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IIn the beginning is relation

                               - Martin Buber


You would not be alone if you assumed that since you are struggling in your relationship you must have chosen a wrong mate. In fact, it is tempting to convince yourself that if only you found “the right one,” your “other half,” you would be sailing together smooth, “conflict-free” waters towards “happily ever after"... if only you were with the right person, you would not need to do any work!


Yet, the truth is that conflict is growth trying to happen, and you are right on track (though not yet at your destination) to your dream relationship. It is important to keep tending your relationship. If you bail on your relationship now, in search of the mythical soulmate, you will be robbing yourself (and your partner) of the opportunity to grow. So, don’t give up - stay in the boat and keep paddling! And allow me to dispel a few more relationship myths.


  • No one naturally knows how to “do relationships right.” How we show up and interact in our adult relationships, is determined by the quality of the relationships we experienced with the significant people in our early life.

  • Relationships do not thrive on “sameness”; rather, they flourish in the mutual acceptance of and respect for our differences.

  • No one naturally knows how to communicate without polarizing (i.e., steadfastly defending their own position). Talking and listening are crucial skills that need to be learned and practiced in order to create safety and deeper connection in a relationship.



So if you find that you are struggling in your relationship, thinking “it should not be THAT difficult!”, having the same fight over again, locked in an attack-withdrawal dance, missing the intense excitement and enthusiasm you experienced about your partner in the early days of your coupledom, wondering "how did I not see it coming" or how they have “baited you and then switched”…


...If you and your partner seem basically perfectly incompatible – it’s no mistake, you are right where you need to be... but fortunately not for long! If you allow me to help you navigate this stage of your relationship, I will guide you to your destination: safe and deep connection and a conscious “dream” relationship.

One of the biggest success factors in a marriage is learning how to manage differences successfully.


I believe in transformational power of relationships. I have great passion for working with and supporting couples in achieving more intentional and fulfilling relationships. For over 10 years while providing couples counseling, both in the U.S. and abroad, I have witnessed over and over again the healing and growth that can happen in the context of a strong, fulfilling, committed relationship. The value of its rewards is undeniable: love, companionship, adventure, relaxation, affection, membership, stability, financial security, and better health. 


I believe that conflict in relationship, when managed effectively, presents opportunities for growth and development of each partner individually and the couple as a unit. Additionally, I teach partners about the value of increasing their ability to express their own thoughts, feelings, and desires, tolerating their own and each other’s vulnerabilities, regulating their own reactivity and understanding its origins, and stretching into new, healthier ways of relating characterized by mutual respect, acceptance, empathy and compassion. To accomplish these outcomes, I combine principles and techniques of Imago Relationship Therapy and Developmental Model of Couples Therapy. I provide couples with education, resources, practical information and proven relational skills to help them catapult their relationships into ones that are more loving and collaborative. 

I am Certified Imago Relationship Therapist and a Graduate of The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy Training under Ellyn Bader, Ph.D. at The Couples Institute. If you would like to learn how I can help you and your partner make your relationship flourish, please click below to schedule your free phone consultation with me.

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Getting the Love You Want by Harville Hendrix, PhD, is an extraordinary practical guide to resolving relationship problems, enhancing communication, stopping self-defeating behavior and achieving mutual emotional satisfaction.

Dagmara Svetcov, LMFT, LSOTP, CST, CIRT assisting Dr. Harville Hendrix and Dr. Helen LaKelly Hunt at the June 2018 Couples Workshop: Getting the Love You Want in Scott’s Valley, CA.

Dr. Harville Hendrix, founder of Imago Relationship Therapy, discusses the core skill of the Imago Practice: The Intentional Dialogue.

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The Developmental Model of Couples Therapy was co-developed by Dr. Ellyn Bader and Dr. Peter Pearson, founders of The Couples Institute in Menlo Park, CA. The model explains normal and natural stages and struggles that growing couples encounter. The model provides a structure for couples therapy by identifying the developmental task, developmental stalemate, diagnosis, and specific treatment interventions for each stage of development.

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Tell Me No Lies, by Ellyn Bader, Ph.D. and Peter Pearson, Ph.D, offers a riveting account of the classic lies we tell during the four stages of marriage: the honeymoon, emerging differences, freedom to explore, and together as two. It is insightful and practical for couples who would like to improve their relationships. It reveals the secret to sorting through individual differences to reach a state of mutual appreciation and cooperation.

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