Michele O’Mara, LCSW, PhD – Providing Couples Therapy Lesbian, Heterosexual, Mixed Orientation, and Gay Relationships
Couples Therapy for All Kinds of Couples and All Kinds of Relationship Concerns.
I have been an Imago Certified therapist since 2005, a Clinical Sexologist since 2012, and a Gottman Trained couples therapist since 2014. I have had a very strong fascination with relationships since I was young. I have marveled at how seemingly complicated relationships are. Relationships downright fascinate me. I’ve come to realize that When Love is Good, Life is Good.
Couples therapy helps you identify what the source of your conflicts are, and it also helps you develop new skills to address them. Relationships are not cookie-cutter situations. Sometimes your relationship starts out looking one way, and over time it is unrecognizable. No two relationships are the same. Other relationships are quite strong, and then one partner discovers something about themselves that changes the structure of their relationship (such as a mixed-orientation marriage).
Some relationships swing real high and real low, some swing higher and lower than others, and some don’t seem to move at all. Whatever the case, we will look at your relationship and come up with the best plan for you.
I enjoy providing couples counseling to all varieties of couples (lesbian, mixed orientation marriages, heterosexual, gay). I am also comfortable with a wide variety of relationship issues, including, but not limited to, sexual issues (my Ph.D. is in Clinical Sexology). If you think me and my quirky self might be a good fit for you and your personal brand of relationship, I’m ready to get started!
TYPES OF COUPLES COUNSELING
There are five major categories of relationship counseling (which I provide both in office and ON-LINE):
Premarital or marriage preparation counseling – preparing for marriage before tying the knot
Couples therapy for any of the reasons (and more) listed below – staying on track, healing issues
Affair recovery or infidelity or other traumatic – repairing serious relationship wounds
Discernment Counseling – deciding whether to stay or to go
Uncoupling Counseling – intentionally uncoupling
WHAT ARE COMMON ISSUES YOU ADDRESS IN COUPLES COUNSELING?
- infidelity, emotional affairs, and outside attractions that affect the relationship
- mixed-orientation marriages (one partner comes out as gay or transgender)
- conflicts regarding whether or not to have an open relationship or polyamorous relationship
- differing sex drives/libidos
- loss of sexual desire for one’s partner
- difficulty with communication
- resentment, anger, and “old issues” that were never addressed and continue to linger
- questions about whether or not to continue the relationship
- deciding whether or not to have a baby
- long-distance relationship issues, and adjustments when united in one city
- feelings of control, power discrepancies in relationship and feeling under appreciated/frustrated
- pre-marital counseling to strengthen the relationship before marriage/commitment
- relationship dissolution, negotiating a break-up with compassion and kindness
HOW LONG DO SESSIONS LAST?
A typical couples session is 85 minutes ($205), though if your budget does not allow for this, you can opt for a 50-minute session ($130). A combination of processing feelings, exercising new skills and tools taught in the session, and a lot of education are provided in sessions, and homework is not uncommon, which allows you to maximize the investment you are making in your relationship.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD WE MEET?
It is ideal to schedule therapy sessions at least every two weeks (no further apart) when you begin. Typically, after roughly four to six sessions (two to three months) you will have gained enough new information and skills to begin lessening the frequency of your sessions. Some couples prefer to come weekly and do so for many months. Some prefer to come monthly and only come a few times. Your experience and needs will depend entirely on the set of issues you bring to counseling, as well as your sense of urgency to resolve your concerns.
DO YOU DO THE GOTTMAN RELATIONSHIP CHECKUP?
Yes, I am certified to provide the Gottman Relationship checkup.
This relationship checkup is a cutting-edge tool available to all couples who are interested in a detailed assessment of strengths and weaknesses, along with specific strategies for improvement. This is a scientifically based assessment designed by the leader in couples research, John Gottman.
Click here for more information about the relationship checkup.
To learn more about what makes a healthy relationship, read this.
There is no “right” way to do couples counseling. Come on in and we can sort it out together. Or, if you are interested in the most immediate gratification, you may be a good candidate to participate in a Lesbian Couple’s Weekend.