Couples Psychotherapy

It is an understatement to say that being in a relationship is difficult. Disagreements, disappointments, and conflicts are inevitable. Stress from work, parenting, health issues, and financial concerns can intensify conflict.

Working out differences in communication style, intimacy needs, sexual problems, negotiating routine decisions, as well as ways of handling conflict are challenging and can lead to frustrating and seemingly intractable patterns of interacting.

How I Work

Often a couple comes to therapy when they have reached a frustrating impasse in their relationship. There are frequent arguments, increased distance, tension, and a loss of mutual empathy.

My goal is to create a contained space that facilitates communication so that both individuals can feel heard. Couples do best in therapy when they feel safe to explore their difficulties and trust the therapist to guide them through this process.

It is important that I understand how each individual views the relationship, the problems in the relationship, their strengths and weaknesses, what they believe needs to change, and, most importantly, how the dynamics of the relationship led to the impasse.

It Takes Two

Couples therapy involves a process of mutual exploration. While all is not fair and equal in love, it usually takes two to create a problem and two to improve a relationship.

It is important for couples to recognize their negative patterns of interaction and how each partner contributes to this pattern. The most difficult part of therapy is learning how to listen and understand how your significant other views you.

Mutual Exploration Leads to Understanding

Initial progress occurs when each partner feels understood and begins to see how their conflicts are mutually determined. Much of the work of therapy involves understanding triggers and patterns of reactivity, as well as learning how to deescalate conflict, and develop more effective ways to communicate.

When conflict is reduced, individuals are better able to communicate their needs and feelings and to feel heard. At this point they are likely to work on their intimacy. When there is a feeling of mutual understanding, the couple is not only better equipped to handle conflict but also more adept at being intimate.


Larry Brooks, PhD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist
License # PSY 8161

138 N. Brand #300
Glendale, CA 91203

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