Couples and Marriage Counselling in Burnaby and Vancouver

In addition to being a Registered Psychologist I have also been a Registered Marriage and Family Therapist (RMFT) and a Clinical Fellow of the American Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (AAMFT) for over 30 years. My education clinical training in couple counselling includes a graduate degree specifically in couple and marriage therapy, as well as two years of full-time supervised experience as a couple, marriage and family counsellor.  My initial training was as a "systemic" based  family therapist, including training at the Ackerman Institute in New York, and I then trained with Dr. Harville Hendricks in New York in his couples counselling process called IMAGO Therapy. More recently I trained in the Gottman Couple/Marriage Therapy approach. Gottman, Cognitive Behavioural and Systemic methods are those I most often use.

What is marriage and family therapy and who are Registered Marriage and Family Therapists?

Marriage and family therapy (MFT) is a distinct mental health discipline which utilizes family systems theories and intervention techniques. "It is one of the five core mental health professions: marriage and family therapy, psychiatry, psychology, social work and psychiatric nursing."

"Registered Marriage and Family Therapists" (RMFT) are family-focused psychotherapists. They are relationship specialists and mental health generalists, and are trained to help individuals, couples, and families resolve personal and work related problems. Members have training in the development stages of personal, family and relationship growth. RMFT’s are held to the demanding Code of Ethics of The American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy (AAMFT) and are Clinical Members of the AAMFT and the Registry of Marriage and Family Therapists in Canada." (from AAMFT) 

 What happens in couples, marriage and family therapy?

After our initial meeting together we decide what appropriate methods will help you meet your needs in therapy. That may mean individual therapy or counselling, couple or family therapy. Therapists often say they are "eclectic," however I think it's best to say that therapy, the techniques we use and the tools and skills you need to learn, vary according to your needs and goals. Not all techniques are appropriate for all issues. In my practice often we use techniques from the work  of Dr. John Gottman, sometimes we use Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and other times we may work on direct behavioural skills to address anxiety or depression that keep us from working on your issues as a couple or family. I highly recommend two books for couples, "The Seven Principles for Making Marriage Work," and "Why Marriages Succeed or Fail." These are excellent books, also available as CD's or on to listen to. They give your and your partner a shared vocabulary to work with, and provide numerous examples of how to handle the situations that cause the greatest difficulty for couples.

Do you work with GLBT Couples?

Yes. Please see my web page by clicking (here) 

Summary: Marriage and Family Therapy

I try to do short term therapy, and guide you to tools that you can continue using on your own. This might include homework, readings, videos to watch of CDs to listen to. Therapy usually lasts 8-10 sessions. We usually start with 3-4 weekly sessions, and then see each other every other week. Initial and ongoing sessions costs $200 per hour. For those seeing me for multiple sessions there is a reduced rate.

For more information about my services as a couples counsellor or family therapist call or email. While there might be a waiting list there are often openings due to cancellations of changes in schedules.  For information about other  books, CD's or DVD's I often recommend click here: BOOKS

KEY WORDS: Couples Counselling, Family Therapy, Gottman Marriage Therapy Method, Vancouver, Burnaby, Registered Marriage and Family Therapist, Registered Psychologist