Are you looking for a marriage counselor?  Are you looking to talk with a marriage counselor who can also provide sex therapy?  My work with couples embraces both traditional marriage counseling as well as sex therapy.  We focus on both the emotional connection and on the erotic or sexual connection.

EMOTIONAL INTIMACY AND SEXUAL INTIMACY GO TOGETHER:  For couples struggling with intimacy or communication, or for couples who struggle with conflict and who argue all the time, couples counseling or couples therapy can be the key to saving the marriage.  However, if the couple is also having sexual difficulties, this must be addressed.  No marriage can be considered fully healthy if one or both partners are sexually frustrated or otherwise unsatisfied.  Both emotional and sexual intimacy are part of healthy relating.

HOW DID THINGS GET SO BAD?   All too often, couples come into my office angry, resentful and very confused about how things got so bad.  They look at one another and remember that once upon a time, they loved spending time together.  They loved making love.  They remember talking, sharing dreams, planning a life.  Often in tears, they throw their hands up and ask How did things get so bad?  How did we get here?  We hardly talk, and when we do, it feels antagonistic, sarcastic or dismissive.  We hardly make love and when we do, it feels automatic, unromantic, boring. 

SO, REALLY, HOW DID THINGS GET SO BAD?  A marriage or a relationship is a living entity.  It’s comprised of the sum total of how two people who are participating in it, create and develop it over time.  When the partners stop paying attention—to their own needs and to the needs of the other—things get bad.  Often it starts with a small difficulty or failure: one person is a little unhappy with something.  They either attempt a cure it, or attempt to sweep it under the rug.  Chances are if one partner is unhappy with something there is a corresponding discontent in the other.

HERE IS AN EXAMPLE:  Susan is married to Tom.  Susan starts to feel a little under- appreciated.  She tries to get more appreciation from Tom by trying harder to give him things she thinks he wants so that he’ll notice how happy she’s trying to make him.  But he doesn’t notice.  Or, he notices, but feels manipulated rather than given to.  He grows a little distant.  Susan senses Tom’s distance and grows more convinced she’s not appreciated.  She becomes angry and reactive.  Tom withdraws further.   Soon, they are speaking less and arguing more.  Their love-making is also a casualty of their emotional stand-off, and grows less frequent and less satisfying.  After enough time has passed under these deteriorating conditions, perhaps one partner seeks love and affection elsewhere.  Or perhaps divorce becomes a consideration.  Sometime, in despair, the partners will look for marriage counseling or couples counseling.   Perhaps they’ll look for sex therapy.

WHAT MAKES A GOOD MARRIAGE COUNSELOR:  A good marriage counselor or couples counselor is able to balance the often-competing needs of the individual partners.  A good marriage counselor can hear what the underlying, often unspoken longing are that are driving each partner to behave unproductively.  A good marriage counselor or couples therapist can explain what each partner needs and can help the couple understand the way each has been contributing to the problem. A good marriage counselor can teach you and your spouse how to listen carefully and respectfully even when you don’t like what you’re hearing.  And a good marriage counselor or couples therapist can teach you how to respond in a way that will maximize your chances of getting what you need.

MARRIAGE COUNSELING AND SEX THERAPY:  Long Island Counseling prides itself on offering an integrated approach for couples seeking both marriage counseling and sex therapy.  The couple will learn better communication skills, become sensitive to the emotional narratives that are part of the relationship, and the couple will also explore their erotic experience. They will learn how to improve their sex life with increased attentiveness and sensitivity, and with new approaches and techniques.  All questions will be answered and no concern is too small or unimportant for discussion.

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