Linda Gary, MFT
(818) 917-7600
Linda Gary, MFT Marriage and Family Therapist Learn about my approach to therapy I specialize in a variety of problems Contact me today

At the beginning of most romantic relationships, passionate feelings can overwhelm and blind us. We believe that we have found the ideal person and are likely to fool ourselves into believing that we are the ideal person in the eyes of the other. Soon enough reality appears. Problems and misunderstandings in our primary relationship are painful and disorienting. This is where we most expect to feel safe and understood.

When there is a breakdown in this most significant of adult relationships, both partners feel isolated and at a loss about what to do. As a therapist, I help couples find the tools they need to restore mutual respect which will, in turn, open up an opportunity for the couple to learn to love one another on a deeper level.

Initially, I create a safe environment for each partner to feel supported and encouraged. I want to know about all those things that drew them together in the first place. Together we look at past and current goals and dreams for the future.

I am curious about the patterns of relating that each one learned in their original families. We listen carefully as partners describe their childhood experiences with family members. As painful relationship memories from the past are remembered and expressed, the other partner is there to empathize and offer support. I help them make links between early relationship experiences in their families and the ways these earlier behavior patterns are being repeated in their present day relationships. We start the process of sorting out what is and is not working today.

Together we explore the many ways the couple is affectively connected to one another. Emotional connections set the stage for intense reactions. Through experiences in therapy sessions, each one will discover the advantages of taking responsibility for their partner's nervous system and arousal in order to claim or reclaim security and equanimity. The quickest way to calm one's self is to calm one's partner first. Through a variety of experiential activities, the couple masters effective ways to calm one another.

Sessions include some structured activities and lots of opportunities to get in touch with and express needs, fears, and losses while being carefully listened to and acknowledged. Homework involves putting into use in their daily lives what they have learned. They can then bring back to therapy sessions their failed attempts for further work and their successes for validation and integration.

When the couple or one of the partners is struggling with other difficulties, such as substance abuse or severe anger problems, couples counseling would need to come after treatment in these areas


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