Couples Therapy

Improving your relationship means increasing

  • commitment
  • authentic communication
  • transparency
  • clarification of needs
  • intimacy

and reducing

  • infidelity & trust violations
  • ambivalence
  • possessiveness
  • insecurity & jealousy
  • resentment

Holistic couples therapy transforms relationships when both partners/ spouses/ lovers are willing to learn about themselves, even if one or both are confused about the relationship.

Developing Authentic,
Conscious Relationship


Sometimes unsuccessful patterns of relating and personal issues get in the way of fulfilling relationship. Learning how to collaborate to get your needs met is important.


The foundation of conscious relationship is the ability to be aware of one's internal experience and express it in authentic, or open and honest, ways.  This bolsters intimacy through clear communication and commitment, resulting in a strengthened, more enjoyable relationship.


Advanced couples therapy focuses on using the relationship as a vehicle for growth and awakening, beyond the the couple in daily life.


Both beginning or long-term relationships  can be improved by conscious communication and mutual commitment to personal growth.

Working Through
Conflict & Ambivalence
Sometimes conflict is acute, other times it forms gradually as a creeping resentment or distance. Holistic couples therapy helps by addressing a conflict clearly and directly, to uncover underlying patterns of motivations and avoidances that repeatedly lead to relationship dissatisfaction or painful divergences.


The relationship could have no overt conflict, but instead a sense of stagnation or vague feeling of "this could be better." Maybe one of you feels like it might be time to end things and is having difficulty making a definitive choice. Ambivalence, an inability to commit or move on, can be a painful process.


Couples therapy can help you both get a better sense of what you need to stay together or how to part in a way that leaves you both feeling complete.

Open or Polyamorous Relationship

Single or primary partnership isn't a good fit for everyone. But open relationships can be challenging, especially for those new to polyamory.

If you are new to or experienced with open relationships or questioning monogamous culture, holisitic couples therapy can support you in moving forward with an open or polyamorous relationship. There you can repair what isn't working in your current relationship.
Open relationship often brings up feelings of insecurity, jealousy, possesiveness, and resentment. These are normal. There are ways of being in relationship that reduce the occurence and intensity. You can learn how to be more aware, accepting, and confronting of these thoughts and emotions. 

Communication and boundaries are particularly important in a poly relationship. If there is a primary partnership transitioning to an open relationship, specific discussions can prevent future painful situations.


(You can read more about open & polyamorous relationship on the Resources page).

I've worked with many combinations (married, life-partnered, dating, polyamorous, LGBTQ relationships).  While the culture may differ, the markers of a healthy, fulfilling relationship remain the same. 

© 2012 - present by Justin McGahan, MA, PhD 

LMFT 98948

at Grateful Heart Holistic Counseling Center


(510) 922-0304


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