“It is… possible to heal even badly wounded relationships. It takes commitment and willingness to look more closely at one’s own behavior and goals, as well as what the couple desires in a relationship. Not every relationship can be ‘saved,’ but most relationships can heal, and people can learn to respect, enjoy and honor each other.” – Arlene (Ari) Istar Lev, LCSW-R, CASAC - Website: http://choicesconsulting.com/)

I enjoy very much working with people in relationships. My focus in couples and relationship counseling is on improving communication and problem-solving skills, understanding relationship patterns, and increasing empathy and emotional engagement towards one another, which, in turn, improves the sense of connection between partners. When working with relationships, I sometimes give exercises to practice at home between sessions.

The reason I call this work both couples and relationship counseling is that in addition to working with marital or otherwise committed partners, I can also work with people in other relationships (e.g., parent and child, siblings, or close friends). I work with both mixed-sex and same-sex couples, as well as relationships in which one or more partner is transgender.

Relationship issues I work with include (but are not limited to):
  • Communication problems
  • Recovering from affairs and infidelity
  • Sexual issues
  • Parenting issues
  • Supportive therapy and consultation to family members of an individual who comes out about sexual orientation or gender identity
Counseling sessions are 50 minutes, which allows me a little time between clients to finish notes about our session and get ready for my next client. For the initial session, if our schedules allow, I like to meet for 90 minutes, which gives us more spaciousness and not feel so rushed to learn more about each other and decide whether to continue. Fees are the same regardless of the number of people to attend sessions.
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