and Family Therapist
11415 NE 128th Street, Suite 100
Kirkland, WA 98034
Phone: 425-420-8420
Fax: 425-952-0135